In my book, it’s ever so nice and hot
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.
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...