In my book, it’s ever so nice and hot

Dubbo Photo News - - Opinion & Analysis. - Sally Bryant

I’M pos­si­bly in a very small mi­nor­ity, but I’m lov­ing this very hot weather. I’m cur­rently lov­ing it from un­der­neath the air-conditioner where I’ve been since very early this morn­ing... not so much cred­i­bil­ity in my jour­nalese per­haps... But, I do, I do. I bloody love sum­mer.

I love sum­mer nights sprawled across my bed, un­der the cross-wind pro­vided by my fan. I love the fan; my friend the fan. I love the way the white noise lulls me to sleep. My friend the fan pro­tects me from mos­qui­toes by blow­ing the lit­tle suck­ers off-course and stop­ping them from find­ing me. And if they are in the room, the noise of the fan stops me from hear­ing them and stress­ing about them. Mas­sive win, eh? Syn­chronic­ity.

And when you go the fan op­tion, then for the re­ally stinky hot sweaty nights, you in­vest in a squirty bot­tle. And you fill it up with wa­ter, and then you top it up with es­sen­tial oils. And then, as you’re about to climb into bunky­doo­dles, you spray your­self all over with said fra­grant mix­ture and hey, presto! In­stant per­sonal air-con­di­tion­ing and all beau­ti­fully scented too. Whacko! (This works best if one sub­scribes to the school of old fash­ioned fine lawn py­ja­mas, be­cause you damp them down with the spray and they hold the mois­ture and that, my friend, is where you get that ex­tra su­per charge of coolant). You may well find you need to get up in the middle of the night and re­peat and re­fresh the process, but hardly a chal­lenge, re­ally.

And so much bet­ter than sleep­ing un­der one of those nasty split sys­tems. My ver­sion is more like hav­ing your very own, un-au­to­mated Breeze-air.

I love the sum­mer morn­ings, when you wake up into a day that’s al­ready pre­heated for you. There’s no nasty chilly sur­prises ly­ing in wait; you can wan­der around in no clothes at all with­out fear. Un­less one fears en­coun­ter­ing one’s own re­flec­tion in a house­hold mir­ror, just in pass­ing as it were. Prob­a­bly bet­ter to hold onto mem­o­ries of ear­lier per­sonal re­flec­tions than to risk the re­al­ity of early morn­ing glimpses of one’s mor­tal self in its cur­rent form.

I love the sum­mer evenings when the light starts to glow down into dif­fer­ent shades, when the real heat has gone out of the sun and you’re left with just the sense of be­ing in an oven. I’m not be­ing face­tious; I love that feel­ing of hot air all around me. This is what I re­mem­ber from my child­hood – this feel­ing of fur­nace-like heat all around me. It’s like you’re be­ing hugged. For a very long time, by a large, bo­somy and very over­heated fe­male rel­a­tive.

I love sum­mer ablu­tions; step­ping un­der the shower with no hot wa­ter added. You gasp at the sud­den cold; you know it’s go­ing to feel fan­tas­tic just as soon as you be­come ac­cli­ma­tised to that cut­ting fresh­ness. But it still takes an act of will to make your­self do it.

“It’s like you’re be­ing hugged. For a very long time, by a large, bo­somy and very over­heated fe­male rel­a­tive.

And how good is it to be thirsty and to take the re­fresh­ment of cool wa­ter? Not icy cold wa­ter that gives you a brain­freeze and doesn’t quench your thirst. Not that wa­ter out of the fridge. And not a fizzy drink laden with sugar, not that. No, not that.

What I’m talk­ing about here is wa­ter out of the rain­wa­ter tap in the kitchen – faintly metal­lic in taste and with that ex­tra layer of ubercool the metal adds. Or per­haps the hes­sian notes of the wa­ter bag? And how much bet­ter does that taste when you drink it straight from the bag? When you take the porce­lain spout of the wa­ter bag in your teeth and gulp straight through the cool­ing ce­ramic. Some­how so much more re­fresh­ing, even be­cause of its il­licit, for­bid­den plea­sure.

And the other for­bid­den plea­sure just now is the icy cold beer. That de­li­cious flavour that ex­plodes on your taste buds on a re­ally hot day, that re­freshes and re­vives you, pumps you full of life and ex­u­ber­ance and makes ev­ery­thing shim­ply fab­u­loush. De­li­cioush, in fact.

So many, many rea­sons to love this bak­ing weather.

Of course I’m not look­ing at the world en­tirely coloured with rosy spec­ta­cles. No, not me. There are the down­sides and they are very real. There are plants in my gar­den that are se­ri­ously sulk­ing and there are oth­ers that may well pull the pin al­to­gether. I’m wor­ried about them, I will con­fess, and I’m do­ing my best to nurse them through the hot weather. I’ll be sup­port­ive, but I’m not pre­pared to carry them to­tally. Let’s face it – if they can’t han­dle the heat, they might have to get out of the Cen­tral West.

I re­mem­ber my mum talk­ing about gar­den­ing be­tween the sand­hills at Bourke, and her de­scrip­tion of plants she had loved and nur­tured and nursed and ca­joled through dif­fi­cult times; only to go out and find they’d turned up their toes. So sum­mer is not for the faint­hearted; not for those who are prone to the vapours. It’s pos­si­ble my hy­drangeas will not be mak­ing the cut. Dam­mit.

And I know we’re short of wa­ter, and we all have to be more care­ful of how much we use. And I know the hot weather puts pres­sure on live­stock, on pas­tures, on pets. It stresses the crops and fruit trees and other per­ma­nent plant­ings. I get it. I know this.

And it is pos­si­ble, just ever so slightly pos­si­ble, that if you run into me in the middle of the af­ter­noon one day this month, while I’m on early starts and tired and crabby, there’s an out­side chance I might be a lit­tle short; a bit snappy. Don’t go think­ing that means I’m not en­joy­ing sum­mer. Oh, no, in­deedy not. Not at all.

I just have to en­joy my sum­mer in seg­ments. So, while it’s pos­si­ble I’m not go­ing to be full of the joys of full-blown sum­mer for the en­tire sea­son, I’m to­tally into it. To­tally.

PHOTO: STEVE COW­LEY

Week­ender reg­u­lar Sally Bryant was born with her nose in a book and if no book is avail­able, she finds her­self read­ing Corn­flakes pack­ets, road signs and in­struc­tion man­u­als for mi­crowaves. All that in­for­ma­tion has to go some­where...

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