Mad Dogs and the English

Just an aside before we start – this American show runs Rule Britannia whilst it’s about Englishmen, can’t expect them to understand:

Trouble is, it’s true in the case of the lobsters English.  Our skin is a bit susceptible, which was not that comfortable in my accumulated years in Oz, plus in Russia in summer, plus in Sicily.  It would be the same in the American South.

Now, if you’re acclimatised to hot summers – and I mean 40C or 100F – and if having heat waves of 42 or 43 [105 plus] are par for the course, then please don’t see this as teaching your grandmother to suck eggs but rather add to it with tips and advice.

If you’re from northern climes or below Tasmania, then it might be of use.  the principles are the same on any cruising yacht – getting flow through ventilation at the right time of day or when the wind blows in a certain direction, relative to the boat.

You see, it’s lobster season over here and skin cancer too. Oz for years ran slip-slop-slap ads concerning shirt, sunscreen and broadbrimmed hat and only the insane or foreigners would do otherwise.

The really intelligent sailed boats and had dodgers and biminis – it was always cooler offshore, the Russians retreated to dachas. I spent one summer in town due to the lady being stuck there and it was not the greatest for asphyxiation.

In the north of Victoria, there’s a restoration place on the Murray River [separating Vic from NSW] called Swan Hill Pioneer Settlement [click and keep clicking pic to embiggen on this page]:

The operative words were flowthrough of breeze, so houses usually had the front door and a direct flow, down the hallway, through the back door.

Didn’t mean both were left open, unless temps were down, it meant closing off that side exposed to the sun, also using awnings and wooden shutters, something I’m putting onto the boat as well.  Even if you have a veranda[h], dahlink, you still need those windows closed when the sun is on that side – best not to have that side facing the midday to afternoon sun anyway.


Tuscaloosa, Alabama

A lady just visited us here and she’s in English summer mode, hair up, no hat, sleeveless top … a lobster.  Why do the English do this?  [I might also ask why for the winter do we not have, in this country, proper walls and windows?]

By the way, in the light of revelations about sunscreen of late, far better to wear a loose, light but opaque shirt or blouse, with broadbrimmed hat – always sailed with the shirt on beneath the lifejacket, irrespective of the temperature.

System I use in the flat is that all windows have silversided tarp hung over them but the windows still open at the right time of day. Temp is about 7 to 10 less than the surrounding area. Bit like a morgue though.

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6 comments for “Mad Dogs and the English

  1. July 22, 2019 at 16:10

    Ceiling fans are a must on any porch or verandah.

    • July 22, 2019 at 16:25

      They were effective. In Palm Springs on 112 degree day, they were running sprinklers along the shop sidewalks, very nice to feel that spray.

  2. Penseivat
    July 22, 2019 at 16:55

    It’s not only the English. Over many years, I have seen Scots, quite a few with red hair, who claimed they did not have a good holiday unless they returned home looking as if they had been bungee jumping into a volcano. Apparently, if you are from north of the border, “Only lassies wear sun screen.”

  3. Macheath
    July 22, 2019 at 17:35

    Can’t speak highly enough of wooden shutters – although I’ve often been baffled by the British habit of putting them inside the glass; it reminds me of Bill Bryson quoting a questionnaire suggesting that American women were unsure whether they were wearing their underwear inside or outside their tights.

    • July 22, 2019 at 18:39

      Wonder if they came from Des Moines. Somebody had to.

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