IT'S the week before Christmas.
To say that things have been 'heating up' in the week before Christmas would be somewhat of a weather-wise understatement.
The temperature in the retail sector seems to have been rather subdued, with parking spots readily available in most centres.
The exception to this observation is air-conditioned shopping centres where people with time to spare gather to enjoy the cooler air and the festive spirit. Getting a table in the food courts can be an adventure.
I'm not a Christmas person. I never have been.
My memories of Christmas seem to be burdened with images of drought, starving stock, dusty willy-willies spinning across the land, heat mirages, the murderous and depressing caw of crows, low commodity prices and rising interest rates.
While the Christmases spent in the west were generally stressful times, I remember with amusement and intrigue our darling mother getting rather giggly as Christmas dinner progressed. Having to finish a bottle of Barossa Pearl with Dad did take its toll.
Preparation for the dinner was marked by rituals such as the slaying of the unlucky rooster and cooking the ham. I remember Mum apologising to the hapless bird - before undertaking the decapitation. The ham was cooked in a copper, over an open fire.
Christmas day was just another day. The cow had to be milked before breakfast, the horses fed, the bore-drain checked and grids dug out.
Regardless of the seasonally inflicted pain, we were always surrounded by the love of our parents.
So, as Christmas approaches, my hopes are that your prayers are answered, your wishes granted and your days are wet.