Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sydney's hot,hot, hot

I don’t have a personal acquaintance with the place (as yet) but Hot as Hades is the phrase that comes to mind sitting in our kitchen this afternoon in temperatures of 40 oC/104oF. Every window and door is wide open with the ceiling fans whirring round but to no avail, all I am achieving is the movement of tepid air from one overheated spot to another. So I’m now moving onto Plan B, which is to close up the house, lower blinds etc. which my country friend tells me is the surefire way to survive. Today is what I term a ‘hairdryer’ day, with a dullish sky, overcast with the white tinge of heat and a wind that just blasts hot air through the house. However whilst I moan on about the heat, I should bear in mind I live on the coast where there is always some kind of breeze and it is normally at least a couple of degrees cooler than the western suburbs let alone the inland plains. In fact it has been so hot, dry and windy in inland districts that they have delayed the start of the harvest, as there is too much risk of a spark setting off a giant and unstoppable conflagration.

Apart from being unbearably hot, Sydney is a sea of purple at the moment. The harbour side suburbs are crowded with majestic jacaranda trees with flowers that almost vibrate with their purpleness. I don’t know about you but I’ve never thought of purple as a particularly natural colour for trees – reds, greens and oranges all get ticks as does white and pink blossom but purple just doesn’t figure on my UK top ten trees colour chart. However I am now completely converted to the concept and I can envisage myself in years to come grandly gesturing to walls and saying “Yes, I think we’ll paint that jacaranda purple.

In summer, and indeed most of the year we sleep with our windows open – or rather the adult members of the family do. As a result of an unfortunate encounter between Drama Queen No. 3 and a possum that had popped into her room for a spot of nocturnal gymnastics, the Drama Queens tend to keep their windows tight shut regardless of temperatures that would cook a Christmas turkey. Apart from the possibility of waking with furry feet tap-dancing round the room, the downside of being a fresh air fiend is the large Alsatian that lives next door. Her chosen nighttime spot is beneath our window and she lies there, chewing with gusto on what must be the largest bone in history with accompanying grunts and snorts of enjoyment. Forget New Moon and teenage vampires, my dreams are currently filled with visions of being eaten by wild pigs or wolves dripping salvia as they contemplate where to start.

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