Monday, July 30, 2007

Heat, humidity and Harry Potter

The last few days it has felt very hot and humid. Yes, we expect this in Cyprus during the Summer, particularly in July, but that doesn't make it any pleasanter! Even at 6.30 in the morning I feel as if I'm damp all over, just walking downstairs to the kitchen. There's a cool breeze outside when I open the windows... but I still feel sticky. I do housework and other chores more-or-less first thing, peel off my clothes and step into the shower around 9am ... and then, even after I'm theoretically dry, still feel damp.

The weather site tells me it's currently 32C, which doesn't sound too hot. But the humidity is 75%, and apparently it 'feels like' 42C. I can believe it.

Air conditioning, of course, makes a huge difference since it reduces the humidity as well as the heat. We run ours at 28C, which seems to be the ideal temperature. Computers don't function well over 30C, but they're fine at 28. People also don't function well much over 30C! I know some people run their a/c much cooler, but if we do that (a) it's much more expensive (b) it feels much worse when going into another room or outside if the difference is more than a few degrees.

So we run the bedroom a/c overnight - sometimes switching it off automatically at midnight, if it's not too humid - and during the day we run it when needed in certain rooms that we're in. My study has a/c on from about 10am until I've finished with the computer in the evening. Tim uses his bedroom one, sometimes, if he's reading or working in there. I run the kitchen one when I'm cooking, and we sometimes run the dining-room one when eating. We're very thankful to have so many units - at the other house we had only one, in the living/dining room.

I spent most of the weekend reading the latest Harry Potter. Tim began it on Friday, and finished it Saturday morning. He reckoned it took him about seven hours. I don't read as fast as he does; I think it took me about ten hours, in all. What an amazing book it was, too. There was Christian symbolism sprinkled throughout, particularly in the ending.

If anyone's interested in knowing more of my thoughts about it, there are plenty of them on my other blogs: a review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at my books blog, and some lengthy ramblings about Harry Potter as a Christian allegory at my abstractions blog, which gives links to several even longer articles on the topic.

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