We are right in the middle of the height of summer. In the last week of January and the first week of February, sea temperatures reach their annual peak and the weather is as reliably warm as it gets in New Zealand.
So kids are going back to school, parents are already back at work, politics is back in the paper and attention is turning to Waitangi. But I can't help it, my head's still on holiday. The only thing that caused me to lose any sleep this week was a tennis player.
He is an extremely talented player but the reason I stayed up until 1.30am last Sunday and 1am on Tuesday was to see him get beaten. He contributed to two very good matches at Melbourne before Rafael Nadal put him away in a fourth set tie-breaker at the Australian Open and the world was saved.
Nick Kyrgios is 24, no longer a youth. He just chooses to act like one, sloping about like a big awkward teenager, alternately surly and contemptuous of the business that feeds him and looking innocently aggrieved when he suffers the consequences.
"So what," say people who don't follow tennis. "Aren't all good tennis players brats?" They're thinking back to Jimmy Connors, Ilie Nastase and John McEnroe, but in fact, that's where the list ends among men who have reached the top.
The fact that 40 years after McEnroe (now a fair and perceptive commentator) people still think of tennis that way shows the enormous damage bad behaviour can do. Since the 1980s, men's tennis has had a succession of champions who cared very much for the conduct and image of the game.
None have been better in this respect than Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Nadal. They lead their sport by example. The Association of Tennis Professionals enables the touring pros to largely govern the game and Djokovic in particular often refers to a promising player as "good for our sport".
They rarely criticise a fellow player for anything. Even Serena Williams' tirade at an umpire in the 2018 US Open final received only gentle comment from them. But Nadal, to his credit, has not held back on Kyrgios, accusing him of disrespecting the game.
Kyrgios has responded by mocking Nadal's twitchy, time-consuming mannerisms on court, most recently in an early-round match at Melbourne last week. So there was plenty of needle for their meeting on Monday night.
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In the event, Kyrgios behaved well by his standards, just smashing a racquet and grizzling to the umpire once or twice. His talent is stunning. He plays like a kid who picked up a tennis racquet and discovered he could swat a ball with pin-point accuracy at devastating pace without anyone showing him how.
All he lacks is maturity. Melbourne Park has a public concourse where you can look down on the practice courts. Usually, you see a coach hitting with a player to work on particular shots. I saw a Kyrgios practice session once.
The big guy was goofing around with half a dozen mates. One of them would crouch in the service court with his back to Kyrgios and hold a racquet between his legs to protect his behind. Kyrgios would duly send down a serve that hit the racquet with a force his mate also felt.
The crowd that had gathered enjoyed it. "You've got to love him, right?" After all, it's just a game. It's not as though a cheap entertainer was running for President of the United States.
Tennis is a very temperamental game. It plays with your head. When you know you have only yourself to blame you can find yourself angry at everything and everybody else. Controlling your mind is the hardest skill it requires. It's a tough test of character.
Its standards are largely set at the top. Players at much lower levels, who were children in the era of Connors and McEnroe, sometimes still reflect the attitudes of those champions on court. They can be embarrassingly less mature than opponents half their age, who have learned the game modelled by Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.
Tennis is sorely in need of a new champion. Federer, now 38, was 21 when he won Wimbledon for the first time. Nadal, 33, was 19 when he won his first major, the French Open. Djokovic, 32, won his first, at Melbourne, aged 20. Between them, they have won 54 of the 64 grand slam tournaments of the past 16 years.
But it is most important the next champions are in their mould, like Dominic Thiem, 26, who beat Nadal in a cliffhanger quarter-final this week, and Alexander Zverev, 22, his semifinal opponent last night.
Tomorrow's final will be a contest for the ages and tennis will win.