Susie Mallett

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Sunday 4 August 2013

It is so hot on the Continent this summer

There are few ‘pastures green’ on the Continent at the moment

Although it is almost a quarter of a century since I left England and its pleasant pastures green, to live ‘on the Continent’ I still find it difficult to function properly when the temperature rises steadily in the direction of forty degrees Celsius.

It is lovely to cycle every day in the sun and feel the warmth seeping through my skin right through to the bones but for a fair-skinned English person like me it is sometimes a bit too much. I sometimes find it necessary to hide away in the coolness of my flat and go out only in the cooler (by a couple of degrees) hours of the evening. That is what I did last weekend when I had concerts and opera visits on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings but for most of Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday I hid away in my sandstone flat. Indoor temperatures unusually rose higher than the outdoor temperature by Sunday, but luckily in the evening a short rain storm, accompanied by a fresh breeze, cooled the air and the flat.

My tree-shaded balcony

I slept outside on my balcony last weekend, for as long as the hardness of a deckchair with its foot-rest allowed. I managed about four hours in the fresh air and it was lovely – the first cool sleep for weeks. 

The cushion reads - 'Cats sleep anywhere'

I slept out there again last night and realized that, although the collared doves have left their nest in the tree that surrounds my balcony, I still have neighbours; there were blackbirds fluttering around above me chirping in the darkness as I tried to sleep – now I know why there was a shiny, greenish-black feather lying on my chair during the week.

Candle light

Mad dogs and Englishwomen!

Yesterday in the noon-day sun I cycled a round-trip of 25 kilometres in order to welcome another conductor and her family to our fold. The team of Magyar men had already completed the unloading when I arrived, just in time for cooling drinks, pizza and tri-lingual conversations.

Oh how I love my conductive lifestyle

I cannot imagine anymore what it was like to live in just one culture, with only one language ringing in my ears. At work with the children we add Dutch, Turkish, Russian, French, and Spanish, to the German, English and Hungarian of my conversation yesterday.

Keeping a cool head

The temperatures were already up in the mid-thirties when I woke this morning so today I will stay-put in my coolish living room where I will carry on with my presentation-writing for the WCCE 2013.


England’s pleasant pastures/mountains green – And did those feet in ancient time a poem by William Blake from his epic Milton a Poem

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