I thought that coming home, and finding spring had arrived, would make me feel positive, enthusiastic about summer. But I’m not. That could be because of a general post-holiday malaise, or because I’m still laid low with a cold after two weeks, or because I’m not sure what the future holds for me. But I actually think it’s because I’ve just had six weeks of summer. Apart from two days in France, when temperatures dropped, I spent five full weeks in summer weather. Five weeks when – during the day at least – I didn’t have to worry about whether I would be cold. Five weeks when getting back to an air-conditioned hotel room was bliss. Five weeks when I wished I could take off my sensible walking shoes and jeans, and soak in the nearest fountain/river/Aegean/Adriatic to cool off. Five weeks of wearing sunglasses, sunscreen and hats, and being paranoid about sunburn and skin cancer. Five weeks when being hot and, to be frank, sweaty was the norm.
And so, I was oddly pleased to come back and find that we were experiencing typical spring weather – longer nights but still with cool days, the occasional ferocious wind, and several days of rain. Wanting to be inside to stay cosy and warm was kind of nice after the heat. The sound of rain on our roof was kind of nice after all that unrelenting sun. Cloud and gloom and soft light was kind of nice after the harsh brightness of sun on marble in Greece and Turkey. The grass is always greener, right?
But I was only away for six weeks. What’s wrong with me? Why was I so ungrateful for the perfect weather we experienced on our holiday? Well, actually, in a Wellington summer, it is rare to get five weeks of non-stop hot weather, without rain. Rare? OK, I concede, it is probably unheard of to have five weeks of non-stop hot weather in Wellington. We get good weather in 2-10 day increments. So you can perhaps understand that, in some ways, I feel as if I have already had summer. In some ways, I am envying IB and Deloney writing about frost and snow. So actually, I’m not ready for summer yet. Our fickle spring can continue for a few weeks longer, temperatures can stay low till December if the weather gods so decree, just so I can fully appreciate summer when it arrives.
I wrote that yesterday. It was warm-ish and sunny. I was feeling curmudgeonly. Today, it is even warmer and sunnier. And as I traipsed into the chemist to get my antibiotics and pain-killers for my persistent sore throat, I felt the sun on my face and smiled. Yes, spring has sprung. And maybe that’s not so bad after all!