Tim Walker’s Theory XXXV

Interesting how many individuals seem to think, as if climatic behaviour is dictated by man and not the other way around, that the turn of the season – 1st March, 1st June, 1st September, 1st December – must invariably and immediately present the weather changes its name indicates.

This week’s Theory therefore pertains to the erroneous yet surprisingly commonplace belief that seasonal behaviour ought to relate directly and unequivocally to how we as the people have prescribed it should.

Further to that, many people in New Zealand seem to believe that once the South rolls past that 1st December spring cut-off anything less than mid-twenty degree temperatures, similarly a chilly burst of substantial rainfall, should be considered a ‘freak weather phenomenon’; these same querulous pillocks maintain that any pleasant day or warmth in general past the end of February is ‘unseasonable’.

Nothing annoys me more than to hear a weather presenter, for example on December 15th following a period of particularly icy southerly rainfall, inquiring with disingenuous disbelief, “Where’s summer gone?”, “What happened to summer?” or, “I thought this was supposed to be summer..?”

In fact no, something does annoy me more than that: it’s when naïve Auckland-based weather presenters, who likely do their best to avoid ever stepping outside the temperate safety of their own air conditioned television studio and whose closest experience with actual weather is the information provided via a shimmering computer screen by MetService, refer to sunshine thus heat as an invariable positive, and rainfall hence lower temperatures as an indubitable negative…

Just to be clear there is nothing negative, Canterbury Plains midsummer, about a few days of cooler temperatures and overcast drizzle, following a week of stifling heat and desiccating nor’ west wind; yet at anything less than a prediction of unadulterated sunshine and scorching temperatures – particularly if a public holiday is in sight – from these idiot city-dwellers with no idea of anything much outside their favourite café on the outskirts of their own bloody Super City, we hear pleas of “Where’s summer gone?”, “What happened to summer?” – “I thought this was supposed to be summer..?”

…I would like everybody across this nation to realise that, firstly, nowadays anyway, a season’s technical beginning does not guarantee the sudden arrival of the weather associated with that particular climatic event, and secondly, (as I write this I become aware of my northward glance and its accompanying look of contempt) high temperatures and dry conditions, while they may be desirous for some, are certainly not conducive to everybody’s good time.

My theory therefore, because I did assure you it was in here and I don’t make a habit of laying down false assurances, is that, despite equinoxes and solstices altering slightly every year, many people appear to genuinely believe that the world’s seasons hence weather patterns are beholden to follow a schedule prescribed by man, and any deviation from the aforementioned regime is totally unexpected, wholly inconvenient, thus undoubtedly warrants that trendy title of modern man, ‘freak weather phenomenon’.

My theory can be simplified to assert that, simply, we Kiwis have become a terribly precious people.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Clemmy Attic/D V Ashon

Photography by Prash S P Pole


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