Golden days of sum­mer

NZ Lifestyle Block - - From The Editor - Www.nzlifestyle­ www.face­ lifestyle­block BY NADENE HALL

Do you re­mem­ber sum­mer 1997/1998? It was my first year liv­ing in Welling­ton. Our en­ter­tain­ment was watch­ing the floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows in our lounge flex dur­ing big gales and won­der­ing if the next one would twist them into a mil­lion pieces.

But Welling­ton on a blue sky sum­mer’s day is a truly beau­ti­ful place. ce. If it didn’t have earth­quakes, it would be close to per­fect per­fect, even with its crazy gales gales.

Christ­mas that year was spent at my par­ent’s farm south of Auck­land. I re­mem­ber it was very hot but it’s par­tic­u­larly spe­cial be­cause I nabbed three tiny kit­tens born to a res­i­dent wild cat: Jack, Ge­orge and Darcy would travel back with me to Welling­ton and be­come ‘the boys’. Jack is still pa­trolling the house as I type, mak­ing sure the dogs know he is king. Ge­orge was buried un­der a plum tree in the or­chard last year. A few weeks ago, Darcy was buried along­side him.

That sum­mer was very, very hot. And very, very dry. The El Nino cli­mate pat­tern that caused it ba­si­cally brings too much rain to the western side of the coun­try, and dries out the east to desert-like dust. The drought it cre­ated cost the coun­try $618 mil­lion or around one per­cent of GDP. It was dev­as­tat­ing.

The cli­mate ex­perts at NIWA are now telling us, firmly, that sum­mer 2015/16 is go­ing to be un­der the in­flu­ence of an even stronger El Nino, and if so, there will be drought.

The key to sur­viv­ing a drought is to make de­ci­sions, as early as pos­si­ble. The ear­lier you make de­ci­sions, the less of a loss you’ll suf­fer. The ear­lier you de­cide to buy in sup­ple­ments, the cheaper you’ll get them.

Plan. Bud­get. Be con­ser­va­tive. Be pre­pared to wait 3-5 days for a wa­ter tanker. But plan. Make de­ci­sions. Do it now.

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