Keeping cool with climate change

It feels very appropriate to talk about climate change in a week when the UK is set to see temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit, for those of us who still think in old money, as it were). Even Ireland, where it almost never gets very hot, is set to see 30 degrees (86 degrees F) in the next 48 hours or so. 

I find myself reverting to my growing up years, when it was hot for months on end, and air conditioning wasn’t really much of a thing for our household. My father was a keen believer in proper ventilation, fans and the washcloth on the forehead to keep a person cool in the hot days of July and August. It helped that we lived on the water and that he was immune to children complaining.  

It was also National Ice Cream Day in the US. Although I now live in the UK, I thought it appropriate to celebrate what I consider a very quality holiday with an ice cream at the Independent Label Market at Kings Cross Coal Yard on Saturday (see photo) from Forest Hills Gelato ( Now, it is my better half who is the record collector, but I am happy to eat ice cream or gelato and listen to musicians while he shops. In fact, there are few days when I think it is not helpful to eat ice cream, even though it may not be hot out.  

Meanwhile, here in the UK, the traditional Mr Whippy ice cream vans are being curbed as more places enact rules against idling diesel engines. This is good for the planet but bad for the soft serve ice cream machines on board, which don’t take kindly to being started up over and over again on hot days. ( Like milk deliveries, they’re going to have to look at electric vehicles, but right now the benefits versus the cost of a new vehicle (£180,000, or €212,226) is probably well beyond most mobile vendors.  

Ed note: Last week, I mentioned my local café, but did not mention the actual name of it. It’s the Valley Café in Charlton, London. (, Sorry for the oversight!  

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