Goodbye to Summer

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA It’s the official end of summer this week. As we slip from February into March, we leave behind long summer evenings, endless meals of salad, sun dresses and trips to the beach. The air has a definite autumn tinge to it now, and I’m getting used to the idea of soon being cold, probably getting a cold, and not eating cold things because it’s too cold to fancy them.

March means a bit more than this though. March is a completely crazy time in Adelaide. We have the Clipsal 500 motor racing this weekend. This entails a whole portion of the city centre being shut down, so cars can race around the streets in a mad frenzy. Traffic is gridlocked throughout the remaining roads, the noise of the race can be heard for miles – like a swarm of bees in an endless loop – and we have big fighter jets flying over our house when the race starts. There are also lots of fat men in ‘Team Holden’ shirts wandering around the city, drinking beer.

Side-by-side with the rev heads is the artistic side of our city. We have the Adelaide Fringe Festival, which means a lot of alternative performers are in town (= circus people, people who are not afraid of heights, and magicians). We have the Adelaide Festival (deep and meaningful theatre and operatic performances, which are really boring, long and super expensive). We have Writers Week, where people get to sit around under trees in a park, listening to authors talk about their books (but not me yet. Still an unknown on the local scene as I am only published overseas. Oh yeah, and I’m not famous). And last, but not least, we have Womadelaide. This is an international music festival held in a big park, so there is a lot of batik clothing, scruffy sandals and vegan/vegetarian food around. Three weeks from now, it will all be over, and the city will be just quiet, little old Adelaide for another year.

So Jane, are you out every night, being entertained, I hear you ask? Well, no. And there are reasons. Firstly, I’ve finished my latest novel, and have sent it off to the publisher. I’m too nervous to be around other writers at the moment, so that’s the Writer’s Week out of the way. Secondly, I am learning aerial hoop (that’s not me in the above picture, still not quite that thin, but that’s a hoop), so I don’t need to go to the Fringe Festival to see other people doing stuff much better than me. As for the Adelaide Festival, well, you’d have to pay me to go and see anything in that Festival, and I hate public loos, so Womadelaide is out of the question. Lastly, I can hear the Clipsal 500 from my house, and I can see it on TV, so I don’t need to venture out to that either.

We shall see what March/autumn brings our way. Next blog post, I shall share some autumn recipes, because frankly, I’m done with the summer stuff. Until then, enjoy the change of seasons, wherever you are in the world.

Summer in the City

photo-90 A big truck rolled up outside my house today. I was inside, doing housework on a 43 degree day (110F). At first, I thought ‘oh my Lord, my muse has got me a smart car for Valentine’s Day!!’ In fact, it was a new neighbour moving in next door and this was the truck with all his stuff in it.

photo-89Things got a bit hairy when I realised they were trying to back down the lane beside my house. Please note, that’s my car they are just about squashing!! I went out into the street, dressed in a completely inappropriate outfit (pole dancing shorts with not enough fake tan on my legs to go anywhere in this getup), only to find out that my new neighbour is a really nice guy, who works as a nurse too (although I’m not sure if he is a writer as well). I think they put a big scratch on my car, but I can’t prove it…

‘What’s the point of this post Jane?’ I hear you saying. Well, there isn’t any point to the above story. However, here are my top five fabulous features of a heatwave! Cos I can’t listen to anymore whinging about the heat, including my own voice banging on in my head. Here’s a photo of me wearing a jumper, which makes me nostalgic… Although one of my ferrets caught their nail in this said cardi, and it ended up in the rubbish bin.

photo-87I’m trying to return to my zen zone, instead of ‘my body is about to spontaneously combust and I’m ready to kill you’ zone.


1) You can wash ANYTHING in this heat, and it will dry. I could drag my king sized mattress out onto a plastic mat on the back lawn, spray the whole thing with water, drench it in sheep dip, and leave it to dry. It would be done in an hour.

2) You can ditch the diet. During a heatwave, no one has the strength for discipline. Lemonade, chilled beer, red wine, chips and anything else your body fancies are allowed. After all, losing all that sweat is bound to create some sort of electrolyte imbalance. The same excuse can be used to ditch your exercise routine.

3) If you get grumpy, you can blame it on the heat. I like to stand over the hot stove, with a face like a beetroot, yelling things at the TV, that normally I couldn’t get away with. My muse knows to leave well alone.

4) You are stuck inside all day. Even going out to the washing line for five minutes can result in heatstroke (but the washing is dry in 20 minutes), so there is no excuse not to get on with all those creative projects you would normally do in winter.

5) You can throw all your dishes into the cupboard dripping with water, because they will dry themselves in about 30 seconds. In fact, you can stand under the shower fully dressed and soak all your clothes, then go for a stroll up the road to the shops. You will be dry by the time you get there!

So there we have it. Time for bed, and if I wake up baked in my own sweat at 2am, at least I have the Winter Olympics to cool me down!