It’s hard to remember sometimes that December is only the first month of Summer. The growing season has taken her sweet damn time to get to this point, and our expectations of settled weather are always higher than the reality.
Mother Nature has no regard for our imported northern hemisphere traditions, and it’s almost part of the kiwi toughness tradition to abandon houses in favour of tents, caravans and hardly weather proof bachs in the face of historical weather data.
Here in North Canterbury we’ve just endured four days of rain, delivering almost our entire month’s average in that sacrosanct family period between Christmas and New Year. Board games have been dragged from the back of the cupboard (where they were put this time last year), dusted off and played ad infinitum. Trips to the beach have been swapped for a deck of cards and fishing expeditions given up in favour of book reading and puzzle completing.
I’m the first to admit to some film watching and a little screen time, but mostly it’s been about spending time together and patiently explaining the rules of Uno to my five year old. If I see Miss Scarlett in the study one more time, I’M going to strangle her with the rope and finish her off with the lead pipe (put THAT in the Cluedo envelope).
Our berries and soft fruit on the Food Farm have taken a hammering, splitting and disintegrating, but the sun has reappeared today and with it some hope that not all is lost.
More than that, we haven’t had to irrigate the vineyard so time off really has been time off, and the property looks as though it’s had a long soak re-emerging all bright and shiny clean.
So, in keeping with the purification theme, we’re ready.
Ready for whatever 2014 will deliver. Ready for the business end of the growing season. Ready for the main harvest of everything we’ve put in the ground, pruned and tended over the last six months. Ready to put Tongue in Groove on the map.
Bring it on.