Happy New Year!!

It's summer in Melbourne, the schools are back this week which means it's full steam ahead with us all heading back to work, routine, study, and just general business.

Our summer holidays may be over, but summer certainly isn't as February and sometimes March are usually the hottest months. So I've put together a 'Summer in Melbourne' vocabulary list for you with the most common words that seem to be thrown around here at this time of year.

bushfires - common throughout Australia and usually occurring during summer months. The country is more susceptible during periods of drought. Can be seen as a natural disaster that encourages regeneration of the land.

controlled burning - legally lighting fires for the purposes of forest management. Usually conducted in the cooler months to reduce fuel build-up and therefore help prevent the possibility of hotter, more intense fires.

arsonist - someone who deliberately sets fire to property.

CFA - Country Fire Authority

total fire ban - declared during extreme weather conditions. No one is allowed to light, use or maintain a fire in the open on these days, including barbecues and Webers that require solid fuel.

esky - it is a portable container that keeps your food and drinks cool. You will typically see these at picnics and barbecue gatherings. Every Australian household has at least one.

AO - stands for 'Australian Open'. For the last two weeks of January Melbourne is eating, sleeping, breathing the Australian Open Tennis Grand Slam. Even if you have never watched a match of tennis in your life, by the end of these 2 weeks you will be an expert and a tired one, after staying up late at night to watch the end of those 5 set thrillers.

big bash - an attempt to make the slowest game in the world a little bit quicker. 20 overs of Cricket.

Shakespeare in the Park - Spend the balmy evenings watching and listening to Shakespeare's controversies at the Royal Botanical Gardens where you can bring rugs and picnic baskets and squeeze up to each other all under the romantic stars.

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