It’s October – mid spring apparently, with snow falling, temperatures plummeting and winds that turn precipitation of any kind into needles according to the pain receptors in my skin, it’s just not…well…springy enough! I think we have been short changed on the naming of the seasons. NZ weather is far from a predictable or comfortable 4 phase cycle and I think many would agree we should really get on with adjusting our language to fit the reality. Our weather is confusing at the best of times and that is why I think in the spirit of Kiwi DIY we ditch the traditional 4 seasons and go for a realistic 6. Here they are:
December-January – ‘Springmer’: Ok this is when it is definitely lighter but not necessarily warmer. Christmas could be shorts and t’shirts or blizzard wear, or both. Try sitting on the beach during this time and you are likely to be sandblasted or need a beanie and jacket close by. It’s definitely not the time to ‘oil up’ unless you like being a sand magnet.
Feb-March ‘summer’: School holidays end and the weather gets hot, humidity rises and finally the sun actually packs a punch beyond searing your skin and rather than being at the beach, cooling off we pack our children off to bake and sweat in our sauna like schools buildings.
April-May ‘Simper’: I like this time of the year, it’s the old ‘autumn but I like Simper because it’s like summer doesn’t want to let go but it’s darker earlier and the humidity disappears.
June-July ‘Winter’: Here it is finally but not necessarily cold – it is dark, chillier, snow arrives.
August-September ‘Wetner’: Winter with lashings of rain with cold. Often colder than June and July.
October-November ‘Windner’: Another winter theme but equinox winds are added to the mix and as I have already mentioned pack a real punch.
I’m not sure if it will catch on but we have far more seasonal diversity than is represented in the limited quarterly divisions suggest by conventional categories. But there is a fundamental flaw in my perspective as any Southerner will know – the South Island has it’s own twist on the above, depending again on which side of the Alps you are. Perhaps the mystery of the weather is matched by our bizarre knack for building houses with reverse insulation. It wouldn’t be a Kiwi home if you didn’t put a jacket on when you got inside. Come to think of it, maybe the expression ‘yeah-na’ is weather related, because if you want to know if it’s going to rain the answer has to be both.