It’s after 11, and it’s too hot to sleep. All the windows are open. I’ve thrown off the covers. Siri says it’s currently 17°. On my way home at 7 PM, it was still 24°.

This isn’t normal where I live. This isn’t what the Julys of my childhood felt like. The reason people love to live on the southwest coast is because it never gets too hot and it never gets too cold. We get a little bit of snow, and then it’s gone. We get a little bit of heat, and then it’s gone. That’s how the seasons are supposed to work in the Lower Mainland.

I would spend all winter waiting for snow. I would spend all summer waiting for it to get hot enough to go swimming. This year, I wore my parka from November to March. This year, I could’ve gone swimming in May.

This isn’t normal, but I’m afraid it is now.

Wildfires are a normal occurrence here in British Columbia, especially in the summer. But this year has been worse than usual. It’s been so hot, so dry, and I don’t even know when we’re getting rain again.

Even though I don’t watch the news on television anymore, I’ve been following the CBC on Twitter, mostly because I was tired of only seeing news from the United States. They’re so big and so screwed up, it’s easy to let their breaking news take over. It feels bigger because they shut out louder. But I need to know more about my own country, my own problems.

I live on the other side of the coastal mountains, next to the ocean, so the fires don’t affect me directly. I haven’t even noticed the smoke in the air. But the centre of my province is burning right now.

A lot of the world is burning right now, and I don’t know what to do.

I’m housesitting for the next few weeks. The good things about this are: a cat to pet, a back porch to sit on, and a different point of view. The bad things are this are: the terrible wifi that had me offline most of the day when I needed to be working in Google Docs.

I don’t want to be addicted to the internet, but my anxiety was the worst it’s been in months during those few hours. So that’s another bad thing.

My alarm clock died last night, but I woke up early anyway. Most of the sports that I watch I have been overseas, which means they often happen in the middle of the night. I saw the last set of the men’s final at Wimbledon, I watched a bit of the Tour de France, and I started watching the Fremantle Dockers game on my PVR (they didn’t get off to a good start).

I forgot completely that it was Sunday, and that there was a bike race happening literally outside my front door. This weekend was the Tour de White Rock, but I only remembered that once I got off my couch, walked down to the beach, and saw the last few bikes milling around, long after the race was done. I had reminded myself every time I saw the posters around town, but I didn’t set a reminder.

Life is forever re-learning that I can’t trust my brain.

Still, I got to sit on the beach for an hour or so. It was overcast when I walked down the hill, but then the sun came out, and it was beautiful. A little windy, but that means I got to watch the sailboats, the paddleboarders, and the kids flying kites.

The ocean can’t fix my brain, but I’m happy to let it try.

I spent most of today watching Prime Suspect. It’s a British crime procedural, but it’s really about sexism and the police. They recently made a prequel series set in 1973, when the main character, Jane Tennison, was just starting out as a police officer. As with Endeavor, the prequel series set in the 1960s about Inspector Morse, I watched the original series second.

I gave my 140 character review on Twitter:

Watching Prime Suspect (1991) after the 2017 prequel (set in 1973). None of the men come off well in this series, no matter what year it is.

Four Things That Are Working For Me This Week #14

  1. Even if I’m not posting here, I’m always writing. That’s why I take a notebook with me wherever I go. I even take it with me when I move from room to room in my house. (Except the bathroom.) (Usually.)
  2. This week, it would be more truthful to write about what’s not working for me. But that would be a very long list, and I’ve committed to picking four things. I’m really liking the number four lately. It’s a nice structure for a lot of things.
  3. I bought pre-ground coffee recently. It was on sale, plus there was a coupon, and it’s kinda local. (Portland, Oregon.) I don’t have a coffee grinder, so what I usually do is grind the beans by hand in my mortar and pestle. It’s not my most favourite thing to do in the mornings, but I’ve turned it into a kind of meditation. Still, not having to do it this week has been nice.
  4. I forgot my prescription sunglasses at my parents’s house last week. So this week I have been wearing my non-prescription huge pink plastic sunglasses. (These ones.) They don’t fit as well over my new regular glasses, so I’ve been wearing them without, which means I can’t see further than six inches in front of my face. As much as I believe it’s important to look around when you’re walking, the world can be a lot. You don’t have to let it all in.

Four Things That Are Working For Me This Week #13

  1. My parents’s pool is finally up for the summer. Even though I live just up the hill from the beach, I would always rather swim in a pool than the ocean. Fewer kids, fewer fish, fewer people flying drones overhead.
  2. I have always been the kind of person who inches their way into the way. I grew up swimming in lakes, and our lakes here in BC, they’re not just cold; they’re glacial. But my first time in the pool this season, I jumped straight in. It felt good. Not the water–that was cold. But just doing it felt good. No hesitation.
  3. After I swam, I read magazines and played cards. I’ve been trying to do more AFK lately. Playing solitaire with real cards on the table, instead of an app on my phone. It’s nice not looking at the screen.
  4. Milos Raonic has been winning at Wimbledon, which makes me proud and nervous at the same time. It’s always nice to see a Canadian athlete succeed. But he’s never been very good at closing out his matches. I’m always anxious when I watch him play, so I’m grateful for the wins.

It’s hot. It’s not supposed to be this hot in July in the Lower Mainland. Vancouver is known for its temperate weather. Never too cold in the winter; never too hot in the summer. Yes, it snows here. And in that second half of August, we usually get one good week of really hot sun. I looked forward to that week all year long. It was the time for the beach, the pool, the water park.

This year, it’s barely July, and I am already tired of the heat. This isn’t normal weather, and it hasn’t been normal for years now. It’s hard to sleep. I don’t want to go hiking. Our planet is dying, and all I want is ice coffee and ice cream.

Tomorrow, I have a day off. Because I teach kids, a lot of them go away during the summer, and I have fewer classes. Tomorrow will be the first day in my parents’s pool. I don’t care how cold it is. I’m jumping straight in.