Greetings From The Heat Wave

This week, Australia has kindly expelled a continent-size puff of its preposterously hot summer air and sent it floating across the Tasman Sea to settle on New Zealand.

Doors and windows open, but it’s not an oven inside.

I write to you from inside the sultriness — it’s now 31 deg C (88F), a throwback to last January, which was the hottest month in New Zealand’s history.

Right now, the fan is recharging, all windows and doors are open, Phoebe is hidden in the shady notch between couch and coffee table, and Connor is stretched out on the bathroom floor.

Connor finds a place where the breezes meet.

I’ve been putting ice cubes in the dogs’ water bowl and trying wet-towel wipes to help cool them.

Meanwhile, there’s plenty of breeze to cool a man’s singleted torso.

Apart from the heat wave, this summer has been pretty typical in its rhythms.

Grass growth in Paddock World stopped about two weeks ago — which means less mowing but also less mulch for the garden. I’ve taken to gathering cowpats and horse poo from the paddock to make a nutty poo tea to feed my plantings.

Rabbits are every-damn-where. Including, sadly, my Golden Garden, which I made to sit near the Rainbow Garden and colour-coordinate with the Mustard Yellow House. Cute bunnies have striated the flower bed and gnawed almost everything down to a nub. Undaunted, I’ll rethink and replant.

The pea fowl are near the end of their breeding season. There’s much less hooting at all hours of the night, apart from squawks from the remaining unmated desperates. The males lose all their eye-spotted trail feathers and become infertile till spring. Peabody, the semi-tame fellow whose territory includes Paddock World and nearby copses, lost his feathers in a matter of days, and now looks tiny.

Poor rain-wetted Peabody (with Weet-Bix). Inset: how he looked in spring.

Makahuri’s village garden is starting to burst with vegetables, including a ripening ton of tomatoes.

The Mustard Yellow House is in dire need of a spruce-up. Dust, sea salt and spider webs are dimming our beautiful house’s glow — so I’m determined to get out and give the place a scrub.

When it’s not too hot. Or rainy. Or windy.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Greetings From The Heat Wave

  1. Hello Nick
    A blast from the past – the 1980s, to be precise. I’m Jill Abigail, Stephen Rainbow’s mother. Stephen told me about your blog, so I’ve just looked this up and found you here. I think we have been living as neighbours for years. I moved with my partner Joy to an 18-acre block in Te Hapua Road, Te Horo, at the end of 1999. After 16 years there, we moved to live in Otaki, down in the village. Where exactly are you and your tiny house? Do you still make a living from journalism? Hope you are well and happy.

    Like

    1. Hi Jill! Great to hear from you. We’ve been at Makahuri, the old Marycrest school, for 20 months. I’m still thinly linked to journalism with a bit of freelance work, but am otherwise a househusband, dogfather, cheesemaker and gardener. Involved with Toastmasters and planning an oral archive project among other things. I hadn’t known you were in the area — is Lara still around here too?

      Like

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