January is the hardest month to find clouds. We can go days with none at all as high-pressure systems park themselves over us. In a normal summer, on average, we get just three days of rain in the month. There are plenty of years we get no rain at all in January. Our most dramatic clouds come in winter and spring. So clouds are a bit hard to come by in January… and so are decent temperatures for riding.
This January has been off-the-charts for heat. We’ve broken all sorts of records and we are averaging 38C for a high temp (normal is 33C). The nights have been hot, too. Last week, we managed six days in a row over 40C. It was 45.9C (115F) on Wednesday. We have had several nights where the low temperature was 27C or higher. The ‘cool change’ that came through Friday meant our high temp yesterday was a freezing 37C (99F). It was 38C today. We are in for another six or seven-day run of temps over 40C this week, too.
This is officially the worst summer for heat since I moved to Oz permanently in 2001. This year has easily knocked off 2009 as the worst summer ever. I knew we were in trouble when we had the first big heatwave in December – that is way too early for a string of 43 and 44C days.
Consequently, I have not been riding at all. I’ve been getting plenty of physical activity (more than my body wants actually) at work with my box-packing activities, however, so it’s not the end of the world. Not riding, not getting outside and excessive heat makes me very cranky, though!
So with our ‘cool change’, it was only 23C (74F) this morning, so I went for out for 16kms. I managed to capture the bike with the grapevines and some high cloud (which would all dissipate by 9.30am) for the feature pic. I also got what I thought would be my ‘back-up’ picture for the month: my bike next to “The Clouds” building.
This is an Air BnB place that is for sale, because this type of accommodation is just not in enough demand enough of the year to make a go of it. The building was originally the Corowa and District Baby Health Centre that opened in 1939. It was the Family Day Care HQ for a long time, but Council got out of family daycare some time ago and sold the building. You can see some pics inside here.
I then rolled over a block to get a wall pic I didn’t manage last month. This mural is down the side of the local museum and features all of the old historic buildings and landmarks in town.
Here is the front of the museum – another wall pic not captured last month. The building was constructed in 1915. At the end of WWI, the NSW government gave out grants for the construction of literary institutes and music halls to help ‘educate’ the masses and help the returned soldiers. Citizens throughout history have been good at gaming the system and jumping through hoops. Many towns used the money to build ‘public halls’, but just called them literary institutes to get the money. You can see this all over the state of NSW – ‘literary institutes’ from the early 1900s that are still in use as public halls. In this case, the BBB stands for “Border Brass Band” and they used the hall for practice and performance. The band started in 1874. The band is still around (not with its original members, obviously) but is now called the Corowa Brass Band. I don’t know how much they perform, but they are always in the local parades and the Carols by Candlelight event.
So who knows when we’ll next get out on the bike again. Please send us some clouds… just not at night when it holds the heat in. The nights are uncomfortable enough as it is!