Those of you in the Northern hemisphere are gearing up for a sunny season, still comparatively short for us here in sunny Down Under...but I remember the days of Spring-bursting-into-Summer in my hometown of Vancouver. Where people can't help but spend every waking moment from early dawn until the beautiful twilight dusk...OUTSIDE! Many of you, my family in particular will scoff at this, think that because we've got it warm and sunny for most of the year we have no right to feel miserable when our Autumn-into-Winter comes along. And for me especially! I should be blissfully ignorant of the cold here, right? After all, it's Australia! Struth mate!
As we descend into our Winter 'darkness' I must tell you, I'm not looking forward to it! I hate wearing more than one layer of clothing, putting socks on my feet, and running between bursts of rain to do anything outside, but I'll get to that in a bit!
It's not like we get snow up to our eyeballs or anything like that here...we don't even get rain up to our ankles in some parts...but it's a different kind of cold here...The wind is Antarctic and biting, straight off the Southern Ocean. And the most incredible part...for some reason, is that the people who built the houses of yesteryear...like the one I live in...were built for hot summers, but not for cold Winters...go figure!? No insulation, no double-glazing, cracks in the floorboards, vents in the walls that go straight outside, and in my case...an outdoor toilet!!!
My dunny isn't quite this remote but it is at the back of my property, fully away from the house...and most definitely has NO insulation. A great way to wake up in the morning...that first perch on a freezing cold seat!
It also took me a long time to realise that the grey wouldn't descend permanently for months on end...we get sunshine roughly every three or four days in the thick of Winter...DON'T LAUGH! It gets me through! I wear beanies, jumpers, robes, and Ugg boots inside my house...and sometimes all at the same time! It's pointless to put the heater on here...why pay for heating the outside of my house...it all goes through the vents, thin windows and cracks in floorboards.
Now I've got you scared haven't I? Heh heh...really it's not that bad, not bad at all. I've never done well with Winter, not even in Vancouver, especially not in Vancouver! The grey Autumnal November of 2002 was the last time I saw heavy, cold, dreary rain...I'm sorry mum, but that's just how it is! I went back at the worst time of year to see if I could stand the rain, I was homesick you see. So, after 5 weeks of sickness, wetness, greyness, and misery...I headed back to the sunshine. And in the sunshine is where I stay...if I could live in sun, sand, sea, and bare feet all year round, I would, but this is as close as it gets for me right now...and it's pretty darned close!
I suppose I wanted to share this post as a bolster for the upcoming darkness, coldness, and Winteryness that we're about to experience. By sharing some of my story, especially when you folks up north are set to laugh in my face as your sunshine approaches, I had hoped that I could somehow glean some warmth from you...maybe from your heart for now. Just like the quote at the beginning of this post...
Carry a bit of the sun in your hands for me during the cold down here, would ya? And I'll do the same for you in a few months. I'd really appreciate it...appreciate knowing there's a spark lying in wait for me....how I long for the heat of night and day...silly me...it'll be here again in the blink of an eye!
For another day, I am passionately yours,
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