DSCN0254Every day holds a clue to what lies ahead. This morning soon after 11 am (as the temperature climbed to 40°) I opened a large bottle of good old fashioned Fat Coke with a view to restoring body liquids, sugars and CO² to the levels normally associated with human existence beyond the level of shuffling about and trying not to blink, for fear that the effort involved might turn me into a human Sahara.

I unscrewed the red plastic top, which spun out of my hands before rolling in an elegant circle around a small portion of the kitchen, only to disappear under the larger of two fridges. I stared at the blank floor where until very recently there had been a bottle top capable of preserving CO², poured out some coke, drained the glass in an instant, and pondered the expanse of crap-filled physical and emotional quicksand I was going to have to wade through in order to get the ocean-devastating plastic cap back again.

That would involve moving a fridge whose weight exceeded an obese Sumi wrestler immediately following a Nipponese marriage banquet; and then – having retrieved the screwtop – realising how long it was since I’d cleaned under the fridge, and thus blackmailing myself into getting a variety of chemicals out with which to assuage my guilt. After all that, I’d need to consume the rest of the coke bottle just to stop the inevitable process of dessication. I had no desire to turn into Lot’s wife. I convinced myself that I was saving the Red Sea from the red top. I reasoned that the Queen was unlikely to visit my house and look under the fridge.

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The only physical work possible in the current heatwaves in Aquitaine (or canicules, as the French call them) is that of lying in a hammock in the shade and reading an interesting book. With this in mind, having studied the weather forecasts recently, I ordered two such tomes from Amazon…and foolishly paid a premium to get express delivery. On that basis, I should’ve received them on July 9th. Research having confirmed that last Saturday was the 20th July, this made the books 120% late. So I let the Amazons know how I felt about this, and suggested a refund on shipping was in order.

This is not the way Amazon (and similar sheisters) think. Refunds to them are spawn of Beelzebub. One of the books arrived yesterday, the other arrived this lunchtime. Amazon predicted this Saturday night, and treated the arrivals as a triumph for American know-how. Having received my less than equable acceptance of their interpretation, I got an email back saying how sorry they were, how many despicable zero-hours contract employees had been shot as a result, and would I accept in recompense a remaindered biography of Owen Jones penned by Dianne Abbott.

I tried to decline this offer, but was unable so to do because the offending email was labelled ‘NoReply’. Have a think about the arrogant illogic of that: it represents the future we all face unless these sulphurous goblins are reined in by a Second Coming.

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By early evening, the sun had reverted to being a near star – as opposed to an airborne four-bar electric fire designed to turn Earth into the planet Mercury. A different mercury in my trusty outside thermometer insisted, however, that the temperature was 46°C. When one gets heat like this in what is an essentially entre deux mers climate minus only the mer bit, there is no respite when the sun slips below the horizon. Come the darkness, the geophysical radiation of previously retained heat can make evenings a nightmare of neoliberal mosquitos basking in the sort of humidity that makes one ponder the temptations of Vladivostok.

Yesterday, I repaired to our local relatively cool bar where wondrously chilled 5.6% Meteor beer is available on tap. While there, I fell into conversation with a French bloke who has harnessed geothermal retained heat to give him most of his hot water needs in the summer, free underfloor warmth in the winter, and a degree of aircon during heatwaves. My mistake was to demonstrate genuine enthusiasm for what he was up to. I endured half an hour of recycled glass clippings, sand-filtered wells, rainfall-captured tactics to water courgettes, and the role of underground water-courses in ensuring maximum yields from soft fruit trees.

His efforts were admirable, but my biggest problem here when it comes to fruit is gluts: making space in the freezer, lacking ideas on things to do with quinces beyond using them as cricket balls, how to make use of apples as I don’t like cider, and gainful employment for prunes given constipation is the diametric opposite of my digestive issues these days.

Yes, yes….I know all this is terribly incorrect of me. And yes indeed, I know that I preach communal entepreneurial capitalism. But no man can live on physics and chemistry alone.

One needs books. And even more important, one needs to humiliate online globalist monopolism at every opportunity.