As I look out of the window from my desk, I see rain falling, making the river ripple. It is overcast, almost dark, and cool, or cooler than it usually is. I love the rain here! It intensifies the greens of the tropical vegetation and gives us welcome relief from the heat. Loving rain is a strange phenomenon for a New Zealander – we usually long for sunshine, especially at this time of the year when winter seems endless. I have a growing collection of colourful umbrellas at the front door. These are usually used to ward off the sun, as in the photograph above, when we were visiting Penang Hill. I find an umbrella is more practical than a hat – it gives one more shade than a hat would without cutting off the air supply to one’s head. It is advisable to keep your head open to whatever breeze there may in the Malaysian heat. Don’t worry though about bringing your umbrella with you when you visit, I’ve got plenty to go round!

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