Summer is here.
How do I know this, well even though officially it is still Spring, it is now so hot and humid each day that we have started our seasonal afternoon thunderstorms. Bad enough that today, only our second storm of the season, brought hail, lots of it and some chunks as big as a 2.5kg shot put (i am guessing 5cm diameter) and lots that were golf ball sized. I watched most of these hit my car and my gardens, watched the magpies cowering undercover where they had been caught away from their nest, looking anxiously towards the tree where their baby is. And other than feeling sorry for the magpies and hoping their baby would be ok, I loved every minute of that delicious smelling storm with the cool but not too icey rain and the wonderous smells that a garden full of herbs, fruits and native plants puts off when rained upon.
Is it going to be a hot summer, well I would say so, it is far hotter already than last year was, last year we didn't get half the storms we normally do and last year we only got one hailstorm and that was the week before Christmas. Last year i was still wearing a jumper almost until Christmas.
The plants are a little confused, some of the citrus trees are currently sporting last years fruit, fruit that is a few months old because we had hot days in the middle of winter and they thought spring had come and then they are covered in the now springs new flowers. I am hoping however that with the heat and thunderstorms back to what is normal for this area, that maybe we will get a decent mango crop this year, it has been awful with next to no mangoes the last three years. I can imagine a heaven where unlimited mangoes could be eaten, bathed in and generally lived in.
As a teen i was initiated into the most heavenly tradition, you take a bunch of friends, have a wrestle in a mud bath (generally easy to find when each afternoon brings a storm), traipse down a hot steamy road til you get to the mango plantation, eat them hot and fresh, sun ripened, juices flowing over your lips, face, arms, chest. Once totally satiated, slowly waddle down to the creek and lazily wash the luxurious mud and mango skin treatment off, to emerge an hour later with cool, glowing skin and a totally relaxed mental state. On the way back you pick a bag of mangoes to take home for desert and midnight snacks.
Oh and the humidity, just in time to remind me how urgently i need the bathtub to be plumbed in and the walling done, because i don't like wearing swimmers or swimming in public. Well OK i don't mind night time swimming, but the council doesn't really approve of people jumping the fence at night time, why i don't know, because there isn't anyone there as a lifeguard during the day, and its well lit at night, so what is the difference? So i need to get that bath fixed so i can soak in my cold water and read and relax, oh how i miss that small luxury.
And lets not forget the constant power drops, brown outs they call them, where the lights dim and the computer crashes because all the people in Sydney just turned their air con up higher and us being at the other end of the state at the end of two measly skinny wires, well we only get full power when most of Sydney is asleep, let alone all the places in between. I read a report that was tabled with the NSW and federal government at least ten years ago where they stated exactly why the power system needs upgrading, why areas such as ours can spend hours without any power in summer because of air conditioners increased usage in Sydney and Newcastle. I know a couple of Country Energy guys, i asked them and they told me that nothing has changed, the upgrade was never approved or funded. The other problem is that the two skinny wires we get power from (which like the other day when one failed only half the town had power for four hours) is that the two are not compatible and don't run the same voltages. I am not an electrician, but it doesn't sound very good to me.
I don't even have a working air con unit, although i do have one, it came as part of the kitchen wall, built into the bottom of a window, but it crashes every other appliance and system in the house when the thermostat tries to cut in, so it doesn't get used at all. The ceiling fan and a spritz of water are it. My house is relatively cool, we get a decent breeze most days and if really pushed, I lay under a ceiling fan with a water sprayer, in a darkened room.
Worst of all is Daylight savings. Tell me how this makes my life better. DD who wakes at sunrise each morning will wake an hour earlier according to the clock, and will go to bed while the sun is still up each night, unless i try to keep her up later. And just up the road a bit is the poor Tweed Coast, who have half their town and residents in NSW and the other half in QLD. One half have DST time and the other EST time, but there isn't an identical set of services on either side of the border, some are solely located on the NSW side and some on the QLD side. The poor people who live and work in this area suffer dreadful confusion each year. Just take the mothers that work on the QLD side but live and have kids going to the school on the NSW side.
But all in all, this summer whine of mine, I actually prefer summer, its easier to lose weight when you cant help breaking a sweat while sitting still, its more comfortable to wander around in the skimpiest (or none if possible) clothing rather than having to wear five or six layers to stay warm. The best fruits are available in summer, cherries, mangoes, nectarines, plums oh even thinking of them makes me drool. And the heat makes a salad meal so much more appetising, and that cant hurt the waist any either. Oh and its easier to sleep when warmer, well for me anyway.
Now didn't i warn you this was a ranting and raving blog!