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Long before I set up Common Ground, I lived in Australia for a year and briefly had a job as a professional koala bear. In short, this involved me donning a koala bear outfit (see here) and, equipped with a little red bucket, I collected money for the Australian Wilderness Society.

My “territory” was Bondi beach, and the time of year was the peak of the Australian summer. Wearing a head-to-toe fur coat on a summers day on Bondi beach makes me uniquely qualified in the art of staying cool.

I used a tea towel soaked in ice cold water (kindly provided by local restaurants) wrapped around the neck. The process of evaporation cools the wrap and, when placed around the neck, can cool the body quickly.

So with soaring temperatures this summer, this is a quick, easy and cheap way to stay cool. The picture accompanying this article is me distributing around 250 cloths at my children’s school sports day.

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