Seasons that don’t do what they’re told

When you live in Melbourne, you can’t help but be overly concerned with the weather.

You can’t escape it. It’s not just another casual ice-breaker topic like in other, normal-climate parts of the world. The highs and the lows can be so drastic, so contrasting, often from one hour to the next, that us as Melburnians, cannot help but talk so much about our damn weather.

“Beautiful day today.”

“It’s so cold today.”

These aren’t just simple conversation starters with work colleagues. These are real, bonafide issues of debate my non-Melbournian friends. Weather is always, a serious surprise. You can never really know what is going to happen the following day – even the weather presenters guess half the time.

This is true ALL through the year.

One current theme running rampant has been this remark:

“Some summer we’ve had.”

You can’t hear my sarcasm, but we haven’t had much of a summer. Sure, there were hot days; but no real hot, long, drawn-out summer spells usually so characteristic of our humid state. No, we got a couple, at best, really hot days in a row, before a rainy, slightly humid low 20-something degree day came along. And then stayed. For like forever.

I was in denial all the way through. All through summer I kept saying “we’ll get a late summer, we’ll get a stinking hot spell late Feb right into March as usual” (observe my true climate guide for an accurate representation of Melbourne weather seasons).

We are now in March. For those of you who haven’t noticed, we’re actually on the cusp of April. And sadly, we’ve already had the heater on in our house more times than I’d like to count.

I’m a summer gal. I love the sunshine, the warmth, the socialising and the out and about. I love the ease, the mildness that allows you to dress so comfortably, the warm nights that let you dream and gaze at the stars outside, and I love the long, light-filled days. I got caught in the rain a month back, and it was actually fun, and pleasurable, because it was still warm. Summer is just so easy.

I HATE being cold. I hate shivering in the morning as I get dressed, fighting against the coastal wind as I charge my way through the doors at work, and I hate never being able to get the house, and keep it warm, for long enough. It’s always crisp, fresh, and biting.

However, something’s changed.

I constantly remind myself, that winter is always so much worse as we’re in anticipation of it, and that once it’s here, it’s actually not too bad. This concept has helped. But it’s more than that. Summer is easy, but summer means busy too, and finding time to catch up on stuff, to read, to write, has just been so challenging and trying in the last several months. I love to go out, yes. I love to socialise, yes. I love having things to do, places to go and people to see, yes, yes, yes.

But I’m kind of looking forward to chilling at home and hibernating through the cold.

I don’t know what it is that’s made me think this way, this year, and not every other year previously. Is it the fact that I have more on now? The fact that I’m a Mum? Do I need more time for myself and my stuff, because life is just busier now? Perhaps. I’ve always said that winter is only fun when you don’t have to go out, you don’t have to work, in fact you don’t have to do anything at all. Basically, if you’re a bear, winter is awesome. If you can just stay at home snuggled up on the couch with your favourite blankie drinking hot chocolate, reading to your heart’s content and watching all your guilty-pleasure trashy shows, well winter looks kind of rocking in a mellow sorta way.

I am actually looking forward to winter… a little bit. Staying in and lounging in your trakkies ALL day because you can, and the weather doesn’t make you feel bad for doing so. Watching the rain and feeling infinitely inspired to write, and write, and write. (I know I shouldn’t wait for the rain, in order to write, but you know, this shit helps). Using the cold as an excuse to not go anywhere and just basically, be a bear.

Don’t get me wrong, I was still reflecting today, on this gorgeously hot Melbourne day, the (lack of) summer that had just passed, feeling quite depressed that I only got two days at the beach. Just two. I bought new bikinis for this. Baby girl has 3 sets of bathers. 3. She is 19 months old, and she has 3 sets of bathers.

But never mind. It’s something we’ve come to expect, something that is a natural part of life for Melburnians. My most accurate representation of this comes in an early memory, of being a teenager lying on my parents’ bench out on the verandah in the midday hot sun, and then coming inside to green-vision thinking ‘am I going to be burnt?’ to then sitting in front of the heater that night, shivering from the cold.

That’s our city for you. Beautiful one day… screwed if I know what’s next.

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My whole life I’ve been living a Season’d Lie

A few weeks ago while taking a leisurely Autumn walk around my neighbourhood, paper cup harbouring warm coffee firmly in my hand as I pushed the pram with the other, it suddenly hit me:
It was all a lie.

I don’t think I fall into the unusual category when I say that the weather impacts majorly on my moods. I live for warm days spent outside in the sunshine, doing absolutely anything at all, as long as it leads to sun blindness to the point that re-entering any interior results in having green vision for about 30 seconds. And on the flipside, I once worked with a guy who expressed that his hatred for Winter led to him wanting to hibernate throughout the entire season. I could certainly feel for him. In my opinion the only time cold weather is good, is when you don’t have to leave the house, with your only job to stay cuddled on the couch drinking warm teas. In that world where time stands still and your life waits for you to get ready – yeah right.

So I was there, walking with coffee as I often do, when I realised just how much I was loving Autumn. It had started out as the kind of sunny day that still made you reach for your jacket with the freshness of a Winter’s chill soon approaching, however as the midday sun beat down on me I was able to remove my jacket, and really enjoy the sensations, sights and sounds that this season had to offer.

Yes, we were having an unseasonably warm Autumn. Weather reports constantly declared new records being broken, and the fact that Winter was so near and yet the weather was pretty damn acceptable, was further proof of that.

But no, it wasn’t just that this Autumn was better than previous ones. I thought of Spring, and then ‘Summer,’ and thought ‘lies, lies, lies.’

Look, this is how it goes: (in case this is the first thing you’ve ever read and you have no idea about climate)

Winter: June, July, August
Spring: September, October, November
Summer: December, January, February
Autumn: March, April, May

Right? Wrong.

I guess this June it’s a bit of an exception, with El Nino or whatever warm spell it is that’s going to be passing over Melbourne making it a warmer than normal Winter, but then again I think ‘ever year it’s a freaking exception!’ With Melbourne weather, biggest joke ever. We’ve had a warm Autumn, and now we’re expecting a warm-er than normal Winter.

This is how it should really go:

Winter: the very end of June, July, first half of August
Little Winter (aka Winter but with more sun): second half of August, September, October, start of November
Spring: end of November, December up to Christmas time
Summer: New Years (it’s always 30 degrees+ at clock striking twelve point), January
Big Summer (aka mother-f!*king scorching Summer): February, start of March
Autumn: end of March, April, May
Win-tumn (aka false pretences Winter that makes you think ‘this Winter won’t be so bad, it’s so sunny…’ then BAM!): start of June

I’m just hoping that this El Nino dude sticks around for a while so this Winter is much more bearable than others. Having said that, being on maternity leave and all, and not having to get up for work like poor Hubbie, I can’t whinge too much. Winter is so freaking bad when you’re getting up five in the morning, and shivering in the car waiting for it to warm up 20 minutes later in the darkness, then walking to work, in the cold, and darkness…

How I miss that, NOT.

I look forward to the warmer months so much, I find I end up starting to dread Winter as early as January, while we’re still in the midst of actual Summer (according to my new climate guide) to the point where sometimes, I can’t even enjoy Summer. Horrific I know. And then at other times, I’m often so peaking in fantastic stinking heat, I have to think hard to remember how it feels like to be cold, and shivering, and even ask myself the stupid, stupid question: “is Winter really that cold?”

Fast forward to today and putting on the heater 6 times during the day. Yes, yes it is.

I hate knowing Winter is just around the corner, knowing it’s ‘coming for me;’ yet when it’s here, there’s almost a sense of relief, like ‘ok, let’s get this over with.’

I’ve survived the first 9 days of Winter, so I should be ok. Sorry, I mean Win-tumn.