Here in Adelaide we are in the midst of an unbelievable heat wave. I remember November as being mostly pleasant days in the mid 20's (no, not my age, silly..... the temperature, in centigrade!) This November has been 2 weeks of temperatures from 37 - tomorrow's 43C!
I had an email from Maggie saying Bob and I are thinking date palms, saltbush and goats for next summer!!!! Being lateral thinkers with not much in the way of traditions, we Australians think nothing of mixing together all of history and geography and coming up with something to suit our situation!
My reply said....I might take up camel riding and take tours of the Semaphore sand dunes.... stopping at oases filled with date palms and pomegranates.... looking for mirages, mermaids and naked nymphs.... and finish by visiting unshaven Arabs in beach tents, drinking strong Farmers Union Iced coffee!
Tonight on the beach it was so so beautiful; a light cool breeze coming across the sea, sailing boats dotted about, families and dogs walking and paddling and a few swimming. Everyone smiling and relaxed; lots of tails wagging. The sky was wild with clouds; some high. some lower, some dark, some white, some fluffy, some streaky and then, ever so slowly, the sun slid down and down towards a gap near the horizon and just before I left, the sun broke through. The whole world turned to liquid gold. The people with fishing lines on the jetty were a silhouette, painted onto a golden sea.
Nature truly excelled herself, as if to say.... here I am putting on a show for you tonight so don't be angry tomorrow, when I rage with fire and wind and turn into a hellish furnace of furious heat.
It is no wonder Adelaide has been one place, on this busy and crowded earth, where people have revelled in a relaxed and care free lifestyle, not caring much for showiness or greed. What more could you need than an evening walk on the beach and a BBQ out the back in the garden? Stretched out along more than 50kms of coastline, none of the million or so people are very far from the sea or a sea view. For most of the year life is very much an outside affair.
But you cannot walk on the beach when the sand burns your feet, the sun blisters your skin, the glare blinds your eyes and the air is too hot and dry even to talk.
What is going to happen to good old Adelaide if the shocking temperatures we keep having even so early in summer keep killing our food gardens, drying up our water supplies, destroying businesses and agriculture, making tempers fray and turning our city of green spaces into a city of dust and destruction?