Today, Friday 13th, lunch time, I was drifting off, post quiche Lorraine and salad. My consciousness was teleported to a moment in my teenage years. A warm English Summer’s day in 1979.
I vividly remember the gentle breeze as I lay on a sun parched patch of grass in Birmingham. Dozing as I listened to Knock on Wood by Amii Stewart on a battery operated, handbag sized, portable cassette player with carry handle. Very similar to the one pictured above, I would record songs from the radio.
The weight of my eyelids was getting the better of me as I drifted off whilst reading a paperback science fiction novel, The Weapon Shops of Isher by A. E. van Vogt.
As with most parts of the World, the Australian east coast is experiencing freaky weather. Forecasts of Brisbane receiving monster electric storms followed by a deluge of biblical proportions have so far not eventuated.
Official sources report that since the beginning of October temperatures have varied from 12.5oC at night to 27.5oC at their peak. On Wednesday afternoon our car recorded 33oC when we left the hardware store in Cannon Hill.
Fortunately there are major supermarkets located about ten minutes’ walk to the right of our home and smaller specialist stores to the left.
Yesterday, I ventured out to the shops a few times. While walking along the street I noticed that the air felt silky against my skin and I could smell the heat of Summer in the air. The local fragrance is one of slightly damp earth warmed by the Sun combined with the faint scent of bark, leaves and some flowering trees.
Neighbourhood frangipanis have been in bloom for most of the Summer. Our potted tree has reserved its energy until mid-Autumn. I hope the weather stays warm enough for it to realise it’s full potential.
After upsizing some of our potted plants we had a spare container which we excitedly filled with begonias. A few days of 35 to 40oC temperatures last Summer resulted in begonia devastation. From the cataclysm a sole survivor popped up in Spring this year, this is its first bloom.
Thanks to Adventures and Musings of a Hedgewitch I now know the name of the fantastic flowering trees that bring colour to our home suburb. What coincidences that the inspiration for Peace at Home is the shadow of a Crepe Myrtle tree in Winter and that I read about them for first time in Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches based in New Orleans!
The intensity of the sunshine in the pictures gives you a hint of the difference in temperature we experience in Sydney in June compared to January.
While growing up in ’60 s and ’70’s Summer in England was this esoteric amorphous entity, I cannot pin point when it started. Perhaps it relied on nature’s direction; March winds and April showers brought forth May flowers.
Antipodean Summers are different they start on 1 December. Over the time we have lived here some years on the dot of 1/12 the temperature has soared to a point that when you subject yourself to the elements, your body is enveloped in a cocoon of moist warmth.
Not so in 2013 with a top of 23oC it is too cool to go for a dip in the pool. Stan is happy, his shaggy coat grows by the second. I hope that you enjoy the pictures I took during his walk around Lewisham and Marrickville. Stan