It’s 41C in my town the day I am writing. Things are much worse in other parts of Australia–where it has already been above 40C for over a week. And here’s what I did to prepare for 41C.
Step 1: recommit to action on climate change. This country (among others, some already going under the sea) will not be habitable for future life unless we succeed, and there are some rather specific signs of inadequate action both here and in other first world nations right now. If in doubt, ask the Climate Council. You know: scientists who know their stuff and know how to communicate.
Step 2: water plants deeply. Freeze water for the worm farms. Ensure ample water and shade for the chooks (hens). Put water in the fridge. Make sure cool air can get into the house, if there is any, during the night. Invite friends who can’t cool their homes to come over.
Step 3: wash fleece, because wool drying weather this good should be taken advantage of. Dye fleece with heat-activated “cold pad batch” dyes and place in the right spot to maximise the heat it will get on the big hot days. I have mixed up the last of these dyes I own and given away my fixative. It’s been fun but I’m committing to plant dyes and just seeing out the chemical dyes I already have.
Step 4: harvest woad. Could you tell that was woad steeping in hot water in the first picture? Extract pigment. That second image of the blue froth with a coppery blue swirl in the middle? The most exciting thing that has happened when I’ve tried to extract pigment from woad to date. I’ve read high summer is the best time to get blue from woad, and–this is high summer. Add woad to indigo vat. Rebalance Ph. Do your best to create conditions for reduction. Stir carefully. That’s where things are at in image 3. Image 4 is some hours later. Keep warm overnight. Place vat in a sunny spot first thing.
And on the day… stay inside except when tending living things and hanging loads of washing. Check as the temp of the indigo/woad vat rises to 35 and then 45C. Enjoy the sound of the inverter for the solar panels as it cranks out power from the sun.