This summer we have seen temperatures soaring across Europe. Today the UK had the hottest July day on record. The last time it was this hot was the summer of 2003. I remember this only too clearly because I was dealing with a newborn baby at the time. Newborn babies are hard enough work without feeling like you’re trapped in an oven.

I grew up in hot places but that was a lifetime ago and now I’m all middle aged and peri menopausal I do struggle with this kind of heat.

Not only have I acclimatised to the British weather and melt if the temperature rises above 25 degrees but I am also very very white. I should by all rights be a red head because I am pasty and freckled. My husband and daughter tan beautifully whereas I turn lobster red and then peel, resulting in being whiter than I was before (if that’s even possible).

Anyway here are my tips for surviving the heatwave whilst we hide in the shade and wait for September to arrive in all its autumnal glory.

The duvet has been chucked in favour of crisp cotton sheets. Mine are from Soak & Sleep. They don’t have shops so pass the savings onto the consumer. High quality bedding at discount prices! I would always recommend getting the best quality cotton sheets you can. It makes the world of difference in the summer when the nights are hot and sticky. Softer than soft, feather light and wonderfully breathable. Click here

Last week I bought a couple of these pocket sized hand held fans from M&S.

At £6 each they’re great value without being so cheap that you know they’ll break after two minutes. Also the “blades” are ultra thin fabric so they really do cut through the air. Perfect if you’re stuck in an airless office or train carriage. Click here

I discovered Magicool spray a couple of years ago. You can read all about it by clicking here. Effective cooling spray that is so gentle it can used on babies and pets. But be sensible! Do not leave in a hot car or baking in direct sunlight.

“Slip Slap Slop!” as the Aussies say! Don’t forget your sun protection. Make sure you read the small print on the bottle and check the expiry date. Most lotions aren’t effective after two years. I’ve been victim to expired lotions before and suffered bad sunburn as a result. I personally recommend Piz Buin and really rate their All Day range but I do know they had people suffer with skin reactions in the past so if you are sensitive or just want one bottle to suit the whole family then you can’t go wrong with Ultrasun. On the pricey side but well known to be one of the very best. Available at Amazon, Boots etc. 

Before the hot weather arrived I decided to replace our fan. Originally I was going to buy a mini air conditioner/cooler unit but then everyone kept warning me about Legionnaires Disease and I got put off so opted for this fan from Ansio instead. Now some might be put off by the price but a) I got it a lot cheaper from Amazon and b) IT IS WORTH IT. This is hands down the best fan I’ve ever bought!

I guess it really is a case of you get what you pay for and if your budget doesn’t stretch to a Dyson then I reckon this is the next best thing.

The base is weighted so stands without wobbling or flinching on carpet, tile or wooden floorboards. You can adjust the height, although I haven’t had to bother and the head both oscillates and tilts. It comes with a remote control which I considered surplus to requirements to begin with but now I’m horribly spoilt and would consider having to get up to adjust the fan setting an infringement on my human rights.

It has five different modes and twenty six speed settings. I permanently have it on a normal jet engine blast but if you set it to “Natural” it will simulate a natural breeze… On the lowest seven settings it is completely silent, above that you can obviously hear it but it isn’t anywhere near as noisy as the clunky fan we replaced. All in all it is well worth the outlay and I will care for it like a beloved family member so that it can look after us for many summers to come. Click here.

And finally… I work in a veterinary practice and every summer we see dogs with heat exhaustion and burnt or blistered paw pads. So please do take care of your furry friends when it’s hot!

I recommend the following:

1. Brush your dog frequently. This will remove any dead hairs and prevent matts. Don’t shave them. This will make them more prone to overheating and sunburn.

2. Keep your dog indoors somewhere cool during the hottest time of the day. Never ever leave them in the car, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

3. If you wouldn’t want to walk down the street barefoot then don’t take the dog! Cooler evening walks are better.

4. Make sure they have easy access to fresh water. Also a good idea to add ice cubes to their water bowl.

5. Replace dry food with wet. This is a must if your dog isn’t much of a drinker!

6. Wet a towel with cold water, wring out the excess liquid and lay it down on your dog when they’re resting.

7. You can provide a paddling pool in a shaded part of the garden.

I don’t live with dogs anymore but friends of my mine that do really recommend these cooling mats. Can’t imagine it wouldn’t be a good investment. Amazon sell lots but this one seemed to have the best reviews. Click here

That’s me done. Oh and eat lots and lots of ice cream. When it’s this hot, it’s THE LAW. Enjoy! 🍦

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