I love to talk about the weather. Before the girls came along Al and I would convene in front of the news each night to discuss the weather report: it didn't seem as hot as that; it was definitely colder than that this morning; negative two tomorrow, that's cold ... Like Paul Simon says, "All the news I need to know is on the weather report".
This week weather talk has been a variation on the theme of 'cold':
Monday, it was 0 degrees when I arrived at work.
Tuesday, gales and downpours soaked me to the skin as I walked with my umbrella.
Wednesday morning I walked to work in the dark, smog and mist all around - bleak and beautiful.
Thursday morning my ungloved fingers stopped working before I had listened to the first song on my ipod.
Friday, well I'm not out of the house yet but Lucy just went out to the garden and then came straight back in again, a certain sign it is COLD, COLD, COLD.
I don't mind the winters down here - coming from Queensland I find the mists and the smoke and the frosts romantic. And hanging above my desk at work is this picture, shooting a bolt of heat into each day:
This was my garden in the first home of my own. It's still my favourite. It was built in a drained in-ground pool, surrounded by mango trees, with a vacant block at the back. At times the area felt almost deserted, despite being filled with high density housing. It was lush: a forest of basil hip high, lemon grass, chillis, eggplants and zuchinnis, a lime tree and other bits and pieces popped in among the marigolds. Even with bold and ravenous possums there was food to spare - I'd gather massive bouquets of herbs and spices for my friends. It was a time and place of plenty.
I remember the morning I took this photo. The bottle is the remnant of the night before, when a friend and I sat at the table talking for hours, drinking and tossing grapes into each other's mouth (now I think: choking hazard!). Such a luxury, all that time, though I took it utterly for granted then.
Some things don't change, no matter what the weather or the era. Looking closely, I see that even then, I had planted four zuchinni plants for my single person household. I also notice that plants are scattered everywhere: there was just one big bed and much of it was self-seeded. I moved away from that approach into the more rigid rotational system I've been working with over the last years, but now I'm coming back to that looseness and faith once again.