July 2012 I'm recycling the post below and linking up with Mama Kat's writing prompts: Recycle a favorite post from July of any year that you've been blogging.
(Well, that only leaves me last July... but every word still stands true, and it's never a bad thing to remind myself of what makes me happy)
Summer... I love it. It's nearly 8pm, still light outside, and I can hear happy squeals and splashing from the pool area (but I'm glad our apartment isn't closer). I love being able to have our windows open all night. I love schlepping around in light cotton PJs at night, and even less in bed. I love being in barefoot heaven.
Summer in LA means - for me - raspberries, lemonade, ducking through garden sprinklers, trips to Baskin Robbins and the whir of ceiling fans. Depending where else I've lived, it's also been Pimms and lemonade, cheese with pickled onions, gelato, and beer gardens.
No matter how hot it gets, no matter how much I bitch and moan, I would choose boiling over freezing - any day.
This weekend, the US is gearing up to celebrate their Independence Day. Just as with Australia Day being in January, the national festivities are best celebrated with sunshine - a long lazy day of barbecues and booze.
When I stepped outside today, the sizzle of grilled food punctuated the air. Instant salivation for me - how Pavlovian! J had taken both girls to the pool (he's brave; I'm not ready to climb back on that horse), and I went for a walk to one of the apartment building's trash rooms to take some recycling. On the way back, I dropped by the pool to see how they were doing. I didn't have my swimwear on, so I pulled up a low-lying chair and swung my legs into the pool for a few minutes. Immediately, I felt like I was seven years old again, before I could swim. Dangling my limbs in cold water always has that effect. Then - satisfied that I was cool enough - I walked back home, water dripping down my legs, the rubber thongs on my feet squeaking.
Summer in LA is only a little different to summer in Sydney. The temperatures are similar, but the heat here is more of a constant. It's a much drier heat, too. Sydney summers seethe with an almost fermented heat - not as bad as further north, I know, but it's a wet heat that forces you into a languid state.
Our final months in Sydney were when I was heavily pregnant with Miss Pie, and the first couple of months after she was born. It was summer. I have no doubt that those memories have been drowned in the extra sweat which is to be expected when baking - then breastfeeding - a baby. It seemed to be the hottest summer I'd known.
This past week has seen the mercury rising to the hottest yet this year, but it feels different. Perhaps it's the mod cons we have in our apartment - air con, and access to a swimming pool. All I know is, when I'm outside, it doesn't feel like I'm in a sauna. Minor physical activities don't result in rivers of sweat flowing down my back, pooling into whatever crevices they reach. I've got to say, I don't miss that particular sensation. Or the mosquitos.
What I do miss, though, are the thunderstorms. Sydney may have stinky humid weather, but when the relief comes via an afternoon or evening thunderstorm, there is nothing in the world like it. The smell of fat raindrops on hot concrete - it's the best, and should ideally be experienced with bare feet. I can count on one hand the number of storms there have been since moving here... and what the locals consider to be a storm is laughable. A bit of dark grey sky, a couple of flashes of lightning, and then the show's over - like a three pump chump.
When it's hot, I feel it. I feel... alive.
When I'm cold, I don't feel anything. I switch off, and do my best to attempt hibernation. Nobody could ever describe me as a winter person. When people talk about how nice it is to get cozy, to rug up under layers, sip at hot drinks, curl up in front of a fire... I don't relate. For a start, what I dislike about winter is the need to wear more clothing. Layers, coats, scarves - they smother me. Winter - it depresses me. Hence my reluctance to consider living anywhere with a cold climate. I'm all for experiencing snow-covered wintery wonderlands... as long as it's just a holiday. I don't think I'd do well living long term with that kind of cold - not without needing anti-depressants. London winters were too long, and hard enough.
So there you have it. I adore summer and my sanity depends on it. If I won the lottery, I'd spend my life chasing summer around the globe. Why not?