About ten years ago, when email was still new-ish and I was a better correspondent, I used to exchange emails regularly with a friend. One time she wrote to me saying, 'What is all the always-talking-about-the-weather business? Who gives a fuck about the weather?', etc?
The answer seemed pretty obvious to me. She lived in Sydney, I lived in Melbourne: I rest my case. In Melbourne, the weather is a subject of ongoing concern, like a patient who needs constant monitoring. Small talk about the weather is invariably, well, not exactly big talk, but sizeable enough.
It's interesting how in some places, the weather seems to take on a whole personality of its own. Arguably, this is the case anywhere, even in a place like Sydney, where the weather is meant to be like a cheery, unobtrusive and reliable friend, to be castigated if it doesn't behave as expected.
And so it is that I find myself launching into yet another NT weather post...I've got bad news for you people living any of Australia's five teeming sores: it's becoming very hot here, almost overnight. So look out for some flashes of extreme heat coming your way.
We've had a surprisingly temperate Spring, compared to last year, with few temperatures above 34 C. Now we're cruising into the late 30s, with minimums of 20 C overnight and a weekend forecast of 41 C. Stepping into your car at lunchtime is like stepping into a microwave.
Unlike what seems to be the majority of the Australian population, I'm not really a hot weather person. When people start saying how much they like 'the heat' or the 'dry heat' or even how much they like 'exercising in the heat', I think they're insane. I put this down in part to having 'cheap' Celtic skin and always being aware of the burn factor from an early age and the need to avoid the sun, etc, etc. (So what am I doing in the heat capital of Australia? -- good question.)
I don't have anything poetic to say about the Big Heat -- I probably did the last two years -- but here are some of the things I find myself doing when it comes:
* battening down the hatches and keeping the blinds drawn during the day then opening them, the windows and putting on the fans to let the hot air out at night
* grudgingly putting on the air conditioner for an hour at night if the above doesn't work
* grudgingly putting on the air conditioner all night if the above doesn't work
* grudgingly putting on the air conditioner day and night if the above doesn't work
* laminating myself in sunblock several times a day before going outside
* wearing a long-sleeved shirt over a singlet or T-shirt outside
* hiding at home / in my office, avoiding going out at midday
* drinking 4 L of water a day
* eating more protein, more carbs so I don't get light-headed, esp when exercising
* pushing hot, sweaty cats to the end of the couch / bed
I'm getting to the point where I'm finding it difficult to come up with any new material for blogging -- hence talking about the weather, yet again. My NT musings all seem the same, cyclical even (no pun intended). But how many times can you be surprised by the heat, people who talk to you in the street, red dust, sunsets, Aboriginal people, cycling septuagenarians, redneck, yanks, dykes, old lefties, etc?
It might just be my mood or maybe it's a sign of the times, but the blogosphere also seems to have become fearfully earnest of late. I seem to remember it being a more frivolous affair a couple of years ago when I first started out.
So...I don't know whether this means less regular posting for a while or if I'm going to flood the blogosphere next week with posts. Then again, I could always post more photos... Anyone got a good meme?