Melbourne is known by it's residents as capable of four seasons in one day. It is often erratic and unpredictable. Umbrella's are carried year-round by many locals, even when the weatherman has promised a fine day. It is currently summertime in Melbourne and true to form, we are being treated to lots of hot weather.
For those of you in Melbourne, you will know what I am talking about, but you will probably NOT be reading this post however, as you will most likely be down the beach or cooling yourself poolside. For those of you who are elsewhere (maybe even in snowy climes overseas) this is just a taster of what it's been like for a while now...
New Years eve was 42 degrees. At 37, there was no respite on New Years Day. No rain. No thunderstorm or summer downpour to clear the air. No such luck. It was relentless. It was so hot, we retreated gladly into my relatively cool flat with a few cold drinks and a DVD.
When we eventually reappeared it was to make an air-conditioned dash to the local Kmart where we purchased a pedestal fan (which by the way, at $14.95 is an absolute bargain!) to circulate the air at home...
As the coast-bound roads ground to a slow crawl, the beaches reached fever pitch and the city grew quiet, we decided staying at home was a good decision. Local retailers ran out of ice and many homes found themselves without electricity when the power companies were overwhelmed by demand.
While we stayed at home, down the coast a section of highway melted and travellers were diverted to single lane local streets where they crawled their way slowly to their destinations. People headed for the coast spent hours in their cars, battling with every other city dweller trying to escape. Finally they found their small patch of sand and then alternately cooled themselves in icy surf and baked (fried) themselves under the sun.
My flat, as I have said, is relatively cool. Whilst in winter it is tending more toward Arctic, in summer I forget my cursing. The benefits of its 1930's double brick and ground floor positioning is a blessing. For a few days at least, if we close out the worst of the heat, we remain immune.
The plumbing is not so protected from the heat however. By 11am the cold water tap is running at a temperature warm enough to do the dishes. By 1pm, laundry shrinks in a cold wash. If I want to clean my teeth without scolding myself, I have to get water from the fridge. By 3pm, when I flush the toilet, I notice steam coming from the bowl.
Leaving the flat is like taking a walk in a fan forced oven. It is intense. Nighttime brings a little relief. And then as the sun rises on a new day, it starts all over again. Yep it's official. Wherever we are, whatever we are doing, we're all feelin' hot hot hot.
Today is 35 degrees. Tomorrow is Saturday and the forecast is for another day of 37... maybe if we get going early enough, a trip to the beach might be in order.
Time for a cold drink... Cheers!