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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 11 (February 1, 1938)

The Simmer of Summer

The Simmer of Summer.

But there's still February. Good old Feb! Not so free and easy as January, perhaps, but somewhat hot stuff all the same. In truth, he makes it so hot that he is unable to keep up the pace for more than twenty-eigght days, with an occasional burst of twenty-nine when he's on the leap.

If January makes the pace in short pants February reduces us to long gasps. He exemplifies the simmer of summer, he is the son and heir of sun and air—a red-hot poppa.

February provides a kind of encore when, soaked in sun and innured to the glorious vicissitudes of the wide open spaces, we spread ourselves all over landscape and seascape whenever we can make a toilscape. We know that if the sandfly bites us he'll get the worst of it. We are no longer a tender target for dancing Diptera as we were when we stepped off the ice in October. Sandflies stagger, moaning away, mosquitos take one look at our hardened hides and fly to the zoo for a nip of hippopotamus. Now we know why there was no mention of sandflies and mosquitos in the Garden of Eden. Adam was too tough, and so are we. Our legs are like a pair of mahogany palm pedestals that have warped in the sun. No longer does the skin on our backs flutter like tattered cigarette papers. We can even wear braces when we have to. The Begum of Bosh has nothing on us for the dark brown outlook. The sun has seeped through our pores, impregnated our interiors and illuminated the refractory recesses of our being until we glow as though we had swallowed an electric light globe.

What a life if the year could be divided into six Januaries and six Februaries with a couple of Christ-masses slipped in! The trouble then, of course, would be to get Santa Claus off the beach to do his song and dance. We can imagine a deputation of The Commercial Travellers’ Association and The Child Welfare Department on the shore with a megaphone striving to get Santa out of the sea where he is playing porpoises with Uncle Neptune and a bunch of mermaids.