Not in the travel warnings….

In an effort to keep a little abreast of what’s happening at home, Gavin (every day) and I (sporadically), read The Age newspaper online. Consequently, we know all about Ted’s resignation, useless, boring NAB Cup scores and most annoyingly, the unseasonable and never-ending hot, hot, hot weather in Melbourne.

I say it’s annoying, because it rather takes away our right to complain of the hot weather over here. (So does the fact that it was our choice to move to a city located this close to the equator, but I won’t mention that.) The Rio weather has led us to reconsider a particular ethical issue that we had quite a strong stance on when living back in Melbourne. Sure it gets hot there, but then a cool change will wing in from the West and all will be well, so surely everyone can just suck it up for a few days, right? I mean, unless you’re old or sick, who really needs an air conditioner – one of those high energy using, environmentally destructive appliances that are ruining the planet?

Hmmm. Yes, well we’ve had a re-think. No more standing room only on the high moral ground – in fact, please, take our seats. There’s only so many thirty-five degree days with 85% humidity that we can stand. Actually, not even one, so the the air-conditioners are now our friends.

However, a recent conversation with someone who has lived in Rio for a number of years revealed another deadly secret of the air-conditioner, one that’s far more lethal than the gradual destruction of the environment. Apparently, they have a nasty habit of falling off walls, aiming for pedestrians and squashing them flat.

Something to do with untrustworthy fittings, crumbling bricks and corrosive salt spray that turns all metal into rust. (How do any of them actually stay up!!)

A very standard building facade - these units are eighth floor and up.

A very standard building facade – these units are eighth floor and up.

This unfortunate information means that I’m slowly losing the battle towards clinical paranoia and I found myself scuttling along a street this week, crashing into loads of people as my attention was focussed upwards instead of where I was heading. So, in a bid to reclaim sanity, I consulted the oracle of knowledge (Google) to try to find actual statistics. There weren’t any and I have finally concluded that it may be similar to that good old story in Australia that more people are killed by beach umbrellas than sharks.

Actually – there are a lot of beach umbrellas here as well.

Let’s move on, shall we?

As an update to Charlotte’s camp – she arrived back yesterday safe and sound, after having a great time. Us parents were supported throughout the week with the delivery of a daily bulletin, (with about 150 photos attached), telling us what the kids had been doing. It included all the important stuff like yes, they had brushed their teeth, applied sunscreen and eaten a healthy breakfast. Phew!

I shouldn’t knock the photos, though. I was made aware of an unanticipated benefit when we were perusing the CD she brought back with her, (all the kids were issued with one), and she said – “I knew you’d be looking at these and seeing what I was wearing, so I made sure I changed my t-shirt twice a day.”

I was very impressed – it won’t work when it’s Mitchell’s turn though.

And finally, before I sign off on this post – the photo below is of a packet of paper napkins I purchased at the supermarket the other day.

Not exactly tactful.

Not exactly tactful.

It was the only brand on offer and I’m trying not to take it personally.

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