Monday, December 20, 2010

Australian Empathy

Such is the empathy that Australia feels for those northern countries currently frozen and blizzarded (!), we have had a foot of snow falling in our 'Alpine' areas this week, in Summer. Where normally, I would be escaping the heat and self-medicating in the long hot evening with a measured, controlled and manageable quantity of beer, instead I am now enjoying something red and much more hearty. A Merlot from New Zealand actually- and I have to say it is quite different from Australian Merlot, more akin to our Cabernet, or even maybe some of the softer shirazes with lovely colour and long complicated flavours. It's from Oyster bay in NZ.

This summer we have been under the influence of some hot air generated over near South America that has generated what is called a 'la Nina ' pattern, bringing tropical moisture right down the eastern coast to Victoria, and quite exceptional rainfall. After more than a decade of drought, in part because of the effects of the opposite South American phenomenon, the 'El Nino' which seems to have been a regular visitor since the 1990's, we are reveling in the rain, but some crops are ruined again in the process. Some communities are flooded too. And when we get a change, the Southerly brings an icy blast from Antarctica, and Winter conditions in Summer.

The upshot is (for the purposes of this blog, anyway) that my paint is not drying on the hull, and I'm drinking winter wine, and the shed fairies that might have dried the paint are off helping Santa, although I heard a rumour their flights north have been cancelled, so why the hell haven't they stayed in my shed?

So Steve, I can't compete with the splendid photos of a white Christmas in Plymouth, but we are doing our best to get cold in sympathy.


  1. ah - the winter snows - damn near killed me and the family as we drove up the last steep hill to my parents - the hire car (i burned the clutch out on the otehr!) slipping and sliding sideways crab like!
    and then we went skiing in Italy!!!!!!!! gluttons for punishment in snow
    you enjoy your hot times robert.....we are longing for it here !

    Annie is looking fantastic; I'm about to organise my copy of the book in next couple of weeks - very much looking forward to gettinghold of it
    take care


  2. Cheers Steve- a book is already on its way to you!