I reached this slow point in the road today and thought : How apt.

I have reached a slow point because it is just too darn hot.

It might only be veering between 30 and 35 degrees celsius (usually quite manageable for me) but somehow it seems hotter.

Years ago I went on a driving tour of the outback with some of my friends from university and I remember meeting some people from England who were terrified of the Australian landscape. Not because it looks particularly grim or austere or even stark. But the length and breadth of it, the vastness, the preternatural, dreamlike form of it can be somewhat overwhelming to the uninitiated.

There’s a lot of land out there.

And when it’s high summer and the sky is a dazzling blue, a sparking blue that seems to reach further than you could imagine the sky could reach, the ground you are standing on seems able to do only one thing.

It droops.

You can see it liquefying beneath your feet. A heat haze, a light haze. Silver and gold and translucent blue all at once.

It is as if you are caught in a surrealist painting where unexpected juxtapositions of form and perspective are the norm, where putting one foot in front of the other and ending up where you want to go isn’t always a given. Where you bounce and weave and slide on ground that appeared solid before you started. Where you begin to believe Alice might just have gone down the rabbit hole after all.


The heat does that to you. Eyes straining in the sun. The back of your throat burning, drier than kindling. You want to scream for it to go away, you want to address the enormity of that flashing, flickering, glistering landscape but all you can do is droop.

You droop and you wait for the wind to come.

The southerly.

The blessed southerly, cutting through the heat haze like a scythe.

Sometimes it takes only hours.

Sometimes it takes days.

But when it comes I know one thing for sure.

I’ll be dancing like a sprite in the midst of it.

Possibly naked.

17 thoughts on “DROOP

  1. Gah…30 to 35 celcius? I’d be drooping too! For the past few days here it’s been hovering between MINUS 25 to 30 celcius! I don’t know whats worse, to be so cold exposed skin freezes in minutes or so freakin hot ya sweat just thinking about it!

    We.ve been spoiled here the last couple winters with temps being moderate and not usually below minus 10 or 15. This is southern Ontario but every few years we get either ridiculously low temps or riduculously high temps.

    Give me NORMAL temps of 25 to 28 celcius and I’d be happy. As much as I hate being this cold, the last thing I’d want is to go somewhere where the temps are between 35 and 40 c…Guess it’s all what you become accustomed to.

    In fact, I’d like to live somewhere where it’s 25 celcius all year round!! Is there such a place? If there is please tell me and I’ll start packing!



  2. haha oh yes, get those clothes off, Selma!

    What I loved about Freo was that you had the heat (it was regularly above 35 when we were there) but you also had the breeze off the sea, The Freo Doctor, which made it very pleasant. But then I am, as you know, a heat lover.

    But I understand the fear of the outback. When we were driving up to Coral Bay I kept flicking to look at other sections of the map and all the warnings about what you should carry in your car was enough to scare me off!!

    I so miss those blue skies.


  3. Your description of the outback reminds me of the American Great Plains, West and Southwest. We are used to “a lot of land” so we would be surprised at your English companion’s reaction too. But then, I think we would get a little claustrophobic in the English countryside 😉

    Don’t melt, okay? Take care!


  4. Definitely “Dance”…..and with your clothes off.
    Especially in THAT kind of HEAT!

    We are having the complete opposite weather over here. Brutally cold. I’ve never worn so many layers of clothing in my life!

    So, yes, please…. dance naked in the HEAT – for me!?


  5. Yeah, I’m in the exactly opposite boat. It’s so cold here that I feel locked down. BUT I love the imagery here, as always.

    I mean, NOT the imagery of you dancing naked like a sprite.

    NOT that you dancing naked like a sprite is in any way wrong or bad or weird.

    Sigh. You know what I mean.


  6. Yikes…oh Sel, I feel for you. I am NOT a hot-weather person, give me a snow day, any day. I hope the cool breezes arrive soon, sounds awful. In the meantime, take care, drink lots of water and don’t expect to be as productive as usual. It’s true what they say about watching pets in hot weather, they pace themselves for a reason. We need to learn that too.

    Hugs my dear, G:)

    PS: Ill be back at the blogs soon. I’ve missed blogging. Another new blog up and running too!


  7. Happy Australia Day Selma – so very Australian having such hot weather – brilliant descriptive post as usual – there is something overwhelming about the landscape – something a bit ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’!


  8. Delightful ending! As one who absolutely despises heat (and cold… I’m hard to please), I can so relate to the droopy feeling depicted in your post. Heat makes me wilt, heat with humidity even worse. I feel like the sun has the ability to drain my physical and spiritual batteries, and I avoid it as much as possible in the hot days of summer.


  9. In England, we have a strange phenomenon. When it’s cold … like it is at the moment … the ‘meeja’ report the temperature in Celcius (It’ll drop to -6 tonight, so wrap up warm if you’re going out …) BUT … when it’s hot, they use Fahrenheit … (Temperature in the Upper 90s today; it was actually warmer than it was in Marbella!)

    Still, only 10 days to go till Dubai … shouldn’t be a problem; they tell me the whole city is air-conditioned! 😀


  10. HI CATHY:
    Oh yeah. I’m happy around 28C too. Any warmer is just too much. What seems to have happened in Sydney in recent years is that the humidity is at a higher level. There is almost a tropical component to our climate now. I know it’s unladylike to sweat that we are supposed to ‘glisten’, but in this weather there’s much more sweating than glistening 😆

    Hi MAMA ZEN:
    Hahaha. Don’t worry. I will. Can’t wait :mrgreen:

    Hi RELUCS:
    Oh yes, that Fremantle Doctor is a balm on a hot day. I can put up with the heat when there is a breeze but when there’s nothing……that’s too much.

    The outback can be very intimidating. I mean, people die out there. But if you are well prepared it is a beautiful place. And those skies. Those skies. I’d die for those skies!!

    Oh there is a definite similarity between the outback and the Great American Plains. So vast. So incredible. Quite inspiring. I love both landscapes!!

    Hi MELEAH:
    I didn’t think the naked dancing would catch on so much. Hahaha. Might just have to do it then 😉

    You crack me up. The jury is still out on the naked dancing thing but you never know. Stay tuned….


    Thank goodness you’re back. I have missed you. Your new avatar looks great. You are hot!!!

    Happy belated Aussie Day. I know what you mean about ‘Picnic At Hanging Rock.’ I remember when I first saw that movie it was as if the landscape was a separate character. Very eerie. You are so right about that!

    Hi BRIAN:
    Dancing in the rain or wind is to be highly recommended. We should all do it more often!!!

    Hi JOSIE:
    Wilting is another good way to describe it. If I was a flower I’d be wilting right now. But the cool change is coming, I can feel it!

    That is strange. Wonder how that happened?
    I hear Dubai is very warm. But it is air conditioning central. Stay in the shopping malls and you’ll be fine 😀



  12. I hate the heat and I live in one of the hottest places in the world. So I’m lucky that the last year has been quite bearable as far as temperatures go, plus we had lots more rain than in recent years. I might not be able to fare well in colder climates as I am not used to it but it shouldn’t be so hot that your sheets stick to your thighs as you sleep due to the sweat that pours outta you.


  13. I can handle a dry heat better than humidity. Last September we had a day hit us like a sledgehammer; 98 degrees, with 98% humidity. No one moved quickly, no one could. There was no drying off after a shower, and hanging clothes on the line? They took two days to dry (and even then, we had to toss them in the dryer to get all the moisture out of them).

    I’d dance with you, Selma, although probably not naked. I’m kind of scary when I’m naked. Once all that flesh gets going, it takes a very long time to stop and I’m not always certain where I’ll end up when it does. LOL


  14. Hi ROSHAN:
    I don’t know how you stand the heat in India. Sometimes I see your forecast on the news and I’m all HOLEY MOLEY, that is HOTTT! It must get unbearable at times. I agree about the sheets sticking to you at night. That happens here occasionally. Blech!

    Hi KAREN:
    A dry heat is easier to handle, for sure. I really don’t know how people survive in the tropics. I’ve had days like those 98% humidity ones. It is a freaky thing, isn’t it? I even had notebooks that went all limp. It’s just too much.

    Anyone is welcome to dance naked with me at any time. Hahaha. Believe me, there will be a bit of jiggling on my end too. LOLZ!!!


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