"She seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if she had surprised a butterfly in the Winter woods"
(edith wharton)

Sunday, 1 February 2009

summer memories... it's hot (otherwise known as ya gotta laugh to cope)

the past week has been hot. sometimes over 40 degrees C... my poor friend Pam who lives in South Australia has been battling heat of 45 degrees C, every day.. that is around 120F !!! too hot for anyone. I try to remember the wise words of the elderly couple that i met while on my trip.. that this has all happened before and that it will rain but when the scare mongerers of the press keep carrying on that it is the driest since way back when... it is hard to stay positive..... i wonder about the first white Australians and how they must have felt when the ship arrived in January way back then... they must have thought they had died and gone to hell...... in the mean time, I open verandah windows trying to catch a slight breeze that might blow through Woodford... (I know air-conditioning is not at all good for the greenhouse... but geez, I am using it and I am sure my carbon foot print has doubled in the past week..)

It is times like this, when the heat is relentless that I cannot love Australia. Matter of fact, I don't love much at all. I could be a woman from the Old Testament.. there is a lot of gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands going on here at Inglewood. I sit and melt. And I water my garden. Illegally. And I don't care. I don't care if the water police come and put me in jail. The man across the road is allowed to wash his bright, new shiny car any day of the week, at any time. But gardens are only allowed to be watered 2 days a week.. and then, only a few hours at a time. Yesterday was not a watering day... but the rebel in me watered my plants. When the zucchini is wilting, the citrus are struggling and the daphne looks just about dead... well I just watered. I will not, I refuse to, let my garden die. And as I watered, in a kind of meditative state... cause that is what happens when I garden...... I remembered my childhood summers and how hot they were... but it didn't seem to phase me back then. we kinda just accepted what was.
We put on our cossies (an australian term for swimming costumes or bathers), Dad would connect the sprinkler up and we would run through it, screaming as the icy cold water touched our hot skin... and we would keep doing that til mum came out with a home-made ice block.. then sit under the berry tree, licking and sucking quickly before it melted away.

(my sister and I at the beach in 1961.. I am the little girl in blue)
Sometimes we were even lucky enough to go to the beach. That was a trek. Mum would pack up a picnic lunch.. lots of cold drinks. And of we would go in our old car. A two hour drive in the heat. But oh, how it was worth it.

We would sleep under the stars when it was hot at night. Mum would get a blanket for us, put it out on the front lawn under the eucalypt tree and we would lie there in the heat of the night, looking up at the vast Australian sky... no tent, no blanket. Not worrying about spiders or other night time insects. I wonder if there were mossies? there would have been I am sure, but they didn't worry us........
coming back to the present moment.. I continue to water...wishing I was someone else. Living somewhere else..... I read other blogs and sometimes i wish I were living that life...... does anyone else do that?

I know I am lucky with the life I have. I know it. I have food on my table. a gorgeous home. wonderful family. I am free and i am healthy..... but sometimes when I read blogs like Corey's Tongue in Cheek (tongue in cheek), I wish I were somewhere else, someone else....... oh lord, I just want to escape from this heat........


Winterwood said...

Robyn.... so hot here too and humid and thundery and 36C and 38C tomorrow.... I think I may have gnashed all my teeth out by now had it not been for aircon! I think that has saved an aseful lot on dentists bills lol!!! I love love the retro summer photo and was thinking along the same lines of posting some old UK ones of me back then too. Arent you and your sis just sooo sweet!!!

ps my kids used to sleep out in the garden when little in a tiny tent they had ! they loved it under the stars!!

kim said...

i know sometimes i long to be someone else, or at least a part of that person's life

Genie Sea said...

As I am about to take a blow torch to all things white outside, totally fed up, knowing there is yet more snow on the way, I read your struggle with the heat. And I can totally relate. It gets hot and sticky humid here in the summer, when your brain ceases to function and you want to rip your own skin off your bones...

We both need to move somewhere with 5 and a half months of spring and 5 and a half months of fall with 2 weeks of summer and 2 weeks of winter...

Let's dream together!

I love the rebel you! Water plants not chrome! Some people's priorities are all messed up!

Your photo is so cute...look at the little rebel in blue! Squishies! :)

amelia said...

Oh Robyn, I feel for you so much. I have been reading about the heat and fires in Australia and wondered how you were coping. Not too good I guess and who can blame you? I would do exactly as you do by watering my garden. It's not right that someone can wash a car but you can't water your garden which in turn helps reduce the carbon footprint whereas a car most certainly adds to it.

I cannot stand the heat and that's why I love the winters in Canada and just loathe the summers which are short and hot!!

I hope it comes to an end soon for you..

Anonymous said...

Hi Robyn,
I can understand why you want to be somewhere else at the moment with those temperatures, but you wouldn't want to be here either. It is very cold and very windy, weather to stay inside all the time, but I have to go out in the evening ; ) I have to pack myself in very warmly. Wish it was a bit warmer here, but no 40 degrees. I can imagine thatthat is no fun either !!! Hang in there, I'm thinking of you !!!

Tori said...

I am sorry you need to live with that heat. I hope it breaks soon! If I had a beautiful garden that I loved as much as you love yours I'd water it too, 'water police' be damned.

I've wished I were living someone else's life before. I think everyone does that sometimes.

Pam said...

Now Robyn. We both love Dorothea McKellar's Australia poem, right?seriously...but because I know the heat has got to you dear friend, this is for you...
(apologies to Dorothea of course, genuflecting)...

I love a sunburnt country
A land of sweeping plains
But I loathe the water restrictions
And prefer it when it rains.

The stark white ring-barked forests
All tragic to the moon
We're baking in Adelaide and Woodford,
In the hot gold hush of noon.

Green tangle of the bushes
From the temperatures recoil
Our orchids shrivel under treetops
Our ferns wither in the soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky
Means we search out cooler buildings
Else we suffer, burn and fry.

Though earth holds many splendours
Wherever we may die,
We'll recall this south-state heatwave
And look heavenward and sigh.

Plonk down somewhere,go and have an iced tea and have one for me....uh...don't pick up that hose...smack.Naauuughhhty.

gemma said...

Our childhoods sound alot alike. We used to run through the sprinklers,we'd get drinks outside from the hose, eat popsicles,and we even had a slip and slide. It is so hot here in the summer too.
You can always put your bra in the freezer...that's what Tinker does.

Fire Byrd said...

What an evocative post,about your childhood. I remember running under the hose pipe too.
It's bitterly cold here and has been snowing on and off all day.I do not know which is worst, hot or cold. Although at least being cold you can get warmed up.
Hope you temperature changes soon before your garden suffers anymore.

solsticedreamer said...

sometimes i wish i were someone else, living another life~or wonder what my life would be if i had taken a different turn...there are so many different turns we can make. i wonder if we are ever really, totally happy with our lot?

i watched the australian open today and it looked so hot. i dont blame you for watering your garden, plants need the water more than some stupid car

Sheila@Simple Indulgences said...

And I want to escape from this cold..!
We called them cossies as
We have days when we can water and not water, but sometimes I felt I was the only one obeying the rule.
I long to live where there is history, old history, not just a couple of hundred years..
maybe next time..!

peppylady said...

I think every one in world is ready for a change in season.
Tomorrow, here it will be mid-winter.
Although it still looks like winter with snow on the ground and no way planting any thing now.

My oldest son would love your weather of 120 when it 80 or so he think it still cold.
I'll telling him about your weather he will think it grand.

I put up a weather thinging mick bobber over on my blog.

Coffee is on.

Anonymous said...

My goodness, you are such a whinger. You have a roof over your head and food to eat. Only 30 percent of the world's population have that.

Wendy said...

I can related. I hate the cold winters we have here and wish I could live somewhere warm and sunny - all year round.
Sometimes I read other's blogs and dream of living where they are too.

Yeah, and I also think of the first settlers who lived in our land without central heat or a/c. It must have been very tough, heating with an open fire, living in a tent - or whatever. Not having enough food. I'm glad we've progressed.
And I would totally water my garden too - forget the neighbour's car. Gardens come first!

Janet said...

I can sooooo relate to this post! When the heat comes here I become another person! I lose my energy and my focus and struggle with every little thing. I'm not a happy person when the temps go above 90ยบ....and here that's almost every day during the summer!!

linda may said...

Hey you sound like me with the watering, I don't stick to the rules but on my calculations I am still well below the watering time limits. And go ahead have a good whinge the heat does make us like that. I am more like "Just Leave Me Alone!" when I get like that.

Tinker said...

I just read Gemma's comment and laughed like mad - I have done that! I'd forgotten I'd ever told anyone (it's great for hot flashes in the summer, lol)
Yes, I read Corey's and others blogs - that sound so idyllic I wish I could trade places -- but then yours sounds idyllic to me, too! I guess we probably all have something in our lives, that's not quite the way we wish, though it may be hard for others to see it...
We've had springlike weather this week - and we need rain here, this time of year. It's too early for spring yet. I'd be just the same, I'm afraid, if they started rationing water here - I wouldn't be able to stand seeing my garden wilt...I'm looking for some inexpensive olla's (unglazed ceramic jars that you bury in the center of a group of plants, and fill with water - so the water seeps to their roots slowly and keeps them more moist) - just in case...I've even been thinking about how I might use gray water from the dishes, etc - though I don't know if that's allowed - but I'd rather try that than let my plants go without.
Hang in there, Robyn! Sending cool thoughts your way~xo