In my childhood we had winter each year. It rained more than now. We had a flood every year. The river always flooded and we would have water up to our back door. The actual river was approximately a mile from the house but when it flooded it was obvious that in previous times the river had changed its course a number of times. There were three ancient rivers between us and the river. When it flooded the river resumed its old ways. The river itself flowed close to a large hill and when it flooded you could see that it burst through the narrowing as it ran into the hill. The water took on a life of its own.
I liked the fact that we had a flood every year. We were sometimes surrounded by water and we were cut off. School was off for a day or two. But life hardly changed. It only became more interesting. The cows would congregate on a temporary island surrounded by water. They were never in any danger. They knew what to do and still came home to be milked. They would walk through water to do this. Water holes would all fill up when the creeks and ancient water courses flowed with water. Rabbits would be trapped out of their burrows and were easy targets for dogs. They were easily caught if they attempted to swim away.
I can only remember it being cold once. We had a neighbour visiting us and my mother had prepared a hot water bottle for bed. The neighbour made fun of me for having to have a hot water bottle. What was I - a man or a mouse. Of course it must have been cold. The puddles on the road froze up. If you were skilled you could skid your bike across the ice. Your back wheel.
Undoubtedly we had summers but I cannot remember being hot. We once had a bush fire but I didn't feel unsafe. The fire came towards us and it was like watching water flowing from tree to tree. It didn't seem to move very quickly. I watched from a distance. I had no sense of it being hot. I do remember the noise of cicadas on overcast muggy days. They made a loud noise that went on for some days. They were probably there because the winters flood had made conditions that suited them. Alas we no longer have the pleasure of hearing cicadas.
As we grew up we enjoyed the summer more. You could go swimming every day. We had large water holes full of water we could play in. One hole was rumoured to be bottomless. It never dried up. I built a raft for this hole. I remember the sweat pouring off me as I worked in the corrugated iron shed attaching the four gallon drums to the wooden slats.
My cousin - recently deceased - would come to visit. I liked it when he came. We did lots of good things. We spent a lot of time on the raft. He was once on the raft in the middle of the water hole when he spied a large very dangerous looking insect in the water. It frightened him and he came out immediately.
Later on when we were in our early teens I was able to stay at his place one wonderful summer. He had been given a Jersey heifer as a pet and he had trained this heifer to act like a horse. He rode it everywhere. We rode it everywhere. It could carry more than one child. He lived near the river as well and the heifer would take us to the river and when asked carry us into the river. This was great fun. I cannot recall it ever being oppressively hot.
One notable thing happened when I was there. I rebelled against my mother. I had a haircut. My cousin's father took us to the barber and I was asked if I would like a haircut. I said yes please. I was always asking for a certain type of popular haircut but my mother would never allow it. When it came time to go home and my mother came to get me I had the popular haircut and she was not happy. I wasn’t allowed to stay there again.
In adult life the seasons have changed. For the past twenty years or so we have lived with an extended drought. In drought times we go from a dry winter to a dry summer. There is no spring or autumn. This is disappointing. I do enjoy the winter more than the summer however. We have a winter house that has proper insulation in the walls and the windows are all double glazed. We have a large wood heater that spreads a comfortable warmth through the whole house.