Spring is - well, trying to.
The basic winter weather pattern of rain, wind and chill has given way to a more compromising rhythm, in which the rain sometimes takes whole days off. As I type this, the sun is actually looking quite friendly. Hardy European souls like me can now wander about Auckland, during the day, without even a jacket on.
The downside is, I really have to drag out the lawnmower as soon as I'm able. In this idiotic climate, the grass never really stops growing. As a result, the lawn - and even more, the communal area I take care of - are looking more than a little shaggy.
One of the neighbours was dropping heavy hints to me the other day about rats nesting in long grass. Personally, I think the local cat population should be well on top of that - we see them prowling about quite routinely. But I do want to mow it anyway, before it gets even more out of hand.
Once upon a time, my ancestors mowed the grass with a scythe - a tool that positively relished length. For the past 20 years, I've searched for such an instrument in every DIY store and garden centre I've been in. You just can't get 'em. And so I have to struggle with a powered lawnmower, which costs ten times as much, requires recharging, and can't cope with grass that's more than ankle-deep. That's progress for you.