Strange Summer

Going through my fifth Summer in Perth, I thought I have seen it all. By now, a conclusion can be made - No Summer in Perth is the same. It is amusing how many times I find myself writing about Summer over the years. It intrigues me, in mostly bad ways I must say. Summer is the cross-year season that bids a year goodbye and welcome a new one. The locals think it is a good idea to take the opportunity to have a long layoff from work since year-end holidays and hot summer weather coincides. Thus, many companies here practice "shutdowns" and close for business from Christmas Eve (or earlier) to the first (some 2nd or third) week of the New Year.

Taking a long block leave may make sense during the festive sessions but avoiding the heat probably not quite. Though we experience a very hot Christmas most of the time, Summer tends to be the most intense in its finale month, February. That is why I will tell all my friends never to consider coming here in Summer, such as Angie mama who contemplated bringing kids along since her husband is coming for a short course in Perth next week.

Having said that, this Summer is unique like the previous. Last week, we experienced three cold days. I had to actually put on an extra layer of clothing when I went to work. One of those morning was only 7 degrees Celcius on my records. That could have been brought upon by the cyclone that hits the towns a few hundred kilometres north of Perth the week before. I was secretly delighted with that cold 3 days and the rest of the week as it slowly heat back up again. I was hoping, but not deluded that Summer may be over much earlier this year. Of course, this cannot be possible with another month to go before we can finally breathe easy. Before that we will have to deal with a possibly record breaking heat wave that comes next week.

The forecast doesn't look good. From memory, I have not experienced a single week with so many consecutive days over 38 degrees. There is no telling from the week's forecast if it will be coming down after the 7th day too. Worse, I have experienced so many days where the temperature ended up a few degrees higher than the forecast. It looks like if we crack a few eggs and spread out bacon slices in the morning and place the tray in our car, we will be enjoying a hearty cooked meal by lunch time. Free heat fully sponsored. It is the kind of situation you wish you have some solar panels installed.

Other than the obvious discomfort of the heat, the other reason why Summer pisses me off so much is the cost incur to cope with it. The other 9 months of Perth living are absolutely perfect. We do not use any temperature regulating appliances in other seasons. Even during Winter, we do not switch on the heater or use a electric blanket. We have only a tiny hand held heater in the bathroom to prevent the kids from catching a chill during the fuss. In fact, we know the refrigerator can be switch off for a few hours without compromising on the internal temperature at all during Winter.

When Thus brought up the prospect of installing solar panels, it got me interested. There are a lot of nitty gritty things to sort out before a decision can be made. Perhaps in the long run, it actually makes Summer much more affordable to handle.