The weather of course!
Every one of you thought it was the folk from the United Kingdom that talked more about the changeable weather. Didn’t you? I beg to differ.
Us down here in New Zealand we usually experience a few hot days, then back down to a shall we say “a more inviting temperature”. Then there are those that move to our neighbouring country Australia for an enjoyable lifestyle which of course really means better weather. In turn, means boasting about how pleasant the weather is over the small ditch that is between us both.
Nightly weather reports on the local TV channel highlighting the vast continent of Australia with an angry orange-red. Then to make matters worse, we are shown heart-breaking photographs of Brumbies [wild horses] dead from dehydration. This indeed illustrates how dangerous the heat problem is for our neighbours.
Our cuzzie bros and their female counterparts from across the ditch must be wishing that they were back in New Zealand and maybe starting to plan their great escape from the big burn.
Like most Kiwis, I have a lot of expat friends and family living in Australia and have spent hours on the blower listening to boasts about how warm and sunny it is in their part of paradise.
When I’ve tried talking them into coming home they’ve said sorry, but they’ve acclimatised and just couldn’t stand the cold. My retaliation has been to warn those expats that in a couple of years they will be desperate to get back to where they once belonged when the sunburnt country burns up. And verily it has come to pass.
But some would say I should not be so smug.
On the day some parts of the Bay of Plenty are now experiencing 33 degrees, I was walking and felt myself moving faster to that next spot of shade. Then came the time to do some grocery shopping.
Free aircon for a few hours.
It does indeed take that long when you move at a snail’s pace, up and down the aisles, muttering away to yourself about not finding that elusive can of whatever it I was pretending to search out. The alternative was not good. Hair that could be mistaken for a 1980’s lousy hairdo and feeling like a jockey’s sweatbox.
So I stayed inside and again blessed supermarkets for their excellent air conditioning. Then I stood by the long row of yoghurts like a shag on a rock with my wings spread out and legs apart. I wasn’t the only one. Others were flapping their arms about trying to cool off. Trying to do it discreetly like me. Though they did seem to be more like “real shoppers” and had more in their trolleys than me.
Eventually, I had to purchase a few groceries. We really did need them. Then I reminded myself there was another blessing in the form of the air conditioner in the car. Even in that small space, I managed a flap or two.
That day it hit 33 with a high 21 degs at night.
I wondered if the supermarket ever thought of opening 24 hours. Unfortunately, it did not. We do have an aircon at No.22. It’s a noisy contraption that needs a boot out the door. Not to worry we won’t have this heat for long. As I remind myself this is New Zealand and not Australia.
Then there is the wind.
Meaning that there is always drama when there is wind. Who needs Sky TV when you’ve got the real stuff happening as branches, wheely bins and garden furniture scrambled into each other, and what looked like a sheet wrenched from a washing line, in a heap on the street.
The experts say it has nothing to do with the super moon, but this crazy weather just happened to occur in its wake. We have two more set to show up before the end of March.
As the sun falls and when the humidity gets too much, you can hear people out on their balconies murmuring as they cool down at No.22. Reminding me of those kitsch American movies set in the south where folk sit on a porch swing.
No room for large porch swings at No.22.
So when the heat gets to you, what do you do? I have been known to get myself out of bed at 2 am and put both feet under a cold tap, with a huge sign and thoughts of that ever inviting coolness of any supermarket aisle.
Or perhaps a stroll down a deserted beach at night sounds more inviting and romantic?
What do you think?