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Summer!

Summer finally arrived in Wellington last week. This often happens – we don’t get a stretch of decent weather until after Christmas. We had a lot of warm/hot (for us) days when staying with my sister. The heat there was humid, and it was hot and sticky. My husband and I wilted a little in the heat, as does my sister. Swims were welcome. But needless to say, we were pleased to get home to a chilly night to sleep easily!

A few days after we arrived home, we drove over the hill on New Year’s Day for a gathering enjoying a hot (30+C/ 86+F) but very gorgeous afternoon of food and wine and croquet. Much more civilised than a party the night before! And a return trip is scheduled.

But the temperatures warmed up last week, and we had wonderful days, and thankfully, cooler nights. Everything felt summery. We’ve had three barbecues in one week, which is about two more than we had the whole of last summer! Given the stable temperatures and lack of wind, I even planned a barbecue and meal to be eaten outside on the deck knowing that my niece and her family were visiting Wellington on the same night as my sister and her family were staying the night. But we were told the wrong night. No problem, we said, and we shifted our plans by a day. But in Wellington, oh, what a difference a day makes!

The temperatures plummeted, and my sister and family – who had swum in Lake Taupo on their drive down – arrived and immediately started shivering, and went looking for jeans and sweatshirts. (The South Islanders were fine!) Then it started raining. I should have made a big curry, I thought, as we looked at cooking all the food in the oven rather than on the barbecue. Fortunately, a break in the weather gave the Husband time to go cook everything outside, with help from the Great-Nephew and step-Great-Nephew. The rest of us stayed inside in the warm!

Weather in New Zealand is nothing if not changeable. Weather in Wellington is changeable, but with smaller temperature variations. I read or heard somewhere recently that long-term Wellington residents develop a narrow temperature tolerance – about five degrees either side of 15C (60F). That’s not a total exaggeration, I have to say! Today, though, we’ve had a lovely 23C (74F) which is about the perfect summer temperature to me, the windows are all open, and the birds are chirping in the trees. I’d better finish this, because I think a drink on the deck might be calling to me. And who knows, it might be too cold tomorrow!

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It’s summer. It’s late December between Christmas and New Year. I’m with family. Normal transmission shall resume later this week.

Some snaps from the last few days:

Our view at dinner tonight
Dinner at the beach
A Christmas Day walk
My swimming spot yesterday
Christmas Eve sunset
A tui

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My brother-in-law stayed again on Sunday night, after a week fishing and yachting in the Marlborough Sounds and Cook Strait, to pick up his car and drive home the next day. It had been a nice day, and was a beautiful evening, so for the first time this spring we ventured out onto our deck with a pre-dinner drink. It was warm with no wind and clear blue skies, the sun low in the sky, its light catching the oak leaves in the tree just behind us and turning them a vibrant green.

Above us, in the pine trees which are laden with pine cones and not too many leaves, the tui were chirping and clacking, and flying around wildly. It’s “that” season so the males were competitively chasing each other, in and out of the trees, weaving through the branches and out into the open air, then straight back into the trees again. One landed in a branch just a metre behind me, which was a real treat, and another dive-bombed BIL and I (or so it felt), making us duck in shock. Luckily, we didn’t spill our drinks, so the pleasure of the evening continued.

When are you going to join me on my deck?

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