It came from the south west. It was grey and it grew and it stretched itself across the sky like a giant steel door over the roof of a stadium. I even thought it creaked like a stadium roof, but that was just the whistling of the breeze that blew the heat back into the land where it came from.
The night before last was the hottest I can remember. There was no breeze then, just a fierce northerly that roared all night like a lion with a large splinter in its paw.
I should complain. Adelaide, the city of churches, made it fifteen straight days with temperatures over 35 degrees. Note well: that is in autumn. Is there another city in the world that has ever completed an autumn stretch of fifteen consecutive 35 degree-plus days? I'm sure there is, but you wouldn't want to live there.
(Weatherzone reports: "Agriculture Minister Tony Burke has told Federal Parliament the 15 consecutive days above 35 degrees are evidence of the warming trend." I look forward to Parliament being informed that ice is evidence of freezing or that a forest is evidence of trees.)
So Melbourne's an oasis compared with Adelaide. Nevertheless, during the night I paced and stretched and sat and walked around again and raised windows and moved curtains and, at last, fell into fitful sleep around five a.m. Then William woke up and Thomas woke up and Tracy woke up and we said the hell with it and got up and had breakfast, rendering the regular six a.m. crow of the rooster in the middle distance - somewhere between Sydney Road and Merri Creek, perhaps even within CERES - superfluous.
The night before, we had eaten some of our Lebanese eggplants this way:
Tri-colour strozzapreti with eggplant and chargrilled barramundi.
It doesn't have to be strozzapreti but in weather like this it was the first pack of pasta that came to hand in the larder. And it looks pretty underneath a mess of grilled eggplant and fried barramundi.
Top and tail eggplants, cut in strips lengthways, brush with oil and grill.
Fry salted and peppered barramundi in an oiled pan on a bed of sliced garlic. Sprinkle a little zataar over it as well if you have any. Squeeze the juice of a lemon over it while cooking. Fry until it gets a degree of char, crisp and tasty.
Drain pasta and arrange on plates. Layer eggplant strips over the pasta, top with barramundi. Chopped parsley scattered over.
Cold wine. Lots of cold wine.
And now the heat is gone and today I walked down Collins Street and felt cold. But where's the rain? Heatwaves used to be broken by rain. Not any more. Now, they just slink off to the outback and sulk.