One of the headlines in the online news today was “Summer 2014-15 weather forecast: Bushfires, heatwaves and severe heat“. The report went on to say…
“AUSTRALIA is headed for its third consecutive severe summer with temperatures set to hit way above average bringing increased risk of bushfires, heatwaves and not much rain, a new report has revealed.”
More from news.com.au
That makes today’s post a double irony, because it’s time for another reprint of one of my articles for Australia and New Zealand magazine.
This one appeared in their July edition earlier this year, right in the middle of the UK’s summer, and now it’s being reprinted just as things are heating up here in Brisbane. Today, would you believe, the temperature reached 32°C; not bad for spring.
Here’s the article, which was called…
Oh the irony
When we used to live in England, in a place not far from London, we would often find ourselves at a loss thinking what to do at the weekend. We would end up doing impersonations of the two vultures sitting in a tree from ‘The Jungle Book’.
“OK, so what we gonna do?”
“I don’t know, what do you wanna do?”
And so it would go on.
A big restriction on what we would want to do though was often the weather. Cold, rain, or both would sometimes limit us to indoor activities only, so we would often end up going to a shopping mall. We probably didn’t want to buy anything, but it was at least ‘going out’, and it would be, if nothing else, warm and dry. Where we lived we were blessed with shopping malls, including Bluewater and Lakeside.
I’m not saying there wasn’t anything exciting to do around where we lived, but what exciting things were there had already been done. When you’ve lived in the same place for nearly 50 years as both man and boy, you’ve seen most of what’s around you and often more than once. There aren’t many places that are as much fun the third, fourth or fifth time you visit.
I know this problem can apply to anywhere in the world, but that really only helps in emphasising how much fun it really can be to move somewhere completely different. It is for that reason I’ve never questioned why I should move to Australia, the big question for me was why would I want to live in the same country all my life. That also explains why I didn’t.
When we arrived in Australia, everything was so different, new and begging to be explored. We had so many options from beaches to mountains, from the riverside to the countryside and the city all, virtually, on our doorstep.
No more “I don’t know, what do you wanna do?” for us, instead it was “Which direction shall we head today?” Whatever choice we made, it was garnished with clear blue skies, sunshine and the kind of heat that makes you want to buy a hat. I never wanted to buy a hat in England.
Six years on and we are still not running out of ‘things to do’ and when the weather is this good, sometimes doing things a third, fourth or fifth time are as much fun as the first. With a seemingly never-ending coastline to our east and The Great Dividing Range, all 3500 kilometres of it, to the west, we really are spoilt for choice.
As you can see then, it’s all turned around for us. No more going to the shops just for something to do whilst avoiding the elements.
Except; during this year’s summer heatwave which gripped all of Australia and saw temperatures rise to around 43° C here in Brisbane, my wife and I were at a loss to know what to do one weekend. It was simply too hot to go out and it was also too hot to stay in.
So what did we do?
We went to a shopping mall to escape the heat under their cool, industrial strength air conditioning.
Oh the irony.