Sunday, January 28, 2007


I really don't like the heat and this is the third day in a row of temperatures in the high 30s. However, it is much easier to cope when the house has air conditioning.

We are not quite accustomed to this luxury. The house in Bicton wasn't air conditioned, but the stone walls, high ceilings and large roof space provided pretty good insulation for the rooms in the original house. It was only the rooms at the back that got a bit hot. But when you had a week of heatwave the front of the house became a heat sink.

I can remember many summers in the past when the only relief to be obtained was from fans. When we were living in New Guinea in the 70s there was no air conditioning of course and we depended on fans, which work really well in a humid climate. All the main rooms had ceiling fans. This was fine when the power was on, but in many places, such as Maprik, there were limited hours of power supply. We were so happy when a new power station was built and we had 24 hour power.

Electric fans used to be really expensive. I remember us buying one in Wewak in 1971 or 1972 that cost about $50 (and $50 was worth a heck of a lot more then). Now you can buy one in the supermarket or at Bunnings for $14. The quality is nowhere near as good though. We had that $50 fan for more than 20 years. I can't remember what happened to it in the end - it was probably given to one of the kids when they moved out. I suspect a $14 fan will not last more than a summer or two.

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