I know this because I just happen to know when I’m hot. Feeling hot or cold is something I learned to do nearly three quarters of a century ago and I am still able to do it now. I know whether I’m hot or cold and can even tell when I’m uncomfortably so in either direction. Wonderful, isn’t it?
However I am apparently in mortal danger. The radio and television keep on and on about the temperature. It may pass 31 degrees today and break another record [you can hear the excitement in their voices]. They reckon [with some disappointment] that it wouldn’t be an all time record but it might be a record for August. And then they tell us of the mortal dangers of hot weather. In particular they go on about the “vulnerable and the elderly” and how we are the most vulnerable of the lot. We must stay indoors. We must lather ourselves in suncream. We must wear hats. To listen to them you’d think we would all melt or spontaneously combust or something.
What they fail to realise is that we have been around a bit. The clue is in the word “elderly”. We have experienced hot days before though to listen to them you’d swear this was the first warm day ever. I have baked in England. I have baked in France. I have actually spent days outdoors in sunny weather when the temperature was well in excess of Ireland’s all time record. Granted I got a bit burned occasionally and once had a bad dose of sunstroke, but those just warned me to be careful. That’s called experience.
Experience is something us elderly collect over a lifetime. The chances are we have been there before and remember how to react to a situation. Even more important, we grew up in an era where we learned things for ourselves and didn’t need “experts” to guide us. We didn’t need to be told how to react to something or wait to be informed that something is dangerous. They are rabbiting on about the dangers of water for fuck’s sake. Do we really need to be informed that water can drown us?
There’s yet another “expert” on the radio at this very moment. Once again he is pleading for the elderly to stay indoors.
I think I’ll go and cut the grass.