Week 2 of Listmania. This week Deb over at Home Life Simplified has asked us to think about the current season where we are and share our highs and lows, loves and hates.
I’m going to start with the highs.
- Glorious sunny days. Sunshine and blue skies and cheeky summer breezes. The smell of sunscreen on your skin. Classy shades to shield your eyes. Big floppy hats to create your own shade zone. Sandy feet and cool refreshing water. Queensland has some absolutely fantastic summer days.
- Green stuff everywhere. (Well, at least until it gets too hot and turns sunburnt brown :-P) Love how green our yard looks after a summer storm. From my window I can see the shiny dark green mango trees. The poinciana trees explode with bright red flowers in amongst their tiny mid-green leaves. On afternoons when the sky is purple with a brewing thunderstorm the contrasting greenness of our street is simply stunning.
- Christmas. One of the perks of being in Australia is having a Summer Christmas. For us it’s usually a casual lunch affair with family, lots of salads and cold meats, then afterwards thick juicy slices of watermelon that taste summer sweet and drip down your chin. The day wouldn’t be complete without a dip in the pool, or a post-lunch water fight, and then a few lazy beers before dinner.
- Back To School. The school year starts in late January in Australia and the back to school sales start right after Boxing Day. So much stationery to look at! It’s my favourite sale of the whole year. As well as all that stationery, there’s the excitement of starting a new study year. This year was even more exciting with the little man starting Kindy last week. While his “book list” was more about equipment and clothing than books, we still had a great time filling it.
- Less clothes. Yay for t-shirts and shorts weather! Not just because of the extra freedom you feel when you’re not layered down with warm winter woolies (okay, that is a big part of it), but because it significantly reduces my laundry load size and that means I have more time for other stuff and that’s a truly awesome thing
- The heat and humidity. Some days you step out the door into air so hot and humid it feels like moving through thick soup. It saps your energy and leaves your clothes wet with perspiration. On the really muggy still nights you end up too uncomfortable to sleep.
- Mango season. This would be a summer love for a lot of people, but I look out at our back yard at the moment and it is littered with the half-eaten (and now rotting) mango carcasses left by the fruit bats and the birds. I absolutely hate the smell of mangoes. Yard clean up at this time of year is a horrible horrible thing. (We’ve been lucky all up though, since 2004 we’ve only had 3 really big mango crops. Every other year the hail storms have taken out the buds before the mangoes could grow.)
- Snakes. We’ve been on snake watch all summer, with a number of dangerous ones spotted close to home. Each year the heat brings them out, and since the 2011 floods they’ve been popping up in the strangest places. It worries me more nowadays, with the little man often outside playing in the yard. We’ve tried to “snake proof” him as much as possible, but you still worry.
- Creepy Crawlies. Too many insect pests in summer, including copious amounts of flies. They’re everwhere! Even the screens on the house don’t succeed in keeping them out. The same goes for the mozzies, pesky little blood suckers that descend on us every evening. Prior to ex-tropical cyclone Oswald arriving our kitchen became an ant highway as they made their way to higher ground. The wall inside the back door looked like it was decorated with a moving black zig zig for a while there. Now that the rain is here they have all suddenly disappeared. Wasps are another problem. The native wasps aren’t too bad, but the big stingy ones that sometimes get into the house and float lazily around the living room can be worrying. And lastly, the Christmas Beetles. I actually like the buzzy little fellows, but some nights there’s only so much buzzing and head-butting at the window screens you can take.
- Floods, and a little too much rain. As I type this Ipswich is again flooded, and flooding further. They expect it to peak between 6pm and midnight tonight and that it will reach 15 metres in the CBD (it reached 19.5 metres in 2011). Many other parts of Queensland are also flooded and areas like Bundaberg and Maryborough are in a really bad way. We’re fine, our block is well above the 1974 floodline, but we’re worried about friends in lower areas who have been affected and have had to evacuate their homes today. Hopefully it’s mostly just precaution and they’ll all be able to return to intact houses in a day or so.