Tag Archives: Heat

How to keep safe in the summer heat…

It is relatively unusual for the British Weather forecast to contain a weather warning for heat!  Usually we have weather warnings for rain, wind, ice and snow!  However… this week, due to a lot of heat over Spain and South Easterly winds, we are due to have heatwave.


There is an old adage about “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”.  I have observed that Northern Europeans certainly seem to get into sleeveless tops and shorts the first time sun shows up (my husband and I went to Rome on Honeymoon – it was 15 degrees celsius at the end of February and the Roman natives were snuggled in winter coats and the Northern Europeans were all in T shirts and shorts!).  But this abandon in sunshine can lead to discomfort and illness, and I don’t know about you, but I like to avoid that if at all possible.

tap water

So, the first things to mention are the most obvious.  Keep hydrated.  In hot weather, you will sweat more, so drink more water.  I am not suggesting you gulp down 4 or 5 litres, but be sensible.  If you do lots of high octane activity, you might want to tone it down in hot weather.  Also, always be safe in the sun and use sun protection creams, wear a t-shirt, sunglasses and a hat.  Yes, even if you look daft in a hat.  We are talking safety here, not fashion.  And keep out of the sun between 11.30 and 3pm.  It is when the sun is at its zenith and when the day will be hottest.  That midday sun we were talking about!!

water drop

However, if you do get heatstroke or sunstroke, here is a rehydration liquid recipe from one of my favourite websites…. http://mortgagefreeinthree.com/2013/07/homemade-rehydration-solution/


  • 6 level teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 level teaspoon of salt
  • 1 litre of boiled and cooled water
  • 200ml of orange juice or a splash of fruit cordial to make it more palatable

Put everything in a glass, stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved and neck it.

I am reliably informed that this works a treat, and I hope it helps if anyone gets caught out by the heat.  In the meantime… stay safe and enjoy the sunshine!


My own personal barometers…

I don’t know about you, but I have personal barometers which tell me when the weather is going to change.  Thanks to breaking several bones whilst growing up, and also a couple when old enough to know better, I am a reliable source of weather data for those around me.  I can tell you more accurately than the weather forecast when it is going to rain for example.  It is a neat trick, but I would rather I didn’t get joint pain at all.  Unfortunately, that particular ship has sailed.

Sore joints

A lot of people get joint pains on one sort or another.  Some of them have delightful whimsical names like Tennis Elbow and Housemaid’s knee.  Despite their names, they are unpleasant to have to deal with.  Not to mention painful.

Lots of things can cause joint pain.  Infections, fevers, food allergies, diet deficiencies and liver problems can all cause joint pain.  Not drinking enough water if you are an athlete can cause calcium crystals to develop in the joints and that can be SORE.  Or if you have a tick bite it can develop into Lyme Disease.  That can cause joint aching, swelling and inflammation.  Psoriasis can also affect your joints, causing a deep ache.  After all that, the broken bones method is not looking so bad.

sore knee

However, most joint pain that we will experience will be down to wear and tear, arthritis or injury.  Overuse of a particular joint (like your elbow and your knee) can inflame the individual parts that make up your joints.  Muscles, tendons, ligaments and bursae, which are the tiny fluid filled sacs that provide lubrication between the joints.  There is gout as well, which is where urea crystals form in the joints and cause some really bad pain.  It is thought to be brought on by rich foods in your diet and is unfortunately becoming increasingly common in modern life.  Henry VIII suffered from it.  Might be one of the reasons he was so grumpy with everyone, especially his wives.

What can you do about aching joints?  Well, the first thing is to…take a break.  How is THAT for a blinding glimpse of the obvious.  If a joint is hurting, stop using it for a bit.  Once the pain has gone, gradually reintroduce the activity and keep going from there.  Listen to your body.  If it is shouting ouch, then stop hurting it!


Second thing is kill the pain.  Unlike some herbally people, I am not going to suggest you exclusively use herbs to stop things hurting.  Yes, some herbs will help – turmeric in a tea is supposed to work miracles for inflammation, but nothing works as well as ibuprofen.  It is formulated to take down inflammation, so if it works, then USE it.    Unless you have an intolerance to ibuprofen.  In which case, turmeric tea might work for you.

The next advice is to do precisely what your Mum or Granny would suggest.  Apply heat to the area.  In the form of topical warming creams, or hot water bottles, or hot wheat bags, or hot cherry stone pillows.  You can make your own herbal warming cream using cayenne pepper, chilli and ginger which does the same thing (and isn’t quite as assaulting on the senses as Ben-Gay or Deep Heat are.

hot water bottles

Now… if these remedies don’t work, or if you had the pain for more than a week, you have given the joint a very hard knock indeed or your joints are all swollen all at the same time… then don’t be daft.  Go and see your medical professional.  There are no points for being a hero.

How to keep cool in all this heat…

I had spent weeks looking forward to entertaining my friend, her husband and her daughter (who is our God-daughter) at our new house.  We had organised a great BBQ, lots of food, drink and lovely stuff.  I had even made (attempted!) a maple walnut ice cream.  Unfortunately, they more or less cancelled last night, due to the fact that our God-daughter appears to have a touch of sun or heatstroke and is completely wiped out by it.  It is probably best that she stays at home, but we are really disappointed.


We are having quite unusual weather in the UK at the moment – i.e. it isn’t raining all summer!  We are actually having hot temperatures and lovely sunshine, so getting a little bit of sun and heatstroke is quite a common occurrence.  I got to thinking, what can we do if we think someone does have a case of over-exposure to the sun?


Obviously, you need to try your hardest to make sure that it doesn’t happen in the first place.  Keep a sun hat on, or close by, as well as a T-shirt or over blouse to put on when the sun is at its strongest, and make sure that you use appropriate sun protection at all times.  The good old Slip, Slap, Slop.  (Slip on a shirt, Slap on a hat, Slop on the sun cream).

meerkat slip slap slop

The other key preventative measure is to keep hydrated.  Drink water, maybe with an odd glass of squash mixed in to vary it.   How much water is okay is dependent on how hot it is and how big you are.  I usually gauge it by the colour of my urine when I go to the toilet.  I am hydrated when it doesn’t have any colour to it at all.  The darker the pee, the more water I need to keep healthy.


So, you have done that and you still feel icky, or you have had an upset stomach or been vomiting during the night, what can you do then?  Well, on http://www.mortgagefreeinthree.com Elaine provided her loyal fan club with a great recipe for a rehydration liquid which can help to replace your salts and electrolytes.  If you fly over to that site, put “rehydration” into the search box her blog post with it on will pop right up.


The other thing to remember is that sunstroke and heatstroke are really serious.  If your body has lost its ability to control its temperature, then it could lead to your body going into shock, a coma and death.  If someone is unconscious and you suspect heat stroke… get them to a hospital.  Also, if the complaint is well advanced, get them in water.  A cool bath/shower is a fabulous luxury in hot weather and a great way of keeping cool, as are ice compresses and long cool (non-alcoholic) drinks.  But remember to sip and not gulp it down.


Now, if we could just crack the whole “sleeping in the humid heat when no one has air conditioning” thing Summer would be totally awesome!!