Given the haphazard approach to my Spring garden it’s been a relief to see the tulips rearing their heads this year. Their splash of colour has been a distraction though as I sprint from the house to the barn getting caught in the howling wind and rain.
But this is Spring in Wellington and there’s no point wishing it would be something else. Our exposed location in the world means that Spring means wind and lots of it. The Windy Wellington experience comes from the natural funnelling effect of Cook Strait, the stretch of ocean water that separates the North and South Islands. That funnel sends the winds up the valley and onto my backyard.
I have a friend who hibernates during the windy season. She hates it so much that she’ll move away to retire to escape once and for all. I can understand why – battling outdoors just to get around can be a tiring experience. It’s hellish on the bassets who spend their time getting smacked in the face with their billowing ears.
I take the view you can either reject or try to deny the weather or you can embrace it as another of nature’s wonders. I can go either way depending on whether I am chasing the washing blown off the line across our acres.
For all it’s natural beauty – wind and all – coming to live in New Zealand to find a better climate is false hope. This is a country of extremes and diversity. You can take your pick of tropical, arctic or temperature climes. Or you can move around the country and experience them all. But as my husband reminds me regularly as I wish for a balmy mediteranean evening is that New Zealand is a cold country with a hot sun.
I won’t deny that summer is my favourite season but I can take pretty much any season as long as there is sun. And a hot New Zealand sun any time of year is the boost I need to keep my senses alive. Perhaps I’m just a walking solar panel and need those bright spots to keep energised.
That and a splash of tulip colour.