Friday, 10 February 2017

Summer Scorcher

As usual, the weather waits until school term recommences in February before unleashing its full fury of 40+ degree heat (104+°F) on South Australia.

I'm laying low indoors, grateful to have an air-conditioner and praying that the power has not failed. Power failures in extreme temperatures are a common occurrence these days and the subject of much consternation.

It's been quiet on the Lupey Loops blogging front for a number of reasons.  I have blog posts in the planning stages but have put them on hold while I do the unthinkable: crochet to a deadline!  

It's a gift so I cannot reveal too much except that it involves squares and I want to have it completed within a fortnight. A progress photo has been posted to my Instagram account (@jodiebodiecrochets).  

I'm happily reminded that projects made of smaller motifs provide daily gratification and a sense of achievement.  I've strayed slightly from the pattern to improve the finished look and I hope to share the finishing techniques at a later date. (Another blog topic to add to the list of posts to finish!.)

My goodness! My table started vibrating as I sat here typing this, accompanied by a rumbling sound. Yes, we had another earthquake (more of a tremor). This one measured 2.7 magnitude and I could hear the creaking of the roof beams as the house moved slightly.  There was a previous earthquake felt around Adelaide only 9 days ago but that one wasn't felt in my house.  Life is never dull!

This week, the routine has been modified due to daytime temperatures of 42°C, 41°C and a forecast of 39°C today. Much of South Australia has suffered temperatures of 45°C and there was a record in Tarcoola this week with a temperature of 48°C.

Overnight minimum temperatures have been as high as 35°C (95°F) which makes it difficult to sleep.  I rise extra early to do the chores before the day gets too hot; e.g. watering and shading the vegetables and fruit trees, bringing the pot plants indoors, grocery shopping etc. The sun is already burning by 10 a.m. To get any more physical activities done, it's best to wait until after sundown.
One good thing is that the hot north winds dry the washing in 20 minutes or less! The downside is that sometimes the wind carries dust and pollens and, if the washing is left out longer than necessary, the brutal sun fades everything in no time. 

Spare a thought for Sydneysiders.  I remember 'stinking hot' summers in western Sydney when the breeze drops to nothing. Even temperatures in the mid thirties are hard to bear with Sydney's stifling, sticky humidity.  I can't imagine how it will be for them this week with forecast temperatures of 44°C.  

People are so desperate for relief that Sydney has sold out of electric fans today but they won't be much help anyway if there is no power. News is that there won't be enough generator capacity for the expected peak usage of electricity this afternoon when everyone goes home to turn on the air-conditioning after work. The current word is that there will possibly be rolling blackouts in Sydney from 4 p.m.

Anyway, I need to get back to my game of 'Yarn Chicken'.  Will I be able to crochet the last square without running out of stash yarn?  According to my initial measurements, I am likely to fall just short but there is a contingency plan.  Gee, what a risk-taker! 

The sooner I finish this gift, the sooner a new blog post...

Stay cool, man!


Geoscience Australia Earthquakes: Recent Earthquakes:
Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC News, "Tremor shakes Adelaide nine days after larger earthquake in city", 10 February 2017:

Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC News, "BoM predicts extreme heat, catastrophic fire conditions around Australia"
Sky News, Weather Blog, "Record heatwave sending NSW and SA into meltdown", 09:30, 10 February 2017:
7 News Sydney & Yahoo et al., "'Go easy on power' energy minister urges consumers during heatwave", 06:33, 10 February 2017: 

Instagram @jodiebodiecrochets:


  1. That is not nice at all! I'm so thankful that we could move to a cooler climate - I don't miss Gauteng summers (and winters) at all!

    1. Gauteng looks like a similar latitude to Alice Springs in Central Australia. Alice Springs has an arid desert landscape - it gets extremely cold at nights (often below zero in winter) and then searing daytime temperatures. The difference between minimum and maximum temperatures in one day can be 30 degrees Celsius! I don't think my body could cope with rugging up in the mornings only to be stripping off in the afternoons! What a lot of extra washing too! Is Gauteng like that at all?
      The next closest Australian city in latitude is Brisbane but that is on the coast and gets very humid. I don't like the humidity. Give me clear, dry heat any day. That is why my family moved to Adelaide - to get away from Sydney's sticky summers.

      The only problem now is that Adelaide's climate has been changing. We are getting more tropical conditions funnelling down from the north after cyclone systems etc. and instead of hot dry summers and cold wet winters, everything is getting a bit topsy turvy. We have had the wettest summer in a long time. Who says climate change isn't a thing? They don't live in South Australia.

      What is your climate like in your current hometown, Stel?

  2. I am certainly not envious of all that heat. A little worrying having an earthquake so close. Take care.

    1. Understandable, Lorraine. I am lucky that my home is in a place which receives a gully breeze on most summer evenings which is very refreshing. Sometimes it is too fresh and should be called a 'gully gale'! It can be frustrating when it always wants to arrive just when we want to light the barbecue!

      As for earthquakes, the least very big earthquake to hit Adelaide was in the 1950s. Yesterday's quake began very close to the same location. There are some fascinating geological conditions around Adelaide. Flinders University sits atop a fault line but has been designed with that in mind. Hallett Cove is another area near Adelaide along the coast of geological interest. The exposed rock faces expose many layers of different rocks and sediments that have been formed after millions of years. There is now a boardwalk around it so that people can visit easily. There are always school and tour groups visiting to study the geology.

      In 1986 there was an earth tremor a bit longer and larger than yesterdays (or so it felt at the time) and my building had an iron staircase. I remember the staircase vibrating in such a way that it hummed like a tuning fork! Very freaky!

      Don't quote me, but I think the tremor from last week and the one from yesterday are from different faults. My anecdotal evidence indicated that people who felt last week's tremor missed yesterday's and vice versa.

      South Australia is the most seismically active state in Australia. Our continent is slowly trying to move northwards into Indonesia.

  3. Gosh, I didn't realize the temperature gets so high in Adelaide. Houston too can be extremely hot in the summer and we have the humidity as well. I'm glad you have the distractions of your project with a deadline! Heading over to Instagram to see.... Take care Jodie x

    1. I think Adelaide and South Australia must have a lot in common with Houston, Austin (Adelaide's 'sister city') and Texas. I would love to know more about your climate.

      Today's weather is milder (34 deg C / 93 deg F) with a cooler change moving through this afternoon so the kids are out sailing this morning (pictures of the boat here:

      I'm sorry I didn't post a photo of my current squares project on Lupey Loops yet. It was quicker and easier to reference the Instagram picture from the mobile phone in this instance. I hope a visit to Instagram isn't too big an imposition on everyone.

      After a busy morning, reading your comments over lunch, I am now off to rest with the crochet hook in hand! Can't wait! :-)

  4. It sounds horrid there with all that heat. Yet if you lived here in the US there is no mention of global warming on any government site. Last year was the hottest on record. I hope you stay cool and get that project done. I seem to crochet or knit faster when I think I am running out of yarn, like that wokrs!

    1. Your news of the USA's attitude towards global warming does not surprise me as I have heard that the largest carbon emitters are China and the USA. I can't really say much more until I can be sure that my own country is doing its bit too. South Australia has always been a more progressive state and it has a greater percentage of renewable energy sources than other Australian states with a mix of wind, solar, gas and coal. One of South Australia's old coal-fired power stations at Port Augusta was demolished in the past couple of years (I have lost track) and a coal-fired station in Hazelwood in Victoria is next to go.

      There is a lot of political pontification between different sides of government at the moment but it seems to me that the energy companies (multinational consortiums) are taking advantage of Australian free market laws to the detriment of the people who need an essential service. Because South Australia relies more heavily on renewable energy sources, it has been described as 'the canary in the coalmine'. New South Wales yesterday got a taste of the battle South Australia has been having as energy companies try to manipulate the market. That's my take on things so far.

      It is interesting to note that last year was the hottest year on record - do your local conditions reflect that too?

      As for crochet, I had never thought of dwindling yarn amounts as incentives to work faster but I can see your point. With just a little amount left, it does motivate one to just get on with the project and use up that annoying little bit of yarn leftover!

      I wonder what you are currently crafting, Meredith. You always semm to get so many amazing items off your hooks and needles despite your busy workload. Happy crafting! :-)

  5. Wondered how you are managing in the heat. I have done almost no knitting but I am working on preparing to teach a new class so I suppose I am getting my fibre related fix! Hope you can keep your garden alive.

    1. Hi Cat, I wonder how you (and Senior Cat) are coping with the heat as well! I do hope your household was not an unlucky one that lost power.

      My body is coping remarkably well with the heat this year. Perhaps it is because I have been staying in most of the time and there has been time to acclimatise; those factors combined with better general fitness at the moment. Since the last hospital treatment in 2015, I have been well enough to manage more activity and have regained a lot of fitness as a result. Thank goodness! In the past, any heatwave would necessitate at least one visit to the hospital emergency department.

      I have been feeling very grateful for being able to do so many things these days; e.g. there was a time when gardening was totally out of the question - if that were still the case I would have lost all the kitchen garden plants this week. Thankfully, I have been able to attend to the garden, as I did this morning, 'repatriating' the potted veggies from the bath to the backyard!

      At least you can do your class planning indoors, Cat, although the hot weather and drying air conditioning makes it hard to think clearly. After so many days of heat, many people I know are finding it hard to be bothered doing anything because the heatwave fatigue lingers.

      The north wind blew the shade cover off my potted lemon and the top of it is all scorched. Even my hardy, drought-tolerant sage plants have had some of their leaves burnt white; BUT the garden is still alive! Here's to the resilience of our gardens (and ourselves).

      All the best, Cat! Now I, too, am off for a fibre fix of my own!
      Cheers :-)

  6. After all the climate discussion, I looked up the latitudes and longitudes of some of the places mentioned to see where they were in relation to Gauteng province in South Africa where Stel used to live:

    Gauteng, South Africa: 26.2708° S, 28.1123° E
    Gauteng province is home to the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria.
    Alice Springs, Australia: 23.6980° S, 133.8807° E
    Brisbane, Australia: 28' S, 153° 1' E
    Houston, USA: 29.7604° N, 95.3698° W
    Adelaide, Australia: 34.9285° S, 138.6007° E

    And that's the geography lesson for today!