‘You should have been here in August,’ people say. It was hotter then. More humid (one hundred percent humidity). I stand in the school corridor recovering from the walk, the sweat so thick it is a second skin.

When we first moved to Port Pirie my Mum would say, ‘There’s only two degrees of hot…there’s hot and bloody hot’. She was wrong. There is this.

Later, at the intersection, one of the mums I recognise but do not know calls from her 4-wheel drive window, ‘Hop in.’

‘It’s okay,’ I call back, ‘We’re nearly home. But thank you…thanks so much, that’s really kind.’

She furrows her brow as she winds the window up.

We are nearly home. If it is thirty degrees. Even if it is thirty five. But it is forty degrees. Humid. And two o’clock in the afternoon. I am carrying all of our bags. Those ten minutes are long.

‘It’s all right,’ I tell the boys, ‘we’ll have the car tomorrow, or maybe the day after that at the latest and then we’ll drive until the weather cools down again.’

Like everything here, the car is taped in red. The buyer and the seller must be present at the buyer’s bank, the seller’s bank, there is a valuation not more than 5 days old, a trip to a government department, forms, more forms, photocopies of forms. But it all goes smoothly and we take possession of the car. No, not ‘we’, the mister.

Our car is a humble one. It is not gold-plated. It is not a Lexus or a VW Golf. It will spend its nights parked next to a Hummer. Again, not gold-plated.

I have always preferred to walk or bus or tram. Here, that I am trapped without a car makes me feel twice as trapped. It is an odd kind of claustrophobia.

But my google reader brings hope. Look, it’s spring at Cristy’s and at Pav’s While you spring, we will cool down, and in a month or so, we will be out of the car again. And in the meantime, I can enjoy an Australian spring, without getting hayfever.

From 13th street