But there's been a change - and a very sudden one. On Sunday we were deluged with blessed rain - and, almost magically it seemed, the garden changed. Now everything is fresh again. The leaves look greener than they've been for months and, once the flowers had shaken the rain off their petals, they were reinvigorated. These are just a few of my pot plants.
As if that wasn't enough, it was followed by a plunge in temperature with the nights dropping to 4C and even lower in the hills area behind the city. The shock to our systems! Wardrobes were raided for warm clothes, winter quilts replaced summer blankets and heating was turned on for the first time. Pisces and I scurried around closing air conditioner vents (we have an evaporative system with vents linked to a roof top unit so cold air can seep in) and dusted off the gas wall furnace. It's warmed a little since then but we've been reminded that winter is close and that we need to prepare. At the shops this morning I stood behind a woman at a department store checkout. She was loaded up with an armful of winter pyjamas and thick bed socks. I'm a little better organised but I will still need to fill a few gaps in my winter wardrobe.
Those who live in colder places might think we're being a little precious but relativity is important. Our summer temperatures of high thirties and low forties mean that when the temperature dips this low, even in mid winter, we tend to be somewhat surprised. Even then it's a fairly rare occurrence, so you can see why we react as we do.