We are having a heatwave in Sydney. 35C. 38C. 41C.
It’s too hot to think. Too hot to type. Too hot to focus.
The heat is everywhere – in the cupboards, running along the tops of skirting boards, lying dormant on apple skins that sizzle when you bite into them.
The washing on the line is stiff with sunlight. All except the pillowcases which billow in the middle – stuffed with heat like ravioli.
The water is hot when it comes out of the tap. Of the cold tap. The pot plants singe and wilt. Birds chatter half-heartedly. Lizards bask smugly.
Everywhere you look children are eating ice-creams, ice-blocks, plunging into bags of ice if they could. They eat as quickly as they can before the fragile ice is claimed by the heat and they are covered by a sticky, warm syrup.
People nod in the street. There is camaraderie to be found in this heat. Some purse their lips and exhale. Some wipe their brow in a mock gesture of suffering. The larrikins ask the age-old question as only Aussies can: ‘Hot enough for ya?’
Hotter than Hades
Too Darn Hot
Everything applies in this landscape overladen with sulphur light and cerulean sky, flawless as glass.
When the cool change is coming is the only topic discussed. Economic malaise is forgotten as we sit with the fan on full blast, glued to the weather channel, looking for a sign of the longed for southerly wind.
The wind starts at twilight. The curtains rustle like leaves. There is a sigh shared by man, bird, tree alike. We know what is coming – the cool southerly change, sliding over the garden wall like a child seeking to retrieve a lost ball.
Sometimes the southerly teases. Stays for an hour, then leaves as the heat pushes back through. But this time, this time, the wind is staying, a cool hand on a fevered brow.
The floorboards creak. The air in the living room thins. We stand in the garden, flapping our arms like crazy, oversized birds and revel in the glory of it.