Saturday, July 16, 2016

Saturday

Today is a slow Saturday...it is raining and cold. Of course, cold is a relative thing. Here, cold seems to mean anything below about 15C (59F). For example, in the Toowoomba Chronicle this morning is the article:

BREAKING: It felt like minus 0.2 degrees in Toowoomba this morning as freezing blasts of wind, light rain and cold conditions grip the Garden City.
Toowoomba Chronicle


Just for those of you don't pay close attention to such things: -0.2C = 31.7F. While technically, this is a freezing temperature, I'm pretty sure that nothing except the air around the thermometer was actually below freezing.

On the other hand, I still see kids out and about in shorts, and azaleas in bloom. We had planned to attend the Camellia show today but decided against it due to rain and wind.

The thing to remember is that Toowoomba and Brisbane are about the same distance from the equator as Miami, FL. Toowoomba gets a bit colder since we are not on the coast.

We've learned that part of the difference in the way we perceive cold that aside from stores and malls, the places we've been in mostly don't have central heat and air. It is handled on a room-by-room basis with units that mount in the wall. This is what we saw in Botswana also. When it doesn't get cold very often or for very long, no one invested in heat. We warm the sitting room when we are in it and turn off the heat where we go to bed. Same for the bedroom. The rest of the house is not heated.

Certainly part of this approach to heat is due to the fact that little of the year is cold. But the economy is not helping. Starting July 1, electric power rates have gone up 20%! This is a really big jump and has to hurt. We've been asked by out hosts to be mindful of the heat and watch our usage. Absolutely we will.

This morning we went to the movies to Ghostbusters and had a great time. We went early to avoid the  crowds and it worked just fine.