Down the Mall | Hot summer daze a thing of the past

FOND MEMORIES: It may have been hot but the summers of childhood are times to be treasured. These days we barely notice summer passing unless it's on the news.
FOND MEMORIES: It may have been hot but the summers of childhood are times to be treasured. These days we barely notice summer passing unless it's on the news.

Bendigo’s temperatures have been well above average for the past 11 days and we haven’t had enough rain to upset the spiders living in the rain-gauge.

We all complain a great deal about it … as we discuss it in our deep, cool kitchens, while chatting in climate-controlled cars, “keeping hydrated” with almost-frozen bevvies after a comfy night with breezes wafting from the reverse-cycle system.

If we had to return to the summers of our childhoods now, would we die instantly? Would we turn into a mash of melted grease and crispy bacon?

The answer is: Hell yeah.

So, how did we know it was a hot summer when we lived a non-artificially cooled country life?

Your thongs (footwear!) were half-a-centimetre higher by the time you got to the other side of the main road. You could scrape the tar off with a stick later.

Your thongs (still footwear!) ended up with a solid layer of three-cornered jacks embedded in them.

You went down the metal slide at school, or the town pool and your bum was turned into two chunks of corned beef.

- You dragged your sweat-saturated pillow onto the back verandah to get some sleep.

- Your primary teachers ditched the writing lessons for the day because your exercise book felt soggy and the pencils kept ripping the paper. When you graduated to ink, the pages began to resemble an abstract watercolour painting.

- Mum still cooked evening meals of chops, mashed potato and veggies. There was always a cup of hot, sweet tea on the go. 

- The eight-kilometres bike ride home started to feel like eight kilometres, but it was better than having your bare legs welded to the vinyl upholstery on the school bus.

- You knew it’d been a hot summer when your hair had turned bright green by the time school resumed. Chlorine still smells like summer.

- Or, if you didn’t go to a pool, the biggest fear about swimming in the river was getting all the blood-sucking leeches off your legs, or confronting a snake swimming across your path.