It is a little ironic that today’s reprint of my article for Australia and New Zealand magazine is called “It Was a Hot Day”. As you probably know, only a couple of weeks ago I was experiencing some “Very Cold Days” whilst holidaying in Tasmania.
But as I write these articles a few months in advance for the magazine, and reprint them here a month or so after they have appeared, it’s easy to see how this can happen.
That said, I’m no longer in Tasmania, I’m back in Brisbane. Today has been a glorious ‘winter’s’ day with temperatures at around 21°C, blue skies and a big bright ball of sun.
After many many English winters, it’s these kind of winters I now love.
But when it is the middle of summer here in Brisbane, when it is at its hottest, when it is very humid, well, well I’ll let the article, which appeared in the June issue, speak for itself.
It Was a Hot Day.
You know it’s going to be a difficult day when it’s hot. Very hot. And it’s still only three o’clock in the morning. Hot at three o’clock in the morning? That can’t be right, can it?
This is the question you can’t help but ask yourself as you toss and turn, trying to ensure the single thin white sheet that covers you doesn’t stick to your skin with every movement.
But you manage to get through the ordeal and although waking up feeling as though you slept in a puddle all night isn’t pleasant, you think of the positives. There are not many places in the world where you can slim while you sleep. Normally this kind of weight loss would take time, effort and maybe even an expensive gym subscription.
But now you’re up and it’s time for a nice cold shower. Except the cold shower is hot. Strange, you didn’t touch the hot tap. Never mind.
You’re out of the shower and you dry yourself. But you’re still wet. You dry yourself again. But you’re still wet. Dry. Wet. Dry. Wet. This cycle could go on a while, so you just get dressed.
T-shirt, underwear, shorts and 12 seconds later you’re dressed. Too hot for shoes let alone socks.
Time to go out, so you make your way to the car. You burn your hand opening the car door. Then you scorch your fingers trying to open all the windows as quickly as possible to reduce the feeling that you are trapped inside a pizza oven.
Driving to work, you stop at some traffic lights. But that’s a good thing, where you have stopped is underneath the shade of the flyover above you. Being out of the sun for a while feels good, especially as there is a light breeze blowing through your car.
The lights change, but you stay put. You’re too comfortable. The fun ends with the horn honking that encourages you to continue your journey.
You get to work and the temptation is to park in the shade. But you’re now quite an experienced Australian resident. Parking in the shade is for novices. The trick is to park where the shade is going to be at the time you’ll be returning to your car. It’s a skill that takes a while to perfect, but is understood by many Queenslanders.
Soon you’ll be in the office. Surely it’ll be cooler in there. Hold on, you don’t work in an office. You fit solar heating panels for energy saving home owners. You’ll be spending the next eight hours on the roof of a house, directly under the sun. So it’s going to get a lot hotter where you’re going!
But fortunately, days like this are rare. They only really occur during the height of summer and where I live in Brisbane, probably only for around three or four weeks a year.
Thankfully, man has created air-conditioning to make these kinds of days much more bearable. And nature has provided Australia with one great big wraparound beach, complete with soothing sea breezes and a huge clear, cool and refreshing ocean. Or maybe you live in one of the 11.7% of Australian homes with a pool. On days like this, all these things help.