Friday, 20 July 2012

Weekly Wifle: Air Con is my drug of choice

Sales of air conditioning units in the UK remained flat for 2011

England, oh England.

England is a place so damp and wet I once found mushrooms growing in the corners of our carpet in a particularly grim student residence. It is a place where sodden holidays by the sea are either accompanied by pacamacs, windbreakers or large flasks of whisky. So, I never as a whippersnapper, thought I would ever live in a place where I would crave the cool sweet synthetic air of an air conditioning system like a junkie craving his fix.

Indeed, I wonder now, looking back, had I ever seen an air conditioning unit in the UK? Do they exist? Or are they like the Loch Ness monster, simply something that is part of urban myth? Something no one has ever actually seen, although they think, you know, a friend of theirs might have one, although they've only seen a grainy photo of it.

No, the idea of anyone in the UK paying to be blasted with cold air is frankly, ludicrous.

But life is governed by Fate and not reason. Fate is a wily, duplicitous woman. And so, twelve years ago, I found myself moving to Baltimore, where the summers are so hot the only place you can possibly find respite is in a pool. And in the interim I have become a slave to air conditioning. In fact, none of us here knew how much of a slave we had become, until we had a massive storm recently and large areas of Baltimore lost power.

A tree also got struck by lighting in front of my house and crashed across the road during that storm, but I digress. My husband had to go out in the storm, get the generator out of the garage and attach it to the sub pump in the lighting and thunder, otherwise our basement would have flooded, (as it did last September) but I digress.

The day after this massive storm no one had any power because trees had pulled many electric wires to the ground. It was also 100 degrees F so people were in very bad moods.

If you know any people who are obsessed with drugs, you know how they are all friends with each other only so they can supply each other with drugs.

Well that's how it went after the storm. Cell phones were crashing all over the shop as overheated people called anyone they'd ever met to see if they had power and an air conditioning unit they could gain access to.

Everywhere air con addicts were phoning each other:

"Do you, you know have any...?"

"Any what?"

"Any power?"

"Yeah I might have."

"You mean you have AIR CONDITIONING ....hang on I'm coming over!!!!"

In fact, that first day after we lost power, I felt like someone in a Hieronymus Bosch painting, roasting in hell. As luck would have it, I happened upon some chums of mine who were lying under some trees in a park panting like dogs, croaking about the heat.

Hurrah! Thank God one of them HAD AIR CONDITIONING in their office. So we all went there and hung out there all day, including the kids. It was absolute heaven on earth!! The office also had a large supply of wine. But I digress.

Those friends of mine saved my life.

We got power back a few days later, but many people went without power for a whole week in brutally hot temperatures. It was mostly fun though, because all the neighbours chatted together and shared their generators for those without power.

But one thing I realised was that I am a slave to air conditioning. Sometimes a move back to Blighty seems like a good idea. If there's a power cut there...the one thing you would be able to live without would be air conditioning.

What do you think you couldn't live without if there was a power cut?

And if you want to join in with the Weekly Wifle please go here:

weeklywifle 1 Weekly Wifle: Not So O Week


  1. Baltimore's summers sound a lot like those in my hometown (Brisbane, Australia). It was sometimes close to 40C for weeks at a time, and we would duck from air-conditioned space to pool to air-conditioned space. These days I live in Helsinki, Finland, at the other end of the weather spectrum. If we lost power I would give anything to keep our heating!!

  2. We've had an unusually hot summer for us here in Maine as well; fortunately, the power outage only lasted a couple of hours. I go a little nuts without access to the internet!

    1. Eva....Indeed- there are only so many times you can play Scrabble by candlelight before you go completely loopy!

  3. Hey chick! Thanks for joining my weekly wifle! My hubby and I are from Old Blighty as well and now live in the grand old land of Oz. It's so funny to hear my relatives talking about 'heat waves' in the UK and getting about in shorts and flip flops in their version of Summer heat. Never mind air cons!

    Not quite sure what I'd do without our air con...when our Summers involve bushfires (I live in the country) and 40c heat. Actually, I know what I'd do ... drink lots of sparkling.

  4. Internet? That's the thing I miss most when we are cut off power.

  5. I'm not sure what I would miss without power. However, I've very interested in this office with a steady supply of wine. Are they hiring?

  6. I never talk on the telling bone anymore - and never did - but if I can't get my daily fix of Net-a-Porter latest stuff that I will never wear, then I will have to hit the shops

  7. Haha! That was a great story! Air conditioning units are more popular in places that experience too much heat, like Baltimore! Sometimes, people do get irritated and cranky because of the heat, and an AC unit can certainly help cool them down.

    @Mechteld Abelli

  8. That must be quite an experience for you! Thank goodness for the office AC, you did not suffer from sweltering heat like in Hieronymus Bosch’s painting. Hot temperature can be brutal. And without an AC, it will be hard to bear the heat and do some work, especially when the summer time comes.[Naoki Dieter]

  9. Oh, did you know that I went through the same situation? It’s just that I went to my friend’s flower shop. Haha! I can’t stand the heat. That’s why even if I don’t like flowers that much, I have no choice but to go there. That’s the nearest place to my house of someone I know! Haha.

    Launce Newlove

  10. Once you have your dose of air conditioner, you’ll instantly beg for more! :D Yep, air conditioning has been a blessing to me and my family especially during summer. But, with this blessing comes a curse. As much as I love my A/C unit to be constantly powered on, I opt not to do that because electric bills go up to the roof! To counteract that, we fix our ventilation, use ceiling fans, and sometimes, open the windows.

    Kurt Verdejo

  11. You’ll know who your real friends are in times like these! I guess all those who have a working AC has been everyone’s friend that is, of course, if they will share their AC with others. Anyway, since it doesn't get that cold here where I live, the AC tops my list of things I can’t live without.

    -Georgia Fuller


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