I would have been born in England, but my parents came home from their OE when they found out they were pregnant. Those formative fetal months under the pallid English skies left an indelible British mark on my constitution. My personality can essentially be distilled down to: a love of scotch eggs, and a vocal distaste for hot weather.
This year, my contribution to Ensemble’s extremely niche gift guides is geared towards people like me – who sweat out summer daydreaming of the fresher embrace of autumn.
Maybe this is you, maybe it’s the person in the passenger seat of your life – with their head out the car window feeling the breeze and scanning the roadside for an ice cream stall.
George Street Linen printed sheet, $110
For four months of the year I’m forced to be a top sheet person. I can’t even look at a duvet between December and March, so my sheets have to be pretty and high quality. I don’t really care for those popular linen ones - too soft and cosy for sweltering nights. These 100% cotton ones are both cute and cool.
Baggu water bottle sling, $80, from Good As Gold
A hands-free option for people who are joined at the hip with their giant water bottles.
Acme x Karen Walker ‘Bobby’ mugs, $32 each
If you have things to achieve, but want to do them and avoid the heat, then chances are you’ll be up early and in need of a coffee to kickstart your day. It is my life’s ambition to own a Moccamaster, but for now my desire for a brightly coloured coffee delivery system is fulfilled with these Acme mugs that come in a range of gorgeously toasty Karen Walker colours.
Academy Cinema membership, $30 a year
I will feverishly tell anyone kind enough to listen about the Academy Cinema membership programme. For $30 a year you get: $12 tickets to all regular film sessions, a 10% discount on all food and drinks and two free passes to a regular film session. More importantly, you get unlimited access to an air conditioned underground venue.
Rachel Carley Sunshine dinner plate, $99
I struggle with the heat but have no trouble conceding that summer food reigns supreme. I have an Instagram folder dedicated to saving out of season recipes from Northern Hemisphere accounts that I come back to right around the time I start buying deodorant bottles in pairs.
Ham El-Waylly’s Corn and miso pasta salad, Julius Robert’s Apricot Tarte Tatin, Ixta Belfrage’s Crab, courgette and coconut omelette are top of the list, they’ll all look better dished up on one of Rachel Carley’s sunny serving plates.
Cotton On beach umbrella, $50
I’m not a total sun grinch, I still want to be invited on your beach trip. I’m just bringing my own vintage styled sunbrella and will sit there, read my book and look after everyone’s stuff while they swim.
Holman Colordrip garden hose, $19, from Bunnings
When you’re too creeped out by the ocean’s depths to enjoy paddling out further than knee depth, you find your wai elsewhere. Consider if you will this slightly ridiculous, but very aesthetic, pastel hose.
Cusinart 2L ice cream maker, $250, from The Homestore
Every year, as I stand in a very slow moving line for a real fruit ice cream and dampness forms on my lower back, I wonder, “how much to buy one of those industrial contraptions for the house?” The answer is prohibitively expensive, but I am really into an at home version. My life changed the day I realised you can also use them to make frozen cocktails.
We keep the bowl in the freezer all summer long so we’re always ready to churn up a pint using whatever fruit has over ripened in the fruit bowl. Over the break I’ll be attempting to make two recipes by Kitty Travers, the culinary genius of La Grotta Ices fame: Ricotta and canditi for a festive party and Barbados Custard to scoop on top the cirtusy bread and butter pudding I make on Boxing Day with leftover croissants.
Skintopia ice globes, $45
I’ve been waking up at the crack of dawn. Not because of a zest for life, but because my bedroom is already hotter than hell. It also means I wake up looking ruddy, puffy and just generally frazzled. After a tepid shower, and liberally spritzing my face with a mist, I go to town on my swollen eyes with these giant ice globes. The relief is instant, if temporary.
Yoyoso handheld mini fan, $20
Truthfully, I feel too subconscious to use one of these mini fans in public. But surely me fanning myself down is preferable to the alternative: a top lip mopping puddle of sweat in human form.