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Well, I’m back in at work now after three weeks and four and a half thousand kilometres.  Pleased to discover that in my absence the house hadn’t burnt down, there had been no floods and Christmas presents hadn’t been stolen.

So it’s now back to trawling through three weeks’ worth of emails, catching up with how student projects have developed in my absence, and getting something written on the blog before you all think I’ve fallen down some abandoned mine-shaft on the West Coast.

So, please forgive the rather trivial nature of this entry – which is really just to say that I am back. 

But, to complement my bit about the We(s)t Coast, I should add I have now experienced the other side of the phenomenon, namely the eerie Northwest wind sweeping across Canterbury and Marlborough. Having lost its rain, and gained a lot of latent heat while over the mountains, the air now descends and heats up futher, taking the temperature in Blenheim a couple of days ago to an uncomfortable 34 degrees. But what I found eerie is that ‘hot’ doesn’t seem to fit with ‘windy’, at least in my experience. A strong wind usually means it feels cool, and quite possibly wet as well. But not with that Nor’wester.   Very spooky.