Brussels, capital of the tropics

Many people are now trying to find out ways to combat the heat wave that is hitting much of the continent. You may read some interesting ones: sleeping with your feet out of the bed (it seems that they are the most effective part of our refrigerating system), sleeping on the floor where it is cooler, putting your sheets in the fridge for some minutes before going to bed, etc. Some other people prefer fighting heat with heat. A green tea, though hot, makes you feel cooler after perspiration.

Others try to make the most of it. Why spending time and money going to the tropics if you already feel as if you were there? Last weekend the Botanic Garden in Meise held their annual photo session of babies floating on the giant leaves of the Amazonian waterlily (Victoria amazonica) in the Victoria House of the Plant Palace. The parents seemed to enjoy it, though the babies not so much for the moment—it may take them some years to realise how privileged they were on posing for such pictures.

It is obvious that people in Brussels are not used to this hot weather—now you notice the large number of public places without air conditioning. Some people think that the best way to refrigerate a house is simply to open up windows and doors. They are wrong! During the day, it is best to stay in semi-darkness with doors and windows shut till the temperatures begin to drop in the evening. If you watch cows, horses or sheep in the countryside you will see that they are active in the morning and in the evening but they prefer relaxing in the shadow during the hottest hours of the day. As they say in the south of Europe, if you walk around in the heat of the day you must be a tourist!


Image credits © Ruskin in Brussels