Summer finally arrived in Dunedin over Waitangi weekend and about bloody time too.

About half the population scattered to the myriad beaches around the city's eastern flank to allow their pasty torso's to soak up some very rare rays. Notwithstanding those parts of New Zealand that are in drought, either officially or not, it was a welcome relief from what has largely been the summer of discontent.

When a population is deprived of good weather it's interesting to observe how people react when it actually occurs. For the likes of The Country host Jamie Mackay, it means plenty of golf; for online producer Hanoi Jane it means an unwelcome distraction from hours on end of Netflix as she feels obliged to venture outside and do something unnatural like gardening.

For many locals it means tapping into their genetically pre-determined ancestral roots and bemoaning the fact it's too hot, like the good puritanical Scots they are. The dour misery displayed by these types can make Andy Murray look like a dead-set bundle of joy. For me, it's about the beach, cricket and mowing the lawns.


An ocean swim, even one in the icy South Pacific off Otago's coast, is quite literally one of life's great pleasures. Heating up on the shore and then diving in to cool off (literally a step away from catching hypothermia in our case) is a great cure for a number of ills and ailments.

It wakes you up if you're tired, relaxes you if you're wound up, cleanses you, refreshes you and it can even provide a temporary release from a biting hangover. In short, it's a great natural remedy.

Cricket is summer and summer is cricket. Watch it, play it, listen to it, talk about it; whatever. It's a bona fide Kiwi summer pastime and I won't hear a bad word about it. End of story. You can tell a lot about a man's character depending on whether he likes cricket or not and is able to talk about it in a knowledgeable way.

As for females who watch and discuss the great game with knowledge and passion, well - if you're not already married lads, take a knee and pop the question without a second thought.

If you are married and she doesn't like cricket - consider leaving and starting a new life with this cricket-loving paragon of virtue or at least try and talk her into an extra-marital affair. Don't let her get away is the moral of the story.

Which brings me to the third glorious part of summer; mowing the lawns. Whether it's a massive patch of dirt that requires a ride-on, or a pathetic excuse for a lawn that you could groom with your missus' manicure set, there is something therapeutic, cathartic even, about mowing you lawns.

I have seven pieces of lawn in total at my suburban locale, some reasonably sized, others less so, and it roughly takes about an hour to get them all looking pristine. Of course the job isn't complete unless the edges have been trimmed, including all fence lines and pathways.

Lovers of a freshly mowed lawn will understand the immense satisfaction to be gained from transforming a raggedy patch of unkempt eye-sore into a gleaming piece of natural art.

For those of you particularly enamoured with your own handy work in this area, take a photo of your masterpiece and send it to either our Facebook page, send us an email or on Twitter and we will reward the best ones with as-yet-undetermined prizes. Hanoi and I are calling this Lawn Porn. So #lawnporn when you're posting your pics and see how you rank alongside your Kiwi colleagues in this most summer of pastimes!