Mmmmm… I love the smell of melting tar in the morning

July 18th, 2006

Yes, it is rather hot compared to what we are used to. I realised just how hot when I unwisely walked in the sun for over an hour at around 1 PM. It was tough going for the last bit, and I realised just how little shade there is on two stretches of my most common route home. Having lived in Israel for a year, I remember the delicate scheduling in arranging things that one did not have to do anything, or more importantly, walk distances or around shops, anytime nearing midday. Not only that, but we would often take different routes depending on the time of day, in order that we could stay in the shade.

But you don’t expect to have to take such measures in Ireland.

Another thing is not opening windows during the day. I’d forgotten about this tactic also. Thing to do is open them overnight and early in the morning. Then most importantly, close the curtains as the morning progresses, at least on the sunny side of the house, and close the windows for the day. Having done this today, I’ve succeeded in keeping the house at least 10 degrees cooler than outside. Still quite warm though.

I only found out recently that asphalt and tarmac are not synonyms (I’d assumed the former was an American term for the latter). The reason so many of our roads melt in the summer is that they are tarmac, not asphalt – the latter has a higher melting point. I’m guessing that even here in Ireland, some of the new main roads, motorways, etc. have been paved with asphalt (the surfaces seem to stay good for years and not melt in the summer). As far as I can see though, tarmac is not so widely used in other countries anymore (in fact, the Wikipedia article erroneously stated that is was obsolete, and no longer used anywhere – the article having perhaps been written by an American). Anyways; even the recently paved Dublin Road into Limerick city centre was melting today.

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