It's hot in Melbourne.
It's only the early days of summer, but as always in this fair city, the first few days of summer knock us for six and leave us wondering, Is it always this hot so early? Surely it wasn't like this last year? Imagine what February will be like... and so on.
It's not actually that hot - I know - but it is humid, which is awful. Makes everything hotter.
I have to get used to the heat every year. I've been the same since I was a kid - useless at handling the heat.
At home I wander round opening windows and turning up the evaporative cooling, changing my clothes, swigging water and looking for something to fan myself with; my husband wanders round behind me turning down the cooling (or even turning it off - when he dares) while smirking at my suffering like the cruel heat-tolerant person he is.
When I was in my twenties I lived in Greece over 3 summers, working morning, day and evening seven days a week from May to October each year. I never got used to the heat in August. I remember walking the ten minutes to my house in the next village one year, literally and pathetically sobbing from the heat.
But May, June and September were gorgeous - mild, dry heat that even I could sit outside in. In Italy and Greece I discovered the joy of the beach.
As a child in Melbourne I didn't like the beach, hated the inescapable, burning heat, the march flies, the sand that got everywhere, the crashing surf, the inevitable sunburn, and the fact that everyone except me seemed content to stay there for hours. In Italy and Greece for the first time in my life I enjoyed the beach. Swimming in gentle, warm clear blue waters, lying comfortably on smooth pebbles or large-grained crystals of sand, and the very civilised practice of lying on a reed mat instead of on one's beach towel (thus always having a dry, sand-free towel at one's disposal). And the sun: warm, gentle, dry heat, without the stinging burning sensation on arms and face, or the need to cover your face in zinc to preserve your nose's natural colour... I could happily lie sunbathing on the beach for hours, even in the middle of the day - unthinkable for me here.
One of my daughters has inherited my heat intolerance. By the afternoon she is red-cheeked, damp hair plastered to her forehead, while her sister, like her father, remains dry-haired and cool to the touch.
Nine o'clock this morning, the kids and I had icy-poles for "morning tea" - bliss, sweet short-lived bliss.
I am such a heat wuss I know - anyone reading this in Melbourne will be chuckling because as I am well aware, it is not even truly hot yet. But it is hot enough for me!
Oh, and "thirty minutes a day" has been on hold for the last 2 days - just...can't...do it.
But will get back on track in the next day or so - promise!