Looking back at the very miserable summer Wellington and New Zealand have experienced weather wise (and sporting wise in the case of Wellington) it has to be asked; are we in autumn already?
Certainly the howling winds, sometimes accompanied by driving rain, that we have had over the past few weeks encourage the view that autumn and winter are close at hand, if not already present.
The sooner the Firebirds stop playing cricket the better it will be for them and for whatever fans they might have left. Rarely has a team so disgraced Wellington and so belied their name. The only team to do worse than the current Firebirds was last year's Firebirds.
On the other hand the only team to have stopped the Aussies cricketers at home is New Zealand's Black Caps; the much vaunted Indians just aren't there. Reading the Aussie media the thorough thrashing the green and golds got from the Poms just 12 months ago is already a forgotten piece of history.
Back in Wellington, the streets are crowded with people back at work early; partly it's an economy measure, and partly self preservation. No doubt the weather has brought some home early too.
When I first came back to Wellington in the mid 70's the city was dead until after anniversary day. Even ten years ago there wasn't much life until the week prior.
Now there are still some shops and cafes showing signs 'opening again on 16th Jan" but there weren't many saying that last week. The city is already back at work. Saving leave provides an extra bit of income in the event of redundancy; and not going away for as long as in previous years saves money in itself.
And this year it's easy to rationalise the decision to take a shorter holiday because the weather was rubbish anyway.
People I mix with professionally report that they are more active than is usually the case in January. I have a number of pieces of work on, and contractors are always thankful for any work in January - which is normally a low income month for many tradespeople and providers of professional services.
My own holiday already feels long gone which only reinforces the feeling created by the weather that it is already April. Where was summer? It was that brief period from just before to just after Christmas day. Oh joy, oh bliss, and yes, a happy New Year to you too.