It's been hot for a week now. It was 29 degrees at 2p.m. Late in the afternoon, storm clouds piled up in cylinders of violent purple and gold. Later, they were black, and distant thunder rumbled and crashed and the sky flickered like a thousand broken neon lights. But no rain. Not here anyway.
Usually at this time of year the cool air creeps in after dark and chases you inside but the air stayed humid all night. We sat out under the grapevine, turning red now, and dined in the kind of heat they call Indian summer in some parts of the world, so it may as well be that here.
The differences are striking. In summer you can't escape the sun in the garden, except directly under the canopies of the trees. Now, a long shadow falls across the yard, providing welcome respite. The trees are red and gold, but the leaves haven't yet started to drop. And the lawn is lush thanks to the late rains of summer.
Dinner was easy work. Minced lamb mixed with a finely chopped chile, a dash of chili powder and an egg. Formed into duck-egg shapes and pressed gently to flatten slightly. Then on to the barbecue over a bunch of mint leaves growing in the old double concrete trough next to the shed. Five minutes, turn, three minutes. Done. (You can use flat metal skewers to speed the cooking; they heat and cook it from inside as well.)
Fresh flat bread from A1 in Sydney Road. On each piece, a line of lettuce, a line of sliced tomato, a line of sliced onion, a line of garlic-infused yogurt. Then the grilled lamb. Two or three each depending on size and appetite. A good squirt of lemon juice, a shake of salt. Wrap tightly. Slice cylinder in two, fold two halves back on each other on the plate.
Glass of red, for a change. We walked about the weather and names for girls. William and Thomas were easy. Naming a girl is harder. I wondered why.
The distant thunder rolled on, somewhere else. I felt a drop of rain. It hardly made the ground. It just made the air more humid.
Enjoy your Indian summer. I like the colours and the heat and the fact that every warm day that passes means a shorter winter.