Hot in the city, but it could be a lot worse

THERE’S a justifiable petulance when Bathurstians are forced to endure a summer heatwave, as they have been this week.

It can be seen on the faces of those in the CBD trying to keep to the strips of shade as they go about their business or braving the glaring expanse of Kings Parade as they travel from George to William Street.

It can be seen in the demeanour of those returning to parked cars at the end of the work day, who step back as they open the door as the burst of heat washes over them.

And it can be heard in the reports of the world outside from those returning to air-conditioned offices after their lunch.

All of them are petulant about the same thing: the injustice of having to cop hot summer weather in a city that already forces its residents to endure a long, long winter.

Because no matter how brave a face Bathurstians put on from autumn to mid-spring, the truth is that the cold months ask a lot of those who live here.

The cold months require fortitude and patience. They require resilience and endurance as the grey days start to stretch out endlessly and it feels as if the world will never reach 20 degrees again.

Bathurst’s winter just past was particularly challenging because it combined the usual freezing temperatures with a sodden period in the middle of the year that would have discouraged even the most hardy of residents from venturing outside.

So at the end of all that, Bathurstians rightly expect to have a mild summer as their reward.

And when they don’t get it – and this January has, so far, been a hot one by Bathurst standards, with a top of almost 40 degrees still to come this week – they feel as if a deal has been broken.

Those feeling too sorry for themselves this week, however, need not look too far to see someone who has to endure a lot more than them.

The region’s volunteer firefighters will be ready as the temperatures rise this week to grab their equipment and do their best to protect us all.

They have the difficult task of going where it is hottest – to the fire grounds themselves – to keep their community safe.

We should think of them this week.

And, if more cheering up is needed, we should think of a grey, miserable mid-winter day on the Central Tablelands.

Maybe 38 degrees isn’t so bad compared with that.