Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Lots of days over 40 degrees

Nora in Brighton on a mild 33-degree day, very interested in a group of birds eating chippies
In the news was that South Australia is experiencing some kind of record in the number of days above 40 degrees, breaking a 117 year old record. I think I can say without doubt that everyone here is completely over the heat. Working is not that bad, in an airconditioned environment. But getting into the car, which is trying to be an oven, is hugely annoying. Airconditioning in the car is fine, but on those days you're still sweating like a pig behind the wheel. And just everything else that you have to do in the heat is annoying really.

Then there are the people who somehow can't resist the urge to lit fires on 'catastrophic fire danger' days. It's the highest possible rating the fire service gives out for certain geographic areas, usually on very hot and very windy days. Schools then close, sportsgrounds too, National Parks, childcare centres, golf courses, etc., everything where members of the public come closes its doors. Residents in those areas are advised to activate their bushfire plan - if they have a plan that is. For a lot of people it means to be alert and on standby, packing a box with much-loved belongings, waiting for a bushfire to happen.

Last Saturday was a catastrophic fire day, it was hot and windy, and sure enough, suddenly four fires in Belair National Park, which is a ten-minute drive away from us. That made us antsy! We followed the news updates, heard that 100 firefighters and seven water-bombing aircraft were deployed to battle the fires, and that at some stage residents at the Southern side of the NP were advised to leave their homes while it was still safe to do so. Luckily the fires were brought under control, didn't cross the road, so no substantial damage and people could return to their homes.

I played golf the next day, as a cool change set in that night, so we had a great breather after such a sweltering couple of days. Finally a good day to get out and about. In my golf group were three ladies who had been really anxious the day before, and one of them got evacuated, and the other two more or less fled their homes and spent the day in a cool shopping centre and at the movies. Being confronted with the possibility of losing your house and garden isn't really what makes people happy. And they were still quite nervous, because we're only halfway the bushfire season, which ends the end of April.

While I'm writing this I'm sitting in my lovely airconditioned study, while outside the temperature is around the 40 degrees, again. But...we're in for a cool change tomorrow, and... rain! Can't wait to do a rain-dance. The people battling a bushfire that has been going for more than three weeks now in the Southern Flinders Ranges, will be dancing too, I'm sure. Cool in this case means 30-ish degrees. Funny how we adjust, because when we had our first day of 30 degrees in October or something, we, new mums, cancelled a trip to the beach as it would be too hot for our babies!

Nora out and about with Age while I played golf. Eating cheese.