Heat

It was a pleasant, sunny morning on February 29th and I told my wife that I love Autumn weather. And then that night at the Haldi, while we were sitting outside, it got pretty chilly and as we got in the car to drive home I told my wife that I hate Autumn weather. This is the kind of quality japing that goes on as you NEAR FORTY as well as twelve years of marriage.

Anyway, March has been around longer than that and it's been a minute since we had a nice go fuck yourself heatwave and what better time to endure one than over the long weekend.

Friday was hot too. I had to interview someone for work and after turning up in shorts and offering a very professional, "How's it going, bud?" I got through that at an outdoor table thanks to an iced latte.

A visit to Gluttony with old work people for beers and a stand up show was good while in the shade.

At least in March there is a looming equinox and due to the quirks of daylight saving the sun doesn't even rise until after 7pm. So it's possible to get out and about while the temperatures are still only in the mid to high 20's.

On Saturday morning that meant making it about halfway to the central markets on our bikes before the heatstroke kicked in.

Fortunately the central markets has a lot of food in it, and is therefore kept at refrigerator temperatures. We loaded up with salads and fruits and rode home in the shade.

The rest of the day was spent as indoors as possible, preferably on the lower level of the house. There was an unexpected, very welcome burst of rain around 5pm. Just like the cold taps in my house, it was warm water coming from the sky.

After dinner we went to the beach where it was much cooler and much prettier. There was a double rainbow for twenty minutes while the sun set. Then it got warmer again on the way home.

I took quite a few photos of the double rainbow.

On Sunday morning we got up even earlier to try and get a walk to the bakery done with Nash before the heat hit.

This went very well, and we were home again by about 8:30 with no ill effects from the heat. Or so I thought, until the milk I poured into my smoothie jug came out with the consistency of unstirred gravy.

I scooped that sludge out with a spoon and then finished off the ingredients, adding four of the hundred passionfruits that have dropped off the vine over the past weeks.

There was nothing to it but waiting until the evening and returning to the beach for more swimming, and then driving back home for more sweating.

By Monday I was exhausted just from the effort of staying cool, and constantly trying to extract heat from the upstairs through the use of the bathroom extractor fans.

It was too hot to even bother going to the beach again. We just walked in the morning and the evening around the neighbourhood, and waited for Tuesday to return to the office and its industrial strength air conditioning.

I did keep myself cool developing a tag adding and tag filtering component to my latest Sveltekit project.

This morning I woke up early and rode my bike to town for work. It was still hot.


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Saturday Highs and Lows

Saturday started with a nice walk up Brown Hill with Alex, featuring views over the city and an excited dog.

And ended with watching the 36ers being demolished at home, where I also did not get close to catching a packet of noodles from cheerleaders led by a giant chicken.

Technically it ended with a Zooper Dooper and Luka highlights with Tim, but I didn't take a photo of that.

Outlooks

Every work week I have to manage four different Outlooks to do my job. For this long weekend I got to enjoy four new and relaxing outlooks instead.




The long weekend concluded with whatever work-related application is synonymous with driving for kilometers down a blacked out hill dodging fallen branches and trees.


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With Bells On

I was checking into the hotel in Kriens tonight and for the first time this trip the hotel asked for my home address, which for a moment I'd actually forgotten. That's the sign of a good holiday I guess.

The morning was spent exploring both the Porta Nuova commercial district, the most un-Italian area of Italy I saw in the whole country, and then after the first breakfast buffet of the trip (an incredible amount of fruit, pastries, eggs and coffee) we spent the rest of the morning enjoying Sempione Park. We had a final, coffee tiramisu infusion in the shade overlooking Arco della Pace. Then, after so much planning, preparation and exploring it was time for one last exorbitant service fee, and to say Ciao to Italy.


The subsequent trip to Lucerne on the train was appropriately transitory. After a stretch of Italian countryside and industrial areas (plus Lake Como again) we went through a long tunnel. I ate the last of my breakfast pastries and we emerged into vibrant sunlight, green mountains and sparkling lakes under fluffy clouds. Half the train carriage seemed to ooh and ah. Europe has so much diversity across such small distances, it's incredible.

Last year I drove over 2,000km from Adelaide to South Queensland and other than the temperature every place essentially looked the same.

There were, however, still sunset cows at the end.

Quando a Roma

Trevi Fountain had crowds at 6:30 AM.


More Rome highlights. Started with a walk to Travestere, then back across the Tiber and around the back of the forum ruins. Stopped for coffee and croissant at a little bar looking up at Capitoline Hill. Took the steps up to the summit and stood in line for free entry to the museum. Inside are too many artefacts and fragments of history to truly appreciate in one visit, interspersed with views out the window of the sprawling city and the Vatican dome and phone towers in the distant hills.

Left the hill and returned to our accommodation for brief moment of shoes off, most definitely not the first tourist to reach the tactile conclusion that it really is a city of seven hills.

Took a quick walk towards Via Veneto, passed the immense American embassy and found lunch at a trattoria, a plate of lamb and potatoes as well as a margarita pizza.

Had a proper nap after lunch, then the evening was more walking. Down the Spanish Steps and towards Pont Cavour, and again along the Tiber towards Pont Sant'Angelo and back on the other side.

Statue of Angel using selfie stick.

We witnessed the hustlers switch with impressive efficiency from pushing bottles of water in the sunshine to pushing ponchos as some clouds rolled in.

Italy is... Tiny cars and giant monuments.

The rain never arrived. We had first gelato, and then cheap takeaway Rag├╣ pasta in Piazza del Popolo on a bench taking in the ancient churches, even more ancient stolen Egyptian obelisks, and a Michael Jackson impersonator under a dusky, overcast sky.

After dinner we walked up to Borghese Gardens passing bust after crumbling marble bust dotting the paths that led to the terrazo. Romans and tourists everywhere, famous Italians forgotten and millennia of nondescript Romans, Italians, pilgrims and slaves buried at our feet among the first twinkling signs of twilight. It was easy to feel insignificant, as millions before me have likely felt as well.

I read Edward J Watts book Mortal Republic last week, a recap of the Roman Republic of the centuries BC before it was overcome by autocracy and became the Empire. A book I selected as my next read purely because I was going to fly to Rome soon and it was the first search result for "Rome" that sounded interesting.

It wasn't a bad book, but I find that any time a writer tries to cram multiple centuries into 300 pages or 10 hours it does a disservice to the narratives and personalities at play and relegates fascinating history into sounding something similar to when a new person runs through their CV at the start of a Teams' meeting.

The best thing I can say about this book is that it helped me fall asleep on the flight to Doha. And I completed it yesterday on the second leg.

And boy, if I thought cramming centuries of Roman history into my ears for ten hours straight was tough, that was before I tried doing it with my feet.

Rome, the vibe I'm getting, is that before we invented the internet everyone was either killing each other or carving things out of stone.

I'm Over Winter and it's Still Autumn

Some photos from recently, cropped at 5x4.

Anniversary Mornings

One of the benefits of marriage is having a day off and parking in Adelaide places that are always busy on the weekends.

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