The thermometer hit 30ºC today, and when combined with the low hanging thunder clouds, the humidity was formidable. Even walking down the street was enough to work up an uncomfortable sweat that would not evaporate, and thus left me feeling sticky and clammy... so you can imagine what it was like to work in the garden all morning in a long-sleeved shirt. Even as I type this now it is 8:21pm and the temperature is still up around 26ºC.
Today is the longest day of the year down here in New Zealand (which makes sense if you think of it as being opposite to Canada having the shortest day of the year at the same time). First thing this morning I walked up to Warwick and Elizabeth's to feed their cat, Tiger, and then came back to the house and had my duel with the yarrow plant near the compost. It proved tricky to remove as the root mass was growing through an old mat Skye had previously laid down with the hopes it would prevent weeds from spreading; instead, it just made digging the roots out a pain in the butt.
For the rest of the morning I dug up the remaining yarrow roots out in the far back garden, and then started practising my masonry work; I built a rock divider between the lavender and the rest of the garden soil, and then a small retaining wall around a hollow in the bed that Skye wants to eventually turn into a pond. Right now the clay soil is holding some brackish water in the bottom due to the rain we have had as of late, but I think if it were dug out and lined properly it would make quite a nice pool.
After lunch I walked into town to return a library book and buy a CD-R; for Christmas I have decided to give Skye and Finn Charlotte Diamond's A Christmas Gift as a Christmas present and to say "thank you" for making me feel so welcome here in Waipawa. (Seeing as indie Canadian singer-songwriter CDs are a little hard to come by in New Zealand, much less Waipawa, I bought it off of iTunes and I am going to burn it for them.) The walk downtown left me hot and sweaty and generally wishing I had a nice cool refreshing body of water to jump into.
This afternoon we listened to The Canadian Brass and Mormon Tabernacle Choir's album A Christmas Gloria, of which several numbers brought to mind what I think Christmas carols would sound like if written by John Williams: large, loud, and dramatic. I was afraid it would be a little too boombastic for Skye, but she likes large choirs, so it went over well.
My evening was a repeat of my morning: I walked up the hill to feed Tiger dinner, and then back to the house and started weeding a patch on the side of the house up against the chain link fence (how I despise pulling grass out of the chain link fence; it's tedious and boring). The three of us were a little sluggish at dinner... the heat and humidity can be so draining. Poor Skye had a headache, and went outside and lay down on the lawn after dinner while Finn and I watched Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. (It worked; her headache is gone.)
I have one more full day of WWOOFing here, and on the 23rd I leave for Napier. It's hard to believe I've been here for almost three weeks! My time in Waipawa has just flown by. Well, it's easy to say that sitting here inside; when I'm outside in the heat and sun, bent over a patch of stubborn weeds, the morning can easily seem to drag on for an eternity. :-) I'm off to a shower and bed now... night!