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Masochists pay heed, summer is here

James Robins | View Archive Updated January 10, 2013, 5:45 am
Snow on Wylies Road, Sefton, New Zealand, Monday, July 25, 2011.

SNPA / Pam Johnson © Enlarge photo

It’s January, a New Year, and I’d like to change prevailing attitudes towards...summer.

Yes, you heard right.

Summer.

I totally get that it’s a quintessential part of our ‘Kiwi Culture’: stubbies, sunburn, wifebeaters, barbies, and warm beer with every other New Zealander who decided to show up in the Coromandel.

We languish under our quasi-tropical paradise and say “Gee Golly! I’ve been waiting all year for this!” (like straight out of a 40s Disney cartoon), until the temperature climbs somewhere over 25 degrees, and our masochistic, pain-loving sensibility switches to non-stop groveling and utter misery, awaiting the soothing return of Winter.

Now, I may be one of the few, but I know I’m not alone: I can’t stand summer.

Come November, and my stress-free, sweat-free winter has been turned on its head in to become and sweltering mess of fuzzy-headedness, incessant sneezing, and a distressing pink tinge to my forehead thanks to a day-glo Scottish inheritance.

My girlfriend and I tried to work out at least one thing good and decent about summer, coming up trumps aside from the idea that lemonade iceblocks were slightly inappropriate when a crinkly frost coats the ground.

It’s probably the sheer inanity of summer that I can’t stand – it seems to largely involve lying about and “soaking up the rays” either at the beach, on a veranda, outside a pub, in the park across the road, or any other open space woefully devoid of shade.

It reeks of that scene from Constantine where Keanu Reeves wanders about in Hell as evil spirits languish in the eternal fire.

A good, decent winter is bracing and gritty. It makes one feel alive and mildly exhilarated, determined to beat the rain and actually get something done for once!

Summer is the lazy, lethargic, soul-destorying opposite.

So here’s my heart’s desire.

Because we’ll be inundated with searing heat for the next three months, I’d like to issue a challenge to the average weatherman and weatherlady to not proclaim the “good news” whenever a crushing heat wave heads our way. And equally, to not slander a storm front as if it were the arrival of The Four Horsemen.

Instead, why not keep it objective and indifferent, and let the masochists make their own minds up as to whether 21 degrees plus is anything other than a motivation-deterrent?

It’s hard enough coping with an indignant meteorologist, let alone a salmon-coloured zombie army emerging from a shimmering horizon.

So, Mr Weatherman, as you televise your weather propaganda in your air-conditioned studio, spare a thought for those longing for the cooler months.

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14 Comments

  1. Stuart05:36pm Thursday 10th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Go live in Janeau, Alaska if you want , rainy, stormy, snowy, Winter weather.

    Reply
  2. Shaun06:43am Wednesday 09th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    The english forged a huge empire, mostly in hot parts of the planet. This was done not for their queen or king but purely so as to be able to avoid their own weather. They made sure they had unpaid minions to do their bidding . Summer is still great now, if you have someone to do the work, driving and organising for you. These modern slaves are otherwise known as parents.

    Reply
  3. Maryanne06:28am Wednesday 09th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    I'm with you on the issue. Summer mostly equals food smelly rubbish and flies to me, and heat rash and headaches. I do like it because it makes me appreciate winter more, and the Vitamin D is good. This is no reason for other green blooded kiwis to lynch mob us for not wanting to join in the cultural activities, because in winter we balance out all the people snivelling and grumbling about the cold! ;-)

    Reply
  4. shelley09:02pm Tuesday 08th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    This makes me laugh... 21 degrees plus demotivating? Try 40 degrees plus!!!

    Reply
  5. Matthew04:44pm Tuesday 08th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    This guy is quasi-retarded. So, kiwis are into "wife beaters" not singlets? Because he has allergies he thinks everyone hates the sweat smells of summer? While he's "trying to beat the rain and actually get something done", in winter I'm wishing it was dry and a bit warmer so I could go bike 40k, climb a mountain, swim in the river, tend the garden, pick flowers for dandelion wine etc etc etc. He can keep his love for winter, but what makes this guy king of climate? NZ would be even more so the best place on earth if the winters were just a little more mellow and the summers a little more consistent in their summeryness.

    Reply
  6. 08:42am Tuesday 08th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Wifebeaters? Seriously?? That's a quintessential part of Kiwi Culture??? WTH is wrong with you???

    Reply
  7. 08:26am Tuesday 08th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Ya call this Summer? In Auckland, it's mostly cloudy, windy, and regretting taking the warm sheets off the bed, except for a few cloudless still days where you can bask in the sun like a lemur, long enough to get your vitamin D levels up, but not long enough to get burned. Sun and heat makes me moan with bliss. Last summer was lousy, and hoping this one shapes up soon, before the Winter SADD kicks in.

    Reply
  8. unfixed08:16am Tuesday 08th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Having lived in Central Otago, getting 2 weeks a year of -20 C, cold most of the year, (fire going none stop from March to November), and temps of 40 C in January and February. I have discovered it is not the heat I abhor, it is humidity. Humidity was normally close to zero, except during rain, in Central. Now in Auckland, the cold feels colder, the heat feels hotter, all because of the humidity.

    Reply
  9. Jules07:37am Tuesday 08th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Winter is lovely, makes me fell alive and full of energy. Summer I always get fatter and lazy.

    Reply
  10. Julie07:27am Tuesday 08th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    There are plenty of places you can go to - maybe Scotland?

    Reply

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