Obsessed with the Weather

Trip Start Dec 18, 2011
Trip End Sep 15, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"I get a shiver in my bones just thinking about the weather A quiver in my voice as if I may cry." --Natalie Merchant
Me too. I'm dreading the heat of summer here, so much so that I'm becoming obsessed with the weather. In case you never heard me complain about the heat, let me make it clear: I hate hot weather. Give me a cold, blustery winter day with the snow coming down horizontally . . . aaaah! Nice.
The boys and I went camping in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney during the two-week spring holidays (another word for vacation), and really enjoyed the cool weather. Daffodils were blooming, fleece jackets were necessary, and one morning we woke to our tent and the sports oval nearby covered in a wonderful thick layer of frost. Again . . . aaaah! Nice. There is something very fine about bundling into a sleeping bag and pulling the top tightly closed so that only your face is exposed to the cold night air.
I spoke with Chris, who had to stay behind and work, and the conversations went like this:
"How is it there?"
"It's great! The night was chilly, and the high today was 16C (61F). How is it there?"
"It's okay. It was 29C today."
Silence from my end of the phone.
The next evening, the same conversation, but the reported temperature from the Hunter Valley was even higher. The silence stretched uncomfortably long.
Before you tell me to stop whining, I agree that 84F (29C) isn't a terrible temperature. For a summer day. Not for a day in early spring. The day the boys and I returned home, the temperature hit 32.5C (90.5F). Arrrrgh! I tried to persuade Chris to map out a commute from the Blue Mountains to the mine. It would only add a few hours to his commute. No luck.
By the way, there's a cute story about how the Blue Mountains got their name. It seems that the early settlers, being British, had never seen proper mountains (after all, they only have some small piles of rocks in nearby Wales and Scotland). So, they imagined that the mountain range appearing blue from a distance was a unique phenomenon--which it was, to them. A story was concocted that the eucalyptus trees' oil wafting upward turned the air blue, making the mountains appear blue. But we know better: Raise your hand if you're from the Rocky Mountains and you've seen hundreds of mountain ranges appearing blue in the distance. Consider yourself lucky if you look up and see a blue mountain range right now with white on top.
We decamped for the beach over the Labor Day weekend (celebrated in early October here) with Chris along, and while the weather wasn't as cool along the coast, the water was quite chilly. The boys and I boogie boarded all morning every day, and then I shivered under my beach towel all afternoon because the water is still so cold. Chris was sensible enough to stay out of the water. The boys weren't sensible--they stayed in all day long. In the ocean, Liam turns blue and feels the cold, but Andy turns red and doesn't feel the cold.
It is so very nice to shiver with cold.
We returned for a few days of rest from our holiday outings only to be faced with climbing temperatures. Our first day back we went to Newcastle by train with a group of friends. Newcastle has a pleasant breeze blowing off the ocean many days, and it doesn't get as hot there as it does just 30 kilometers inland, where we live. High 20s; tolerable.
The final Friday of the holidays saw us at the Maitland swimming pool for the duration. We had advance warning the day would be a scorcher, and it was. 35.5C (96F) in the first half of spring! I need to register an official complaint somewhere.
The pool is quite nice--there are three pools in the complex, and just last year an enormous bucket/slide/spraying area was installed. Children go down the slides, spray everyone within range with the water hoses, and go under various pipes spewing water. Then the bells begin ringing, and everyone hustles to the bucket's dumping zone. Very refreshing. There must be thousands of liters splashing over everyone. I survived that terrible day with my good spirits intact thanks to the 24.4C water (76F). The parents who weren't swimming looked pretty miserable.
Everyone I meet talks about the weather. Take today: yesterday was a nasty scorcher (33.7C/92.6F), and the night didn't cool off much. Then today, the thermometer kept climbing. By 11 a.m. it was 31C. But a wonderful southerly wind came up mid-day and cooled things off nicely. Aaaah! Nice. Everyone I met had a comment about the weather, whether they thought it puzzling (obviously newcomers to the area just like me) or explained how the southerlies come reliably and make everything all right (a local).
I keep getting warnings that the summer heat will be intense. Days in the 40s, nights not much better. Last summer was considered not really even a summer because it was so cold thanks to La Nina. Only one day registered above 41C. These people are crazy! This summer is predicted to be hot and dry. Lovely. Chris and I just looked at a bush fire burning in a ridge a few miles away. Hot and dry. Big sigh. We're going to the beach.
"I'm leaving because the weather is too good. I hate London when it's not raining." Groucho Marx
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Jenny on

Bill & I are in the Blue Ridge Mts. of Virginia. His Mom turned 95 so the family got together where she used to go for the fourth of July. We also went to Monticello.
We sure enjoy keeping up with you! While you dream about the cold, we will dream about heat on the beach.

Mary Stahl on

Love to hear about your adventures. It was 30 degrees in Crawford this morning!!! We could switch places if you want for the winter/summer!! Being a southern girl, I love the heat! Hugs to ALL!

Cami on

I'm w/ you - I HATE the heat. That poem was awesome! If it gets to 40 deg. C, you're gonna die! I hope the house you rented has a basemsnt! Super-cute pictures. The boys look wonderful! Say hi to Chris. Do the mines stay cool, in the summer? Maybe he could arrange day-long, back-to-back underground tours from, say Christmas Day to Valentine's. Love, Cami

Lynda on

The blooming whatever looks like a rhododendron. I have read that they grow there.

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