Right now, in ice-bound Siberia, frozen Russians are trapped inside their homes enviously watching footage of Australia’s soaring temperatures and rampaging bushfires, and I’ll bet they’re drooling icicles, aka: droolcicles.
Meanwhile, here in Gladstone, the Summer sun blazes down while the humid northerly winds are pushing more hot air over our city than a politician’s picnic. It’s been so hot lately that the chooks have started laying hard boiled eggs.
And the weather report might as well be a recorded message: “Fine and hot, with a chance of showers.” Now, for those of you new to our city, the chance of us actually getting those showers at the moment are slightly less than your chances of winning Lotto, having a meteorite smack into your house, or finding a missing sock in the laundry basket; it’s not impossible, but it’s highly unlikely.
So this summer I’ve spent quite a lot of time hammering water into my gardens in an attempt to keep at least a few plants alive. As a result, my front lawn looks like an oasis amid the brown footpaths of my neighbours, which also means I’m the only idiot in my street still having to mow.
And last weekend, while Long Suffering Wife hung out our washing, I fired up my trusty mower, and as I waited for it to stop coughing thick, oily clouds of 2-stroke smoke all over our freshly washed clothes and surrounding neighbourhood, I wandered over to the fence to tip the coal dust out of my rain gauge. Through a gap in the palings I saw a parched ‘roo standing in the nearby bush waving a ‘Please Shoot Me!’ sign.
That did it.
Shutting off the mower, I wheeled it back into the shed, made my way into the house and cranked up the air-con settings to ‘Arctic’. As I passed Long Suffering Wife, who was now angrily unpegging her oil spattered washing, I muttered, “I’ll mow later, when it cools down a bit.”
Possibly sometime in May.