Windy Wellington

On a fine day, Wellington is a wonderful place to be outdoors. With the sun shining and the air calm, it’s gorgeous. Occasionally, the wind dies completely, and the harbour is as smooth as glass, not a ripple in sight.

And then there are days like today, when the wind rattles the windows and tries to knock you down when go you outside. While stopped at a traffic signal, my little car quivers like a frightened bunny as the wind plays with it, and tries to skitter across the westbound lanes of Cobham Drive when sea water slaps its windshield—water that leapt over the pedestrian walkway, bicycle path, the band of rocks and vegetation between them, plus two lanes of eastbound traffic and a grassy median.

Today, of all days, the window washer came by, cleaning the outsides of the windows on the building I work in. Seemed like a futile gesture.

In the eight years we’ve lived in Wellington, the wind has snatched the glasses off my face twice. The first time was at a busy intersection; my husband chased after them into traffic, his arms windmilling. The traffic stopped for him; he and the glasses both made it back unharmed. (I was glad he was with me. If it had been up to nearsighted me they would never have been seen again.) The chip in the lenses is from the second time, when the wind grabbed them and flung them against the side of an office building. Now I hold on to them whenever the wind picks up.

But even with the problems it causes, I love it. I lived for a while in a place where it was warm and sunny, day in and day out, for months, and I got bored. I missed real weather. We need days like today to make us appreciate the nice ones. Here, I’m more aware of the weather—the shapes of the clouds, the colours of the sky, the rainbows, the constant changes—than I remember being in anywhere else I’ve lived.

Sometimes, living in Wellington is a real blast.

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