Thursday, January 29, 2009

Melbourne is melting

Melbourne is currently experiencing some kind of record-breaking heatwave, with temperatures the past two days soaring close to 45C (according to the BOM, today's maximum temperature in Melbourne was 44.3C at 4:43pm. Cool, eh? Well... perhaps not... :-/ )

It's days (and nights) like this, that a science geek grrl such as yours truly gets to experience first hand the principle of Physics that hot air does indeed rise. As I climb the stairs of my flat, I can feel the temperature gradient go from "mildly uncomfortable, but quite tolerable" downstairs, to "Hell may not really be physically located in Brunswick, but it sure feels like it," by the time I get to the top of the stairs.

For example, at 11pm last night as I sat at my computer briefly, I noticed that the temperature in my upstairs study was still 35C. The BOM predicted that the minimum temp overnight last night would only get down to 29, but according to the actual readings, it actually got down to 28.7 at 3am- woo-hoo!.

Tonight, as I sit in my study (very briefly) at 11:30pm, I see that the temperature is now 37C, and I can feel the sweat start to trickle down my back. I think it's time to go to bed, and try to sleep... with a heavy duty fan aimed at the bed, in the hope that it won't actually feel like 37 degrees.

If you don't hear from me again, you'll know I melted away (either that, or our area has had to take its turn for the power cuts that are plaguing significant parts of th city).

As I watched a bit of the late news on TV, with a story about the heatwave conditions in Melbourne and Adelaide, bushfires around the state of Victoria etc... immediately followed by an equally dismal story about a snow storm somewhere in the US, I couldn't help but find these conditions to be reminiscent of the apocalyptic situations that were to be found in the plethora of 'beyond the end of the world' kind of movies that came out back in the 70s and 80s (remember the Mad Max movies?).

Maybe life is finally imitating art; or maybe the movie makers really were prophets.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A surprise gift

Today I received a parcel in the mail, from a friend in the US. I was quite surprised when I collected it from the postoffice, as it was quite heavy for an international airmail parcel (and must have cost a fortune to post).

When I got home and opened the box, I was delighted to find a collection of books, of various shapes and sizes, all individually wrapped in Christmas paper.

As I started unwrapping the parcels, I discovered a lovely collection of books mainly on topics of contemplative spirituality, some of a Benedictine flavour, some by Thomas Merton, and some others by Quaker authors. One of the latter is a history of American Quaker women and feminism, and looks like it will be quite an interesting read.

During the course of my studies, I have been building a frighteningly large collection of "books to read when I finish studying"; various novels (trashy and otherwise) and other books on pastoral ministry, prayer, theology (I will read Moltmann's The Crucified God this year!). However I think some of today's arrivals will enter the "To Be Read" pile quite close to the top.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Happy New Year

Yes, I know I have been silent in the blogosphere of late, and this is because I have been hot, busy and a tad stressed. Still have my final two essays to finish (by the end of Jan!) and so can't spend much time thinking high and mighty and bloggable thoughts.

So, as a consolation prize to those of you who may have been disappointed at my recent lack of verbiage (man, who am I kidding?! :-) I have updated my profile picture to replace the old one which was taken over three years ago, before I moved to Melbourne, with a more recent pic, that was taken on the day of the UFT valedictory service last October. (Thanks to Susan, the photographer, who sent the photo to me).

I spent Christmas and new year in Sydney with Mum, and managed to catch up with some friends which was very nice, and am looking forward to a further two weeks in Tas in the first half of February, to also catch up with people and generally relax before the onerous task of packing up my flat to move to Myrtleford in early March.

So hopefully, sometime Real Soon Now (TM) I will have the time and energy to blog a bit more. Until then, Happy New Year, and enjoy what's left of the 'holiday period' :-)