A White Christmas in Perth

Perth, for those who haven’t been here, is not the coldest city in Australia; especially around Christmas time, which is the height of summer. Every year we celebrate Christmas drenched in sweat. I particularly feel sorry for those suffering souls who get dressed up in Santa Claus outfits, for the kids, and sit in the sun for hours going, ‘Ho, ho, ho.’ I’m sure every year the 25911872Emergency wards are filled with dehydrated Santas.

Many people try to hold Christmas in July parties. It’s cooler here and more like the weather you’d expect for Christmas. However, the idea has never really caught on.

So this year my wife and I decided to pull out all the stops. It was our turn to host a Christmas party and we were determined to make it a success.

To that end, my wife hit upon the idea of having an ice sculpture.Ice Sculpture

As you might imagine, having an ice sculpture means having ice (with me so far?). But having ice means having freezing temperatures. And this, in the high summer of Perth, presents something of a problem.

Fortunately the company had an empty warehouse that was perfect for the venue, however, it going to need a massive air-conditioning upgrade. I phoned around.

No one wanted to touch it.

I was told I was crazy even to think about air-conditioning a warehouse to just above freezing. Only McKnights seemed interested. They wanted to have a look at the venue before committing to anything.McKnight's

And look they did! They took measurements of the room, looked at the existing insulation, asked how many people would be attending (all those warm bodies needed to be offset) and how many ice sculptures there would be. Then they went back to their offices and did some calculations.

To be honest I thought they’d turn us down. What we were asking was crazy.

But the next day we were sent a tender. Since it was the only tender we accepted and McKnights got to work.

ductedIt was something to see them crawling all over that warehouse. They were like ants on wedding cake. Ducted air-conditioning pipes sprung up on the building like varicose veins. It was somewhat ironic to see the air-conditioning workmen sweating in the December sun.

But they did it.

The party was an enormous success. The air-conditioning worked a treat. Everyone was able to walk off the street and leave the thirty degree summer for a two degree White Christmas.

And just so you know – there aren’t that many ice sculptors in Perth. We had to fly one in from New Zealand. And that was the most expensive part of the party.

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