Saturday was the hottest day I've ever experienced, although thankfully I was working in airconditioning, so didn't have to experience too much of it. When I rode to work at 9:30 it was already in the high thirties. Occasionally we'd step outside just to subject ourselves to what felt like an other-worldly heat. A hot wind roared through almost empty city streets, burning our eyes within seconds of feeling it. The sky had turned a weird grey, as though the colour had been scorched out of it. It wasn't even wide-open-plains-white coloured, but a scary grey. Almost all my workmates also cycle to work, so we all decided to wait the heat out in the city with some cool beers and ride home once it was bearable.
Thankfully a cooler wind had crept in by the time we finished, but we still retired to Section 8 for a cool beer. Section 8 is one of those laneway bars Melbourne is so famous for, but is one of the few that is so open to the sky. The courtyard in front of the shipping container bar is shaded by stone fruit trees, comic strips decorate the plywood bathroom walls and a giant, fading crosstitch takes up part of the fence. Plus it's located next to the best dumpling house in town. As we sat drinking longnecks of Coopers Pale Ale the heat of the day subsided. Drifts of cool air would pass down the laneway, and wooden seats creaked as they returned to their normal size rather than buckling with heat expansion.
When rain finally fell we relished the cool on our bare arms. It was only later that we realised how much dirt had been washed down from that grey sky, speckling my shoulders with dirty freckles.