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The sky was overcast in the morning, with a low barometer in evidence, and the heat was not particularly noticeable. About 11 o'clock, however, the clouds had lowered, and with a blazing sun occasionally breaking through the overhead canopy, the atmosphere became pent up, and the thermometer quickly rose, Mr Paulin stating that his instrument recorded 90deg in the shade at 1 o'clock.
At St. Kilda the heat was at its height at about 12 o'clock, and a few drops of rain fell there at 1 o'clock. At that hour a heavy black cloud hung over the city, but it gradually drifted away to the north. The weather conditions looked threatening all the afternoon, but the rain held off, and the heat continued quite oppressive till 5 o'clock, when a cool breeze set in from the south-west.
Reports received from Purakanui state that several heavy showers of rain fell there in the afternoon, the effect no doubt of the black rain clouds which passed northwards over the city earlier in the day.
• Timaru, January 14. The hottest day of the season was experienced to-day. The temperature was caused by a north-west wind, amounting at times to half a gale, and 92deg. were recorded within the Post Office, and 95deg. in the shade out of doors. Much vegetation was withered and scorched. Two or three grass fires were reported, but no damage was done. One threatened the railway bridge at Washdyke, and men were sent to the spot by rail, but found it extinguished when they arrived.
• Australia is a large spot on the map, but Australians have smaller ideas than the largeness of their country warrants, writes Tom Mills. The reason for this narrowness of vision is easy of explanation.
The great bulk of Australians are cityfied. The Sydney-siders' horizon does not extend further than his harbour, and the Melbournian's no further than St. Kilda. The man in the country envies his cousin in the city, and longs for the day when he can get a job right in the heart of things, where every prospect pleases, and only work is vile. The man in the city, on the other hand, gives not a thought to his country cousin. There is no community of interest.
Over here in New Zealand the city labourite looks upon the man in the country as a factor to be reckoned against in a time of industrial trouble. But the city man on the other side of the Tasman Sea has not even that respect for the man on the land. The Australian citizen is selfishness personified.
Sydney workers, in common with almost every section of that pleasure-loving city, are devoted to sport, of all kinds, but particularly horse-racing. The crowds are seen pouring out of the big factories at noon, men and women and the youth of both sexes, dressed in their glad rags for an outing of some kind. Home is the last place thought of on Saturdays in the New South Wales capital. The result of this Saturdayising is that employers complain that workers give next to no thought on that day to their work.
This clock-watching habit, plus the continuous efforts of trades unions towards a shorter work-week, is having its effect. In the printing and allied trades alone there is a serious movement for a five-days' week. When the proposal came in proper form before the master printers of Sydney there was only one employer who stood in the way of a general closing down of factories from Friday evening to Monday morning. That employer happens to be a man of force of character and influence. But it is considered that even he will be worn down to acquiescence by the end of this year.
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