DARWIN, JULY, 2013.
Clear blue skies, balmy days, cool nights. Temperature in Darwin today 29deg top, 16 low. Cool for Darwin. Locals are shivering. Out come the doonas, bed socks,flannelette sheets. It’s not uncommon to see hoodies and fleecies being worn, when the temperature is in the low thirties. In the dry, the breeze off the Arafura Sea is cool and refreshing. Gone is the stillness, stickiness, and heaviness of the humid build-up. The rains of the Wet have dried up, leaving almost empty water-holes and a sky so blue and clear it’s like a child’s painting.
Another name for the Dry is the ironically named Mother-In-Law Season. Granny flats are suddenly occupied by families who’ve driven or flown the 4000 kms to be with their loved ones. Grey nomads in their vans and motorhomes invade the caravan parks, and NSW, Victoria, and Queensland number plates fill the streets. The letters page of the NT News abounds with snide suggestions such as ‘Southerners Go Home’ while the front page inevitably bears an image of the latest crocodile scare.
We from Down South are greeted in a friendly fashion with ‘Must be the Dry; you’re here again.’
I hasten to defend myself, assuring Darwinites that I’ve been here in the Wet, the Build-up, and the Knock-Em Down seasons, as well as the Dry. Admittedly it’s supremely satisfying to be revelling in warm sunny days while those at home are freezing.
The markets are on again, now that the rain’s stopped; stalls overflow with brightly coloured tropical fruits, the like of which we rarely see down south. Likewise the Deckchair cinema, where we recline on cushions under a clear starlit sky, and watch movie after movie on the Big Screen.
It’s the long school holidays here: four weeks in July, perfect weather for camping. The families pack their camper trailers or bundle tents into their 4x4s, and take off for Kakadu, Litchfield, or the Douglas Daly hot springs, where you can bathe in a blissfully hot natural thermal spa, while feet cool in the colder currents.
There’s been a flurry of end-of-term concerts, a circus performance starring three of our four grandsons, school reports presented for inspection.
Our time here is drawing to an end all too soon. So this year we’ll be braving Sydney’s winter a lot sooner than usual. 😓 Cheers, Dina 💦😎