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Monday, June 29, 2015

Return to the summer of '76?

When you are old enough, you'll remember the glorious summer of 1976 - the best one ever taken down in the records (which exist since 1835).

Back in time, the sun appeared and cleared our grey skies to even blue. That was in the middle of May. It was not too warm then, only around 25° Celsius, so nobody complained. And lo and behold - this nice weather continued into June!

The last days of June and the beginning of July were HOT. Temperatures over 30°, to which we are not much used in Belgium. It was so hot that it was hardly bearable. I was taken my second-year exams at the university then, and I remember we had to suffer the 30-minute train ride in a wagon that felt like a furnace. No airco existed then, not in our parts anyway. I studied down in the cellar of our house, my feet in a bowl of cold water and behind me an electrical fan. That was the only way of keeping cool. And every evening I went swimming in the big pool that once was the moat around the town wall of our city. Normally you can't swim in it, but because it was so warm, the town council made an exception and even appointed life guards.

There came an end to this extreme heat, but July, August and September remainded warm and sunny. Nowadays, we fondly remember that glorious summer.

Now it's the end of June - and the temperatures are shooting into the 30's once more. Everyone talks about the summer of 1976 and hopes for a return.

Well, it doesn't need to be that hot. A bit less is also OK. Because in those days, you had to be very careful with water. We used our bathwater to spray the garden and we were not allowed to wash the car.There were big fines for those who used water without care, up to a million old Belgian franks!


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