The Summer I Know

By Anna Shiel

The long awaited season had come into reach. From the lazy holiday sleep-in, the family awake from their sweltered snooze. You throw on some shorts and a loose singlet to head towards the local corner shop. You stroll to the corner shop, well known to your childhood, with the paint dated, defeated by the hot weather of mid-30s temperatures in Melbourne appearing form a distance. Walking down through the street, the subsiding sounds of traffic dispel from the atmosphere.

Strolling through the door, with the small window of a quirky little corner shop, the jingle of the small bell alerts the cashier. The air conditioner relieves you from the flourishing mid-morning heat. A welcoming ‘Good Morning’ from the affable clerk is heard while you politely respond with small talk while searching for the milk in the freezer doors. Once spotted, you would tug the ‘pull’ door and a draft of frosty air would explode through the clear door towards you.

Walking over to the clerk, “It’s lovely and cool inside here!” you would continue to exclaim and hand over the milk bottle to the distinctive corner store clerk. The small chatter would endure, as you would pull out the pink rectangular crumpled note to pay.  Once paid, you would pull the door to disappear from the feel of the air conditioner and the smell of the deep fryer, beginning to create the crispy chips, crunchy battered dim sims and potato cakes, to enter the warmth of outside the quirky corner shop. The gust of hot wind hits you.

Soon you enter the house of your famished family members.  Grasping the honey and the well acquainted “Weet-Bix” box to throw them into the breakfast bowl and some fresh milk bought from the corner shop.

Come on, we won’t be even get there when the sun goes down if we carry on like this!” Mum cries as you and your siblings would flash down the stairs snatching your beach towels on the balcony. You would leap into the Holden feeling the sand on the floor between your bare feet from yesterday at the beach.

Just after passing midday, the signpost: ‘Mt. Martha’ indicating the arrival would be present, the strong scent of sunscreen and coconuts would consume your nose. Before jumping out of the vehicle your dad would announce, “Only 32?C degrees? Not hot enough for this time of year, like back in my hey day…

Your siblings and you would sigh in the sweltering weather whilst securing the Holden door. Racing over to the beach, the scorching sand you would tip toe on would sting until you rest your beach towel on the sand floor to stand on. The sea water warm from the sunshine present. Neck deep was just enough. Days spent at the beach, you would splash along and swim to your heart’s content. We had reached summer.


About John Harms

John Harms is a writer, broadcaster, publisher, historian, speaker and teacher. He loves stories.

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