Some said it was hotter than two goats in a pepper patch.

And who could disagree?

Saturday's 34C-35C isn't a record for these parts but certainly it's hard to remember a day as crippling.

So fine was it I thought it only right to take my daughters for a stroll amid the hustle and heat of Art Deco. As the temperature leapt into the 30s, the deco brollies become less about accessory and more about necessity.


In the ensuing hours the roads turned to malt, my visiting Palmerston North in-laws needed a serious lie-down and our tomatoes darkened two shades of claret.

But for all this, the most obvious heat gauge was the cicada.

Synonymous with summer, these clamorously amorous sun-lovers have been singing up a storm this past week. I've been waiting for the noisy boys all season.

Maori call them kihikihi-wawa - the gloriously onomatopoeic term means "to roar like the sound of heavy rain".

At the weekend their soundtrack drowned everything. Listening to their performance in the backyard I could hear none of the usual urban soundtrack. No dogs, no lawnmowers, no kids, no domestics, no muscle-cars.


But the highlight came at 1.46am yesterday where they found song in a bizarre late encore. The usually diurnal insects switched to nocturnal in deference to the heat. They sang for 12-odd minutes then, just like that, stopped.

Like a beach at high tide it was a kind of pandemonic peace.

So while Art Deco fans will (quite rightly) remember the weekend for its success, I say it was the weekend of the cicada.