I'd get us all to sing along, but it's too hot. At 45.3 we are only .3 of a degree away from our all-time record heat for Melbourne. (I see it's 47 at Avalon, 50 ks south west of here.) What makes it particularly apocalyptic is the dreadful north-westerly wind blowing at gale-force. The garden has been struggling for two weeks, and there has been no rain for a month. So many of the plants today look as if they are just giving up, and I've just been outside to bring in anything in a pot, and put it in the bath.
All over Melbourne the deciduous trees are just dropping their leaves, so it looks weirdly autumnal or wintry, except for that constant checking, just to make sure you haven't accidentally switched on a heater or an oven. How else could you account for that movement of hot air inside the house?
The perch we had to move a week or so ago have all died: they are really cold water fish, and couldn't withstand the shallower levels of a pond with a leak.
It's not been too bad (relatively speaking, of course) over the last few days, which means half the house — the downstairs, brick part — is tolerable; but the upstairs and the back half, made of timber, are both unbearable. It's quite schizophrenic, moving into the kitchen and out again. But I'm only just now, in the early afternoon, switching on the fan in my study.
And of course it's worse further north and east of here; and worse again if you are old; or sick; or fighting a fire; or losing your power.
It also feels apocalyptic because of all the warnings that this is increasingly what our climate will look like (I just looked out the window and the sky has suddenly gone a dirty white: is that smoke? dust? topsoil?).
So it's surreal, but slightly calming, too, to be reading about Bacelli, the mistress of the Duke of Dorset who was reputed to have worn his Garter across her forehead while dancing in Paris...