Christmas has arrived early this year in Wellington. Not because the stores have been playing Christmas carols uncharacteristically early, not because there seem to be an unusually large number of buskers on Lambton Quay singing Christmas carols, not because the pohutakawa is flowering early (it isn't), and not even because I finished my Christmas shopping today.
No, Christmas has arrived early this year in Wellington because summer is here. Winter clothes have been stashed away, the windows are open, the tui are singing, barbecues are being fired up, and bare flesh is being exposed.
In New Zealand (and oft-starved-of-summer Wellington especially) Christmas is simply a gigantic party heralding the arrival of summer, the beginning of our long summer break, when school is out until February, the good weather really begins, the cities empty out and everyone heads to the beach or the lakes or sounds until mid or even late January if they are really lucky. Christmas is the smell of new cut grass and the feel of that cool grass between your bare toes, the mingled scent of Christmas lilies and pine trees in the house, picnics and burnt meat from the first barbecues of the season, long light evenings, the pop of corks from chilled champagne, new potatoes and fresh strawberries for Christmas dinner.
So all my senses are telling me it is time to relax, slow down, drink champagne, turn off the laptop, and read a good book. The trouble is, I’ve started listening to them, even though I still have to complete an assignment for a client this week.
So I hope the rest of New Zealand forgives me for this, but if the weather gods are listening, I really need a couple of days cold miserable weather – letting me knuckle down and finish my work – before Christmas and summer really begins.
So, having stated this publicly, I should go start working on that assignment right now.
... wait ...
it's time to grill the pork chops and open some sauvignon blanc on the deck.
Bon appetite. I'll work tomorrow.