So in the end, people bought cold weather food. Turkeys marched out in droves - if you can have droves of turkeys when they are frozen and encased in plastic - on Christmas Eve.
Forget the Boxing Day sales at the department stores. The real bargains were at the fish stall in the supermarket. Crayfish, $35 down from $70. Salmon, $12 down from $28. Oysters, $6.50.
By mid-afternoon Boxing Day, a kind south-westerly had shunted Christmas Day's black clouds somewhere else, maybe over the mountains where the last week's blazing fires were still smouldering like a mother-in-law's disapproving frown, and the sun came out and made dappled shadows on the lawn.
Just in time for our Boxing Day barbecue.
Lime butter salmon, barbecued.
Make the lime butter: add the zest of two limes and the juice of one, a tablespoonful of finely chopped parsley and two chopped cloves of garlic to 50 grams of softened butter. Combine and refreeze. Slice into rounds. With your knife blade on the horizontal, slice thick pieces of salmon almost in two, leaving a join. Insert rounds of lime butter into the fish.
Barbecue the fish: I did mine in a heavy cast iron pan on the coals in order to catch the melting butter and pour over the fish when serving, along with with extra lime juice from quarters of the second lime.
Drink: a cold sauvignon blanc. You still can't go past the Kiwi ones although some local ones are pretty good.