Saturday, February 14, 2004

Some don't like it hot

There is a little coolth in the breeze. I am sitting on the balcony watching the soft pink and mauve sunset colors over the sea and little Seal Island. It is very quiet. People have come down to the water's edge to walk and paddle - seeking relief after the day's heat. They are subdued and glad to be outside. Glad to feel the soft, cool water and glad that the sun has gone away. It was 44 degrees down here - and hotter in the city. The hottest February day on record. Doing the morning shopping was slow. The heat seemed to sear the skin. Air conditioners laboured in the stores. By noon, most people had gone home to sit under fans or airconditioners. We did. Put the fans on full and lay about reading. Passive is the only way to go. But still the sweat poured from our bodies and, late afternoon, we decided to go and lie in the shallow waters of the reef. The water was not cold, but it was cooling. We wallowed happily like old seals. There were a couple of children squealing and playing at the water's edge - but otherwise the beach was deserted. No one fishing from the jetty, either. Just too hot for man and beast.
But now, with delicate pink streaks in the sky and a darkening blue beginning to merge with the hues of the sea, dogs are being walked and cars are coming to let their people out for the magic sea breeze. It's bedtime for the birds. Galahs and lorikeets are shrilling and squawking over their territory in the old Norfolk Island pines and everyone is glad that night, finally, has rescued us from the sun's brutal strength.

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