back to article Hotheaded Brussels civil servants issued with cool warning: Leak

If he listened to the latest advice from HR types working for the European Commission, Brexit secretary David Davis may today be sat in a darkened room, dressed in cabana wear, as talks with the EU’s chief negotiator begin. The political debate is heating up as the UK starts the two-year process of exiting the Union of 27 …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "You are not advised to drink alcohol, and to eat light meals"

    So you're not actually advised not to drink alcohol.

    And if you don't eat light meals do you go without or do you eat heavy meals?

    1. graeme leggett

      Original memo and Politico's article both have “You are advised not to drink alcohol”.

      Must be hot in El Reg office, sweaty fingers skating over the keyboard. Guess it proves they didn''t cut n paste.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Does Guinness count as a light or heavy meal?

      1. HieronymusBloggs Silver badge

        "Does Guinness count as a light or heavy meal?"

        That depends on the number of courses.

    3. Doctor Evil

      Eats shoots, and leaves

      A misplacd comma makes all the difference:

      "Try not to go out in the heat, or do physical exercise."

      Are they really advocating physical exercise as an alternative to not going out in the heat? (Because, to my poor, uncultured, literal mind, that's how this reads.)

      Perhaps it should more correctly have been written:

      "Try to neither go out in the heat nor do physical exercise."

      No comma necessary there. But then, EU ...

  2. Mike Lewis

    That's not hot. This is hot.

    Aussie here, ROFL. 29 degrees C isn't hot. 40 degrees C is hot.

    1. 8Ace

      Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

      Death Valley here... 40C isn't hot, try 50C you Aussie softie

      It's all relative, this is a temperate climate we're talking about, 29C is hot.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

        his is a temperate climate we're talking about, 29C is hot.

        No it is not. Temperate can be continental temperate like Hungary, Romania, Russia or Bulgaria (depending on the year - it is straddling the border between temperate and subtropical). 40C+ is quite common. The saving grace is that humidity is usually < 50%.

        It can also be coastal temperate like the British isles or Belgium where 29C is a big deal. It actually is as it comes with 70%+ humidity.

        The difference humidity makes is two-fold. First it is easier to tolerate heat during the day if it is lower.

        Second, low humidity equates to significant radiation cooling at night so you can sleep. Even if it was 35C a few hours ago, it happily drops to 18C by 10pm making it quite tolerable (especially out in the countryside). That does not happen during a heatwave in places like Belgium or UK. It stays at 24C at night and is throughly disgusting.

      2. Tim99 Silver badge

        Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

        Ex Pom in Oz - It's the middle of the winter here and 20C - It feels bloody cold.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

        " this is a temperate climate we're talking about, 29C is hot."

        Hot enough to buckle rails in London, with attendant commuter chaos. :(

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

        why am I remembering the stories of SR71 and air traffic control? (Google "Aspen 20 ground speed check")

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

      I see you've played hotty-coldy before

    3. big_D Silver badge

      Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

      Reminds me of Crocodile Dundee... That's not a knife!

    4. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

      Aussie here, ROFL. 29 degrees C isn't hot. 40 degrees C is hot.

      40 is normal in Oz, innit? Very nice in dry heat (like outback NSW), more challenging in humidity further north (like Cairns).

      My experience longer-term in a hotter climate[1] was that 40+ in the heat of the day was a lot easier to live with than upper-20s in the wee hours of the night. Largely 'cos of the relative humidity, which would top 100% overnight. And the June heat was a lot more pleasant than the August heat+humidity.

      My experience back in Blighty - where we currently have high 20s with the sun beating down on my very large, south-facing bay window - is that 30 here is every bit as uncomfortable as 40 in a proper hot climate where it's normal and somehow feels right.

      [1] Six years in Central Italy.

      1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

        Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

        You mean 40C or 50C without air conditioning? The local softies here in the UK rarely have AC at home, some offices also do without.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

          some offices also do without.

          Especially the ones in Listed Buildings..

          Fortunately, the Victorians built our place with nice big windows and roof vents. So, on the whole, not too bad - especially if you sit by the windows.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

          Same here in scandinavia, because electricity prises have gone socialist(get less for more).

    5. herman Silver badge

      Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

      Desert rat here. It is 48 C today.

      I'm waiting for it to cool down to 40 so we can go and swim around 8 pm.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

        Currently working in Brussels, the temp is closer to 33 as far as I can see.

        In my opinion it's the humidity that bites. 39 in a hot and humid Caribbean island was hard work? 42 in the desert wasn't too bad.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

        > Desert rat here. It is 48 C today.

        Oh, so only mildly warm then. Bet you're not wearing a tie though :-)

      3. Tom Paine Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

        That's nice for you, but IF YOU CHOOSE TO LIVE IN A DESERT WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?

        This is not the Sahara or the Outback: it's Central London. And 34 degC, I think, is objectively uncomfortable (at whatever the humidity here is, I've no idea) and therefore TOO HOT.

        I swear, the next Aussie to start cracking ribticklers about how it's not a heatwave until it's over 40 degC is going to have a great deal of difficulty getting their cork-festooned hat and six-pack of pissy lager back out without surgical assistance.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

          For me, comfort = 5-25C. At 5-15 I can work, any higher and i sweat and wish for the misery to be over.

    6. find users who cut cat tail

      Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

      Anything above 20 C is hot.

      Up to 25 C: Hot, but kind of acceptable.

      Above 25 C: When will the bloody summer end?

      Above 30 C: Please, God, just kill me!

      Above 35 C: Lying on the floor unconscious.

      Some people are just not built for hot weather...

      1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

        I was going to say, isn't 29 Celsius equal to something like 84 Fahrenheit? Now I'm from sunny Silicon Valley (where it was about 100 Fahrenheit yesterday) and I accept that a lot of office buildings and homes in Brussels don't have air conditioning, but that is not "hot", guys.

        And the guidelines mentioned are making it sound like Belgium is approaching the End of Days.

        (And the if the hot weather has you right-pondians down, remember that this is the kind of weather that has Paris out by her pool, in her bikini and high heels)

        1. FreeTard

          Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

          I spend a lot of time in Texas, and I can tell you that even peak summer with a heat wave in Texas is fine with aircon and little humidity compared to 25C here and humidity. We were tired after sitting down today during lunch, and we didn;t even eat anything.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

        Some people are just not built for hot weather...

        Hot weather is fine. Hot, humid weather isn't. Especially at night[1]

        [1] Fastest way to a migraine for me is to not get enough sleep. Like, for example, in the last three nights. Sumatriptan is wonderful - even if it does cause some 'interesting' side effects..

        1. Tom Paine Silver badge

          Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

          My sympathies. Partner's on Zomiltriptan: mongs her out for six hours or so, but that's better than lying in agony in a darkened room with occasional breaks to throw up. :(

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

        > Anything above 20 C is hot.

        Nah. Allow me:

        * < -30: Cold

        * -30 − < 0: Comfortably cold

        * 0 − < 10: Neither cold nor hot

        * 10 − < 40: Alright

        * 40 − < 50: Getting a bit warm

        * 50+: Hot

      4. uncommon_sense
        Windows

        Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

        The place to be is Longyearbyen, Svalbard.

        https://www.worldweatheronline.com/longyearbyen-svalbard-weather/sogn-og-fjordane/no.aspx

    7. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

      44 C today and tomorrow here in Fresno, CA, USA. Just as miserable until sometime in September, perhaps October. And people wonder why I say I live in Hell, CA. And no, we don't do air conditioning.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "44 C today and tomorrow here in Fresno, CA,""And no, we don't do air conditioning."

        This just seems unimaginable without aircon.

        I've spent some time in Arizona and the closest I've come to frost bite was the nights in an Arizona motel room.

        They seemed to think all visitors like aircon up to 11.

        But I think humidity is the biggest PITA. I met someone who worked in Hong Kong. They said that even with aircon they were changing their shirt three times a day. I've often wondered what SF is like. People say it's cold and damp (the old Mark Twain like about "The coldest Winter I spent was Summer in San Francisco," boom boom) , but that's by Californian standards.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: "44 C today and tomorrow here in Fresno, CA,""And no, we don't do air conditioning."

          I've often wondered what SF is like.

          A while back we stayed with some friends that live the other side of a range of hills south of SF. The weather was more like southern England that prototypical California.

          Drive over the hills to SF and the temperature went up by about 10C.

          1. Tom Paine Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: "44 C today and tomorrow here in Fresno, CA,""And no, we don't do air conditioning."

            SF is actually remarkably cool damp and manky if you've confused it with LA, Florida, or the rest of SOCAL from watching too much TV and not reading the Rough Guide book until you're on the plane, at which point you discover you'll be needing to call your b/f to fedex half your fucking wardrobe over, because all you took were summer dresses, vest tops and flipflops.

            Not that I'm bitter. Wonder how she's getting on now?

    8. Triggerfish

      Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

      I'll see your Aussie temps and give you Vietnam. Has been hitting 40+ here although dropping to 32 av now, real feel in the Saigon coupla weeks ago was peaking at 49C, with upto 90% humidity.

      The heats OK, but combined with the humidity it's a killer. Not only for sapping strength but once you start sweating it can't evaporate off, so you just drip.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

        "The heats OK, but combined with the humidity it's a killer."

        That can be literal.

        If the wet-bulb temperature goes above internal body temperature, mammals are in big trouble.

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

          "The heats OK, but combined with the humidity it's a killer."

          That can be literal.

          As someone who travelled over from Yorkshire a few months back, I am not suprised, an hour out just walking about and I was needing a lie down in a cool room because I'd start feeling out of sorts, felt like you was operating permanently at the edge of heatstroke. :)

        2. Tom Paine Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: That's not hot. This is hot.

          If your bulb's wet, doesn't that cool you off?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Get the air moving in your office by opening doors and windows for as long as possible while it is cool. At the hottest times, keep windows closed and blinds down. You can also switch off the lights."

    I'm pretty sure they don't understand the basics of AC (not that AC, air conditioning)

    "You are not advised to drink alcohol, and to eat light meals"

    Check, I've got a bottle of Vodka and some meringues.

    "Try not to go out in the heat, or do physical exercise."

    No problem with the latter part of this.

    "Wear light clothing - no suit and ties where possible"

    Just Y-fronts and a vest for me while eating a scotch egg. (savour the picture)

    I've seen some silly advice in my time but this is class.

  4. DagD

    mandatory Siesta people!

    Break out the Dos Sucky, limes and to-kill-ya!

    1. paulf Silver badge
      Big Brother

      I'd be more concerned about this offer, "...directors and heads of unit may allow those staff who so wish to leave early...".

      Obligatory Dilbert on leaving early

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Just Y-fronts and a vest for me while eating a scotch egg. (savour the picture)"

      I usually read El Reg on the crapper, shirtless with a fag. Ive never thought to eat a scotch egg and leave my pants pulled up at the same time.

      Perhaps ill try this. Shitting and consuming an egg filled pork product does sound particularly lavish.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's the chardonnay of the working class.

        1. Tom Paine Silver badge

          Eh?

          I can see you've never socialised in the Home Counties* then, where the habits of the bourgeoise long ago rubbed off on the masses. Even BLOKES drink wine here. The genuine aristos don't touch pub wine with a bargepole; they stick to real ale.

          * OK, south Herts.**

          ** B'wood. If that means anything.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      @A/C

      I was with you until you got to the scotch egg.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "In HELL, the British do the cooking"

    4. DougS Silver badge

      I'm assuming they don't have AC

      Otherwise the recommendation to open windows would be rather stupid. If they have AC and they are whining about 29C, then they deserve all the scorn being heaped upon them. I wouldn't even turn on my AC if the high was forecast for 29C, because 29C outside means it wouldn't even reach 25C inside.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm assuming they don't have AC

        If you have big windows in the south facing wall, the inside gets hotter than outside, i.e a greenhouse.

    5. Pedigree-Pete
      Joke

      West an Y-Fronts...

      You AC, are Rab C Nesbitt and I claim my £5. PP

  5. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Bah!

    Highs have reached or passed 29 C for much of the last week in Washington, DC. If you go out, you go out in the heat. If you don't take your exercise at an air-conditioned gym, you exercise in the heat.

    As for alcohol, what's the point of living in Belgium if you can't drink beer?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Belgian "Beer"

      Do you perchance mean the near frozen and tasteless gnats urine purveyed under the label "Lager"?

      1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        Re: Belgian "Beer"

        Do you perchance mean the near frozen and tasteless gnats urine purveyed under the label "Lager"?

        I strongly suspect that when Disgruntled Yank said "beer", they meant "beer", as in the alcoholic beverage that the Belgians arguably do better than anyone else in the world. I have visited a number of cafes in Bruges with beer menus listing literally hundreds of different beers...none of them a lager, and all of them superior to the likes of Stella Artois

        1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Belgian "Beer"

          Mine's a Westmalle Tripel please!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Belgian "Beer"

            It's been hovering around the 30 mark in Belgium (in the Brussels area at least) for the last week too.

            We seem to get a week or two of 28-35 most years.

          2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Belgian "Beer"

            Mine's a Westmalle Tripel please!

            I seem to recall (on one biking holiday) myself and 3 others drinking the bar dry of one of their Belgian Beers. Can't remember the name, but it came in a glass shaped like a Wellington Boot..

            (Kwak? Vak? Something like that. My memories of that evening are somewhat... hazy)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Belgian "Beer"

              Has anyone else tried that Hoopers brewed "soft" drinks? Plum & Sloe, Raspberry & Nettle, Dandelion & Burdock. I was a leetle suspicious at first but I am pleased to report they are bloody fantasitic. The best I can offer by way of description is they are what Ribena would be like when it grew up.

              Very easy to get totally ratarsed on as well.

  6. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    I know that drill

    leave early, provided that the hours not worked are subsequently made up

    I'm sure they will be made up, I'm totally sure of it.

    1. 's water music Silver badge

      Re: I know that drill

      >>leave early, provided that the hours not worked are subsequently made up

      I'm sure they will be made up, I'm totally sure of it.

      thanks, need to do my timesheet today

  7. Shades
    Stop

    Start of 2 year exit negotiations?

    Why do media outlets keep saying the talks mark the start of the 2 year exit negotiations?

    The 2 year exit countdown has already started, its started upon delivery of the Article 50 letter... 2 and a half months ago, most of which has been wasted by Theresa Mayhems ill-advised and ill-fated snap GE.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Start of 2 year exit negotiations?

      The 2 years timeframe also includes the minimum of 3 months needed for any agreement(s) to be ratified by a couple of dozen sovereign parliaments (i.e. all but the UK's).

      1. Tom Paine Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Start of 2 year exit negotiations?

        I understood it was six months to get the 27 ratifications (plus the EP), but it's way too hot to google.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Start of 2 year exit negotiations?

      "2 and a half months ago, most of which has been wasted by Theresa Mayhems ill-advised and ill-fated snap GE."

      From her PoV certainly ill-advised. If it hastens her departure I certainly wouldn't call it wasted.

  8. Tank boy

    Is it hot in Arizona?

    Yeah, but it's a dry heat. It's all pretty relative. 84 degrees Farenheit (yes, we proudly use it, most Americans refuse Celsius because they believe the metric system is some European trick to make it one world. Then They'll be coming for their guns, can't have that. Yes, people actually believe that) is cool to someone in a desert environment where there is little humidity, but can be unbearable with it's addition. I always found that the temperature in Europe was alright in the Summer (being from Arizona, our Summer starts the day it's 100F), but could have been better if there had been some A/C. The barracks where I lived was built in the 1930's, so no A/C, just open the window and get a fan to move the air around. Still not unpleasant.

    1. Swarthy Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Is it hot in Arizona?

      Worst I ever sat through was ~46C with probably 70-80% humidity. I remember one day commenting that it was going to be beautiful, because at 10 AM it was "only 110[F], it's usually 115 by now!"

    2. vir

      Re: Is it hot in Arizona?

      But all the gun types go on and on about 10mm vs 9mm and 5.56 vs 7.62.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is it hot in Arizona?

      >most Americans refuse Celsius because they believe the metric system is some European trick to make it one world

      It's French - you know, those people without whom the rebels would probably have lost the war in the 1700's..

      Of course, the nascent US repaid them by promptly going to war with the French but, hey, you can;t have it all.

  9. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
    Pint

    Tze Germans....

    It's funny how the Germans (and, if I got that right, pretty much all of central Europe) were/are dismissive of ACs. For a German of my age (semi-young, cough) the idea of having an AC in a car seemed outright decadent. Cue a million or so Germans driving southward in their cars for vacation, sweating like crap.

    My AC for today (31C, northern Bavaria) ----------->

  10. Bob Hoskins
    Mushroom

    Nuke the site from orbit

    It's the only way to be sure.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Nuke the site from orbit

      I thought NATO HQ was there. I can't imagine that nuking that from orbit (or anywhere else, Mr Putin, so don't get any funny ideas) is going to help with temperature management.

      1. Bob Hoskins

        Re: Nuke the site from orbit

        The problem with me and film quotes is I always bugger them up.

  11. regadpellagru

    Booze will be necessary

    "Davis will likely have no problem with the advice on attire and lights - the UK seems to be heading blindly into the negotiations anyway. But as for asking us to lay off the booze... ®"

    That'll probably be too much asking for this poor guy, given what he has to go through ...

    He's going alone, in a place where absolutely no-one has any sympathy for him or his country, facing shitloads of civil servants on so many treaties ...

    Some people really deserve their wages ...

  12. JaitcH
    Happy

    What a Bunch of Softies!

    I'm Canadian - think -40C (Kapuskasing, Ontario) in February, snow in June. engine and battery heaters when parking overnight, tyres / tires with flat spots where they rested on the ground. etc.

    Now, in Indochina - think +35-40C, equator sun position, heavy rain. Tie, shirt and slacks for dress.Special precautions? Maybe a small bottle of boiled water, no sun block and that's it! I use fan for cooling the house (yes, I have air-con), mosquito / bug repellent early morning / evening.

    It took about a year to acclimatise. Oh, and show bugs respect, especially the weird looking ones - some poison you if you squash them!

    1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      Re: What a Bunch of Softies!

      Even worse, some of those insects try to swallow you whole! I've met some pretty ambitious spiders and beetles in that part of the world. Haven't been to Amazonia, so can't compare notes.

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: What a Bunch of Softies!

        Oh man I used to share the bathroom with a large bird eating spider in Thailand, it used to sit in the corner of the bathroom doing it's best to cover an eight inch floor tile, sometimes it would sit on top off the cistern which was about about groin height and stare at me during my morning pee.

  13. Tom Paine Silver badge
    Devil

    Mandatory soundtrack

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QftnPNjQXs

  14. Spanners Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Correct clothing required

    The reason 30C is hot is that people in the UK do not dress and behave appropriately.

    Are any of the people complaining about the weather wearing ties? How many of them are wearing suits? I have seen people in expensive business suits sweating madly and having the stupidity to tell me I was dressing unprofessionally!

    Wear lighter clothing, short sleeved shirts without a tie and don't wear your nice shiniest leather shoes because they will make your feet sweat. Drink a couple of litres extra throughout the working day and wear sunglasses if you are in really bright sun. I would suggest suitable headgear but in England, that seems to be a hanky with a knot at each corner!

    If you have an employer who hearkens back to the dress code of the 1930s I hope they are not expecting you to work for 1930s wages!

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