Monday, 4 July 2011

Mad dogs and Englishmen.

Today it is hot here. Very hot. The temperature outside our back door, which faces due North and is always in the shade, is twenty four degrees. And although there is a breeze, it is a hot breeze which seems to make matters worse.

I think my body's temperature control has probably stopped working - in Winter, when it is cold, I am very cold and in Summer, when it is hot, I am very hot. Today I can't cope with the heat. Putting the washing out on the line to dry meant a ten minute sit down afterwards to recover. Now the lunch is over, the most I can do is to lift a pencil to do the Times crossword. Ironing has been done with gritted teeth.

Then I watched the lunch time News with tens of thousands of women in places like Ethiopia and Somalia, tramping across the arid desert - day after day after day - with small, hungry children in tow - some of them dying on the way. Women who were born to servitude, born to become the possession of some man who right now is fighting some stupid war which can never be won and leaving his wife to trek to the nearest refugee camp; women who endured all manner of female circumcision because over there in Africa it is a man's world and women are seen as little better than beasts of burden; women with the most beautiful,serene faces, dressed in robes of the most exquisite desert colours - the whole picture is obscene.

And when the farmer came back after taking Tess for her walk because it was too hot for me to go, he got a big hug from me. It might be hot here today (not, of course, by Somalian standards) but at least we have men who love us and treat us like equals, enough to eat and a place to lie in the cool if we can't stand the heat any longer.

Let's just pause a minute and be grateful for what we have.

18 comments:

Dartford Warbler said...

Well said Weaver. The drought in the Horn of Africa puts our little troubles into real perspective. The beauty and dignity of those suffering women is very humbling.

Having said that, I hope that it will be a little cooler this evening so that you feel more comfortable. Malfunctioning of the body`s temperature control system does seem to increase with the passing years.....

Pondside said...

We are privileged beyond most of the world's dreams. Well said.

Heather said...

Amen to that Pat. I can hardly bear to watch the news sometimes - it is heartbreaking and brings tears to my eyes. No matter how much we contribute to the relevant charities, it seems to make little difference to the lives of those we want to help the most. I too struggle with the heat, especially when the air becomes humid. More rain on the way and cooler soon - lucky us.

mrsnesbitt said...

Yes pat - as I said on my blog - I am truly blessed, with good friends and a loving family. I include you in my friends too. xxxxx

Mac n' Janet said...

We are blessed! We live in countries that care about the individual, maybe not as much as they should, but they do care, have husbands who truly share a life with us and communities that help in time of need.

Elizabeth said...

Yes, Africa, so beautiful and magical, can be horribly brutal.
I just read a really fascinating book called The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper about her privileged childhood in Liberia....and what happened afterwards.
I do recommend it. She is quite frank about the realities of Africa without being utterly depressing.
Anyway, I do hope it cools down a bit.
Fireworks on the Hudson tonight!

The Bug said...

That is so true - I really do try to remember to be grateful.

Regarding the heat - I've never been much use in it. But our little house has central air so I never really suffer.

Rachel said...

The heat really did get to you. I hope you are feeling cooler tonight.

Mary Elizabeth said...

It's awfully hot here in Chicago too.
And I thank you for the reminder of how lucky we truly are.

M.E.

MorningAJ said...

I'm trying to be more appreciative of what I have. Your wise words today have helped. Thank you.

Rare Lesser Spotted said...

I think you have summed up many people's feelings about Somalia and the heart-rending pictures shown to us by the miracle of western broadcast journalists.

My colleague was wortking in her garden in East Yorkshire over the weekend and she has been very badly burned and is in a lot of pain. It wasn't even fully sunny but lots of fair weather cloud, but we always get a breeze here because of the sea effect which doubles the burn factor. 'Cover up, slap it on' I think the Government advert once said.
XX

Studio Sylvia said...

Oh so true Pat. I have taught children from Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt and Syria and the stories they tell, forever make me grateful for my family and my country. I have much for which I am thankful.

Eryl said...

Hear, hear! Whenever I catch myself beginning to complain about something I remeind myself of the horrors other women (and men) have to endure daily, and for their entire lives.

You won't catch me ever complaining about the heat, though, it was 31 degrees in my garden today and I tried to make the most of every single second of it. I know it won't last.

H said...

Yes! Thanki you for making me stop and take stock of all that I have which is good!!

John Gray said...

well said that woman
I couldnt venture out today either....
at nearly 50 I think my heart couldnt take 80 degress anymore

Titus said...

Amen, Weaver.

Reader Wil said...

You are so right : we have men who love us and care for their families. How fortunate that we don't need to live in a moslim country where women are considered to be second or even third rate citizens. I am glad I learned to fend for myself, but I miss my husband.

Golden West said...

You are so right, Weaver, that we live lives of true abundance. I always marvel in the grocery store - so much to chose from. Wanting what we have is much more important than having what we want!

I had to chuckle that you mentioned embroidery - just yesterday I started on nine kitchen towels - getting a jump start on Christmas gifts.