28 January 2013

Heatwave!


For evidence, see the front page of today's Dominion Post, which reported that the capital was enjoying an all-too-rare burst of proper summer weather and the thermometer was tipped to scale the heady heights of 26 degrees today. It certainly felt like it out at lunchtime. This naturally sent Wellingtonians slightly mental, like all those deathly pale people in England who march out of the house in singlet tops when the sky clears, the sun comes out and the dial exceeds about 12 degrees, or the ladies in central London who work on their tan at lunchtime in the middle of a jam-packed city park. You have to hand it to them, it takes a lot of commitment and forethought to bring your swimsuit into the West End and don it without self-consciousness.

It's kind of sweet that we're getting so excited about such a modest heatwave. (The paper called it that, so I can too). After all, 26 degrees would hardly be noteworthy in northern climes like Auckland, and in Australia or even hotter lands it would be considered a trifling, mild day. (Tomorrow's forecast for Marble Bar, Western Australia: sunny, high of 42 degrees).  Here in Wellington it's a civic event, and normal standards of decorum are thrown out forthwith. Yesterday was first time I've ever seen someone wearing a bikini top in Courtenay Place. This gave rise to two thoughts: 1) This is *Wellington* - what was she thinking? What happens when the sun goes behind a cloud? (Doctor: "What seems to be the problem, miss?" Woman: "It's my front, doctor. It froze off"), and 2) Has she never seen the 'togs togs undies' ad?

I suppose it's just that we're so used to being downtrodden by the Wellington climate that any time we're able to truly cut loose and enjoy the sort of summer that everyone else seems to enjoy, things get a little unhinged. The whole 'you can't beat Wellington on a good day' is absolutely true; and in any case because I've lived in Wellington for less than 10 years in total I don't qualify as a proper Wellingtonian and am therefore not permitted to make any critical judgements about the qualities of the climate or the lack thereof. It's just that if we're honest, we tend not to expect many good days and when they do come around the diem must well and truly be carpe'd.
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