They promised 40 degrees for yesterday, and it only reached 38, for which I was pathetically thankful. They promised 39 degrees for today, and it only reached 37 before plummeting rapidly to 27, and I was grateful again. Right now the sun is slipping behind the airconditioning unit on the roof of the house across the road and it is stiiilllllll 27 degrees but so humid I feel like I've just finished my shift in the dumpling kitchen, crossed the laneway to my nightjob in the Korean bathhouse, and been asked to steam some towels above a big steamy towel-steaming vat. No dumplings, though, and not many laneways or Korean bathhouses. The humidity was my point. It's the sort of weather about which I'll cheerfully whinge.
I've been buttonholing wedding guests everywhere I go this Summer and telling them how cool and glorious this water-water-everywhere Summer has been. The floods are awful (I've said), in the awesome way of nature going slam and killing people and ripping animals out of their paddocks and ruining crops and sinking houses and giving rise to locust plagues, but (let us speak not of these matters, or of what it means that the Pacific ocean is evaporating a thousand swimming pools a second, or of the cyclone bearing down on Queensland right now) the rain! the rain! Melbourne's reservoirs are now 53.9% full (pathetically grateful), and, here at the Lalorium, we have planted peaches and a nectarine, an apple, tomatoes, beans, corn, mint, oregano, lemon balm, lemon grass, a lemon tree, a lime, roses, and honesty, chives, nasturtiums, lamb's ear, rosemary, garlics, and echium, cat mint, harebells, cosmos, a persimmon, a wee little Adriatic white fig, daisies, English box, a buddleja, pinks, lychnis, statice, lavender, kangaroo paws, gaura, pineapple guavas, sunflowers, brachycome, a bilbergia, rhubarb, crepe myrtle, thyme, sea holly, Vietnamese mint, and cotinas, and everything has survived, on rain and the odd slosh of pre-loved bathwater. Even the stupid grass, which hasn't had the luxury of sloshes of pre-loved bathwater, is green and sproingy like the grasses of my childhood oop north. The only things that have died - an alpine daisy, a fifteen centimetre high giant feather grass and a $5 flea market rose of uncertain parentage - died of too much water and/or of being sat on by cats.
So, as I say, I'm whinging cheerfully, because everything's coming up dandelions (here), and this sudden onset of swimming-around-in-a-big-pond-of-warm-elderberry-soup is nothing to the hot-and-deathly of two years ago.
I've gone a little potty over being able to grow things. Saw a giant fat thistle on my walk to the shops the other week, and managed, with the assistance of ye google, to diagnose it as a cardoon. My resourceful mum pointed me to a two fat ladies' recipe for cardoons, and I promptly inveigled the sidekick to accompany me on a cardoon-pilfering expedition by dark of night. We severed a few roots trying to dig it up, and it's now hovering on the brink of existence, between two slowly decomposing piles of horse poo, which poo is further evidence of my garden pottiness. There's a personage 30km up the road giving out free faeces, see. She's struck up a monthly appointment with me and I'm now her official manure-remover. I look forward to many conversations like this one:
Fellow garden enthusiast: Duuuude. This is seriously good shit, dude.
Me: Totally, dude. Like, shit.
Which is to say, got any spare poo, or veggie seeds, or raspberry canes, I'm your man.