Saturday, June 18, 2005

A Bright Winter Day

It was sunny today. Certainly not warm, but sunny. Winters in Victoria are very different than winters in Michigan. The gum trees keep their bluey-green leaves throughout, and the grass and weeds grow lusher, probably due to the increase in rainfall.

In summer, the lawn can become a dustbowl very quickly once the hot northerlies start to blow. In winter, however, the wind most often comes from the south. There is no land between the Antarctic and southern Australia, so these winds are frigid - the air pristine.

I remember in Michigan how the snow would insulate, keeping warmth in the house simply by amassing on the roof and piling drifts against the walls. Here there is no such insulation. Despite the less than freezing temperatures, it sometimes feels much colder.

Here central heating is not the norm. We have a Coonara - a wood-burning enclosed fireplace. It heats some of the rooms, but we rarely get heat down the hall to the end bedrooms. Thus it's imperative that we have feather 'doonas' (quilts) and electric blankets.

Speaking of electric blankets, in Australia we put them UNDER us, not on top, as in the U.S. Who's to say what's best? I suppose that heat rises so maybe having them under is better?

Anyway, today was lovely despite the chill wind. The maples and oaks in our yard still hold an array of orange and yellow leaves. With the rosellas pecking around beneath, the world seemed full of color and light.

They're predicting rain for next week and lower temperatures, so I suspect soon we'll have to dig in until Spring.

Sadly, though, the Richmond Tigers lost tonight. If we keep it up, we may not make it to the finals again this year.

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