Sunday, February 02, 2014

Do you like my little wooden snake next to the Christmas decorations I haven't put away yet? I saw my first real snake for the summer the other day but in a quite unexpected place. I could hear something in the bathroom, and thought it was Pippi, but when I looked in I saw a tail disappearing behind a cupboard. I think it was after a cool spot on the tiles, but it couldn't be allowed to stay there. Hmm, not what I wanted to deal with, but there was no-one else around!

Fortuneatly I'm not afraid of snakes, just wary of the danger they present, so I didn't have to deal with panic or the revulsion if it had been a big spider. I locked Pippi in the lounge so she couldn't pounce on it or get in the way, and then I blocked the hall off with a piece of board so that it couldn't get into the rest of the house. I put my work boots on and got my shovel and pulled the cupboard out from the wall. It took off like a shot, and happily it headed for the open back door. I hit it with the shovel when it was outside but the surface was too loose and soft and it managed to get away. I'm satisfied that I gave it the fright of it's life and hopefully it won't come back. I've been careful to keep the  screen door closed since then; I usually leave it open for Pippi to come in when she's been out. It was a brown snake about two foot long, so just a baby really, but they can still kill. One of Pippi's littermates was killed by a snake last year and I'd hate for anything to happen to her or Dolly.

Today is going to be another 42C stinker, so I got up at 4.30 and opened up the house to let as much cool air in as possible. I watered the garden as soon as it was light enough to see what I was doing and hung out three loads of washing by 7 am. I wanted to get as much done as I could before I have to retire to the air conditioning and hunker down for the rest of the day. However there's supposed
to be a cooler spell for the next three days, so there's a bit of relief in sight, thank goodness.

Some people are saying this weather is unusual, but this is what I remember summer being when we were children. Horrible gasping hot days when your bare skin  stuck to all the furniture- a vinyl chair could practically draw blood if you didn't peel yourself slowly and carefully off it. The nights were horrible, without even a fan and the pillow became saturated as you tossed and turned trying to get to sleep. We had an antiquated evaporative cooler that was a huge box on spindly legs and it made so much noise we could hardly hear the telly. It had to have buckets of water poured into it at intervals and after a while the room smelled faintly swamp-like and was only cooler if you sat directly in front of it.

Lots of people that we knew would move their mattresses out onto the verandah or even the lawn, so that they could take advantage of every cool breeze, but Mum wouldn't let us do that. Sometimes we were able to sleep in the hall with the front door open, and then we were awakened at dawn by the milkman, clinking the empty bottles and leaving full ones in their place. And then the whole ghastly heat went on again for another day.

There were no school closures, except for a couple of times when it got over 110F and then we were turfed out at lunchtime and had to walk two miles home anyway. I don't get nostalgic for those days, give me ac and internet and automatic washing machines and DVD's and all those things that make life a bit easier and more enjoyable now.


Ruth February 03, 2014  

We had to deal with snakes when we lived in Colombia, S.A. and once a snake got under the clothes dryer that was out on a patio and the dryer couldn't go around. We found out it was a large black snake - non-poisonous - and it got away. It was several feet long - ugh! These events usually happened when DH was not home. As to the temperature, it gets like that here in Texas in the summer. But our winter has been colder than usual lately and people say it is "climate change". Well, we had the same really cold winters when we were young in the 50s and then again in the 70s. Yes. That's what climates do - they change!!! I remember the hot summers too with no A/C. We are spoiled now - which is fine with me.

Sue SA February 03, 2014  

Good for you, dealing with the snake! I am surprised it would come inside given that you have inside dogs, but any port in a heat wave I guess! I agree re living with heat now, as I have a partially air conditioned houses, air con in the car and my car is in a carport so not stinking hot to get into, so much better then when I was a kid!

The Quilted Finish ph 02 63310084 February 03, 2014  

I'm so pleased to see there's someone else who hasn't got around to putting away the Christmas decorations, lol. Having grown up on a sheep farm in western NSW I have had my share of snake encounters, they usually are more scared of you except straight after coming out of hibernation , when brown snakes can get a bit aggressive. My ex used to catch them by twirling them round a metal rake then put them in a bucket with another bucket slotted in on top then take them far away and release them. Must say I was always glad to know they were gone! I'm in complete agreement as per AC, internet and all labour saving mod cons!! I can't imagine what 42C must be like day after day, we've been having 37-38 C over the past few weeks and that is awful! I sympathize!

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