Keeping cool under our parasol from Rattan Direct

One of the saving graces for our party last weekend was our new garden parasol. At three metres across it's larger than our previous one and that's a good thing, as it means it's easier to stay in the shade. In this weather, I think that's the most important, and sensible, thing to do. Although I like the sun, and have mostly been enjoying the weather (except for when I've been melting) more and more I've found myself opting for shade.

When I was speaking to Rattan Direct about this parasol, I wasn't sure whether to opt for it in black or cream. As it turns out I think I choose well, as I think cream would show dirt and dust more than the black.
sunlight through the parasol

Sitting under a back parasol still concerned me though. Would it attract - or absorb - the heat? It seems not, we've not noticed any difference because of the darker colour. And even our party balloons were keen to take shelter.

the parasol from rattan direct is large enough to easily cover a table for four

It has a couple of features I want to tell you about. First up there's the tilt function. Something I thought would come in handy, and I'm sure it will as the sun changes position as the year goes on - assuming we'll still see the sun, that is. When the sun's lower I think this feature will come into its own, but one word of warning: make sure the base is secure before you tilt the umbrella, otherwise physics will take over.

testing out the tilt feature on the rattan direct umbrella

The outstanding feature for me is the crank system, to give it its official name. Between you and me, I'm more likely to refer it to the wind-y handle, which is descriptive if nothing else. Being able to wind the parasol up and down easily is great, although it's meant that if we're not sure if we need it up, it'll be down before we know it rather than us moving our chairs.  And even with the three metre span of the umbrella, it's easy to manoeuvre. 

The winder ensures raising and lowering the parasol is easy work

I'm a fan of the base too. When full it's heavy, but the carrying handle comes into play, as it's easy to use to move the parasol into the optimum position. And we've been doing a lot of testing for that. I think I've cracked it now though and handily there's a small square paving slab to help us find it again. Of course you can't see it in this photo as, well, because the parasol base is covering it.

A sturdy - and free standing - base

Taking delivery of the parasol and its base is probably one of the best deliveries I've every experienced. Despite not getting my delivery slot until the night before, when I got my slot the communication was fantastic. Not only did it arrive in its timed slot, the driver also phoned and texted me his location and that worked well. So too did the tracking device provided, it was regularly updated and I was able to leave work when it was close by and arrive home almost at the same time as the parcel. It's rare for that to happen, so it's worthy of a mention.

party balloons trying to get under the garden parasol

So the umbrella has been a bonus, although I wasn't so sure when it arrived as its arrival was immediately followed by a spell of heavy rainfall. I thought I'd tempted fate, but it seems it was just the weather - phew.

How are you keeping cool during the much warmer than usual weather?


* This is a collaborative post, but all views and opinions are my own.