A Queensland summer means different things to different people, but as someone born and bred in the Sunshine State, here’s what summer feels, looks, smells, sounds and tastes like to me.
1. Hot Sand Hopscotch
You’re at the beach, and the moment you make the decision to leave your thongs in the car, you regret it. Walking to the water’s edge you take on the gait of a demented chicken, as the soles of each foot are rapidly seared from rare to well-done. The only way to avoid crispy skin is to hop, skip and jump… which isn’t so easy with arms full of beach toys.
2. Ice Cream Avalanche
In the old days it was Mr Whippy that doled out cold creamy mountains of wonderful atop a cone – and with a Flake if you were lucky! Today’s ice creams might be fancier, and more abundant, but the same science experiment comes into play. Will the frequency of licks and swallows be equal to the melting point of ice cream and chocolate, or will the whole glorious concoction form a river that flows from wrist to elbow? Whatever you do, DON’T bite the end off that cone!
3. Splish Splash
Is it wrong that I’m also nostalgic for the days when water was on tap? This is the time of year when front yard sprinklers would run all afternoon, for the sole purpose of amazing and amusing the kids in the neighbourhood. Who didn’t love to run around in their togs and drink straight from the spray? Don’t get me started on slip and slides. What were a few bruises and breaks compared to that feeling of hurtling face first into the dirt at the end of the runway.
4. Water Babies
Which brings me to swimming. Puddles, to pools to whole glorious oceans, we Queenslanders should have been born with gills. We’re either under the water, or throwing everything from truck tyres to pink flamingos on top of it, to float about on. The downside? Three months of bad hair days and swimmers’ ear.
5. Musical Mowers
It’s summer and come three o’clock in the afternoon on a suburban Sunday, the quiet will always be interrupted by the sound of a neighbour pulling a starter cord, and a two-stroke motor spluttering into action. That swells to a cacophony as other householders are guilted away from the cricket, and off the couch, to follow suit. The upside is that the smell of fresh-cut grass is magnificent!
6. Thunder Down Under
There’s only one more pleasing Queensland summer smell. It’s not plump steaks on the barbie, or a juicy juicy mango, it’s big fat raindrops on hot bitumen. Sweltering heat builds to a cracker of an evening thunderstorm. We know it’s coming, and if we’re lucky it’s arrival is heralded by a spectacular light show. The relief is a sensation all of its own.
7. Buzz Off
But there’s no resting easy just yet because before we get to sleep, there’s always one. A persistent mozzie that sneaks into the bedroom under cover of darkness and hovers noisily over our face, trying to find a spot to land. We can hide under the sheets, but it’s guaranteed that the moment we come up for air, it will pounce.. bzzzzzzzzzzzz. Sweet dreams!
By Fiona Deadman