73 degrees. Sounds like a reasonable, enjoyable, summer temperature, doesn't it? Ha! Well, not at 4:30am it isn't. That's right - it was 73 degrees as I headed out to the gym this morning and there was not a whiff of a breeze in sight. When there's not even a gulp of cool air available first thing in the morning, you know it's going to be a bad day.
The weather forecast for Sacramento is triple-digit and above temperatures for most of this week and, with little-to-no breeze, air quality in the proverbial pooper. It's so bad in neighboring Placer County that the morning news didn't even have enough "AQI" (Air Quality Index) left on their graph to measure it! There are still 300+ fires burning in California and the majority of them are in the northern part of the state. There has been a constant haze around everything now for more than 2 weeks. IT IS NOT NICE.
Quite apart from anything else I am dreading my electricity bill this month. It was $200+ last month and that was only with moderately warm weather. Our AC kicked-on at 7am this morning (we have it set to a very responsible 78 degrees) and, without the ability to open the windows to let cool air in (there is none and, anyway, it's smoky outside), it's going to be grinding away all day just to keep the house below 80. Chalk another one up to the unexpected disadvantages of working from home - higher electricity bills.
Fortunately, my Dad left just in time for the weather to go from bad to worse. Yes, the reason I have been somewhat off-the-map for the last 2.5 weeks is that my Dad was out here on his own for the first time EVER.
Since he and Mum bought a house just a mile away from me, Dad (who is recently retired) decided to come out to get some decorating and yard work done. The result was that we got to spend the most devoted father-daughter time we've had in... well... a long, long time. I've been in the U.S. for 13 years and this is the first time he's been here without Mum and the first time either of them have been out for more than 2 weeks at a time. Prior to that, while I lived with my parents in England, it's not like Dad and I routinely "hung out" together. So, this was a real treat.
Click here for some more photos of our time together.
The weather forecast in London? 59 degrees with thunderstorms. That British "summer" is looking preeeetty good about now.