Thursday: 37 degrees.
Friday: 37 degrees.
Saturday: 37 degrees.
Sunday: 37 degrees.
Monday: 37 degrees.
Tuesday: 37 degrees...
You get the picture. It's been a bit of a baptism by fire, but we are coping. I've had some more singing and piano students sign up - mainly singers - and I now have twenty music students looking forward to beginning the school year with a new music tutor. In the meantime, we've organised ourselves with some food, tidied up the house a bit, updated our address on a few things, and bought bits and pieces we needed, like a hose end and a proper sunhat (one the size of a small continent). I was, I thought, quite sensible, and I bought some compression bandages in case of a snake bite.
To my surprise, it doesn't seem that many people think about this. Someone told me at coffee this morning that I was probably more prepared than many of the people in town. I'm also probably a deal more jumpy. Every time I'm gardening and something moves, I jump about a mile. But hey, what's life without a little excitement and heart failure? Haven't seen a snake yet, so that's all good. A number of different things have bitten me so far, but I always wake up in the morning, so that's positive too. And I tell myself that if I die, I die. The gardening still needs to be done.
So much for that.
By the way, we've had more experiences with the ants. They were in church this past Sunday. Michael and I were sitting there trying to surreptitiously slap them to death while they crawled all over our feet and nipped us between our toes during the long prayer. After the service, I took the bull by the horns and said to someone:
"Look, this might sound weird to you, but I was wondering - do you guys notice the ants?"
"Funny you should say that," one of the ladies said. "One of them got in my clothes this morning and bit me on the hip! There are rather a lot of them. Probably time to get the pest man in."
I felt relieved that we weren't the only ones.
Michael and I took our kayak to the Weir the other night. Now, I might not have mentioned that Michael got a Grab One deal before we left New Zealand and bought a well-priced inflatable kayak. This also meant that we were fifteen kilograms over our weight limit for the airport when travelling, but hey, you have to live a little. We left some academic books behind in New Zealand. No big deal. We'll get them again soon.
Anyway, we took the kayak to the Weir and inflated it while a bunch of cowboy-hatted Australian men watched us from their bench with fascination. No wonder. Everyone around here has a massive four-wheel drive. No need for an inflatable kayak. You could fit a boat inside.
Inflating the kayak was more exercise than kayaking itself. Michael had wanted to take the dog with us in the kayak, which I wasn't sure was such a good idea. She was shaking in terror. Michael promised to take her on his lap, and off we finally went (although not before a tree branch laden with our favourite flesh-eating ants collapsed on the kayak while Michael was blowing it up - insert frantic killing here). After a shaky start, we started to enjoy ourselves. The Weir was beautiful, and we entered some shaded areas of the waterway, where the ghost gum trees stood like sentinels on one side and the fully-leaved eucalyptus trees stretched their parrot-laden branches over us. Peyton kept trying to get out, which worried Michael and I because the last time we'd tried to take her swimming she had nearly drowned.
We made it safely around the Weir and glided back to the bank, where we placed our kayak under a gum tree and prayed more ants wouldn't rain down on it. Then we went for a swim. You know how in New Zealand water, it can be really difficult to get all the way in when you're swimming? For me, it's often a real effort. Anyway, we felt nothing but relief once we got right into the water. We felt adventurous and decided to test whether Peyton could swim once and for all. We passed her between ourselves, and to our surprise, she swam rather well. Although, every time she glimpsed the shore behind us, she started determinedly heading for that and kept paddling in the air even when she was picked up. She still seems terrified of water. (This explains bath times completely.)
Anyway, these are our adventures to date. I need to finish up shortly so that I can write more on my book and steel myself to walk the dog. People keep asking me if I've melted yet. They mustn't realise the stamina Kiwis in the Outback can have...