And since our migration north to the tropics (a slight exaggeration, maybe; but that is what it feels like), we are having to learn to survive without airconditioning in our rented, two-storied house. We had airconditioning in our Canterbury house - without it, the nor'west winds are not survivable.
This is probably very much a first-world issue, and while I love it warm I am not very productive when I have my makeup melting on my face. Seriously, if I wear sunglasses or my reading glasses, they just slide down my nose in this heat. I think I was really made for colder climates.
So the first, non-optional (I tell that to Rob at least once a day) luxury for our new house is air-conditiong in the upstairs bedrooms.
And being school-holidays, I can't make home-made iceblocks fast enough, so I have stocked up on grocery-store-bought iceblocks, and we make icecreams in a cone once a day and ice-cream sodas (or spiders) are excellent for making the children feel like they've had a treat and really only using a small amount of icecream and soda.
Thank the Lord for Rob's older brother who lives across the road and generously allows us to use their pool whenever we like, or the children and I would not have survived this hot and humid summer - you should see what it does to my hair. I call it, 'going native.'! Even my children are shocked to see for the first time that I have naturally curly hair, but no amount of flat-ironing seems to stay in this weather.
Last night, just for a change and because the house was intolerable, we packed up a picnic tea of cold chicken, salad, hot chips and fudge for desert and headed for our favourite spot at Pilot Bay. It's the family-friendly side of Mount Maunganui. The ocean side has a long, beautiful, golden beach full of surfers and serious waves, while the other side is in a harbour inlet and cocooned quietly away from the ocean winds, which means safe swimming for children and sheltered enough for picnics.
There were a lot of families there, and the atmosphere is lovely. We ate our dinner and some of us read and some built sand-castles and some splashed and paddled in the sea. And we cooled off and stayed until the sun dipped below the horizon and the sandflies came out to play.