Day Two of The Heatwave Across South-eastern Australia

Today was my first day back at work after three weeks off. I was really looking forward to it, it is in an old, double-brick building and also in an area known for being cooler than where I live. I was also looking forward to seeing everyone again. I like my workplace.

It didn’t disappoint. Coolness greeted me as I walked through the door and I spent the day inside blissfully unaware of the heat that was rising outside. Well, my office is a little warmer than the rest of the place, but putting the air conditioner on in another room and spending any time I wasn’t at my computer in that room certainly helped keep everyone’s cool. I reluctantly headed home. I knew that the late afternoon sun would be penetrating my house’s feeble defences. I knew that soon I would be entering that special hell of the inadequately insulated house.

I’ve been home for about half an hour. The sweat is pouring off me in rivers. Our ceiling fan is whizzing the hot air around and around. I can’t get cool no matter how little I wear and wearing something stops the perspiration trickling down my back, stomach, legs, everywhere. Our stone veneer house is no match for the 41 degrees Celsius that is outside its walls. Our floor to ceiling windows (with aluminium frames) leak the heat into every space. There is nowhere cool and it will take most of the evening to cool this house down before it is again assaulted by the heat of tomorrow.

Our poor dogs are laying on the warm slate tiles, panting. The cats have expired under the dining table. The chickens are creating dust baths in shady spaces and hoping for respite. I have sent my wife and the pup off to retrieve beer. It’s the only defence we have against this heat. I hope it’s enough.

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