Seasons

Fall!

Fall!

Here in Australia, we call it Autumn, not Fall. And where I live, there are no extreme differences between any of the seasons. Autumn is recognisable by the array of leaves on the ground, and being able to sleep comfortably at night for the first time in months. And yes, Autumn does signal colder days to come, but nothing like the cold days of the Northern Hemisphere.

An Autumn day in Brisbane

In some parts of Australia, like Central Queensland (CQ), there are seemingly only two seasons: Hot and Cold. But in Melbourne, you can have all four seasons in one day (or, so the saying goes…).

Kids Don’t Feel The Cold!

Out in Central Queensland, it would be hot one day, and then cold the next. That’s how you would know it was winter. Autumn had been by-passed – there was no in-between. Just hot, and cold. I’m not talking – Northern Hemisphere big-heavy-coat-cold, just an extra-layer-of-jumper cold.

When I was teaching in Queensland, the only sign of winter, as demonstrated by most of the students, was the addition of a jumper (sweater) early in the morning. They still wore shorts! Some of them would pass an occasional remark about how cold it was, but didn’t connect wearing shorts, to feeling cold. Long pants seemingly got in the way of running fast at recess. And by lunchtime, the jumper would either be safely stowed in their bag or lost in the playground; usually the latter.

A beautiful Autumn day in Murwillumbah NSW

Cold One Day – Hot The Next

And the reverse occurred at the other end of the season. Cold one day, and hot the next. The only sign of Spring was the emergence of new buds on trees. But temperature-wise? – hot!

Spring has sprung, here in Murwillumbah

I can’t account for other parts of Australia because my experience is limited (mostly) to Queensland and the northern end of New South Wales. However – there are places in Southern parts of our beautiful Australian landscape that apparently have distinct seasons. Trees put on seasonal colours that are seemingly spectacular, and the early morning chill creeps in and warns of colder days to come. Nice places to visit – but I wouldn’t want to live there.

The Beautiful Fall Colours of Boston

Speaking of nice places to visit, one of the most memorable journeys I have taken, was Boston US, in November. I was mesmerised by the beauty of the Fall colours. A travel-buddy that I had met while on the cruise from Southampton UK, shared my enthusiasm. On a bus from the cruise ship, to and from Salem, we must have driven the Fall-hardened passengers crazy. We (two Aussies) darted from one side of the bus to the other, cameras poised, trying to capture every golden leaf along the way. It was spectacular!

This photo doesn’t do justice to the beauty of the Fall trees in Boston 
Or this one….

Do we have spectacular Autumns (Falls) here in Australia? Yes! But not where I live. Beautiful – yes – but not Boston-type spectacular. Would I swap where I live for a place that has distinct seasons? Probably not. I love the way our seasons just ease gently into each other here in Northern New South Wales.

Oh, and yes, I did turn my heater on last winter – about three times, I think. And only for about an hour each time.

And that’s the way I like it!

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Posted by Maureen in Blogging, Travel, 14 comments
Day 4 Blog Post Challenge

Day 4 Blog Post Challenge

I believe in starting where I’m at…

It is Day 4 of the Blog Post Challenge, yet this is just my second blog post. By my calculations I still have another two posts to write today so that when the Day 5 Challenge lands in my inbox tomorrow, I’ll be ready for it. But for now, I will just start where I’m at and focus on the number ‘Four’. Four Seasons to be precise – or lack thereof.

Where I currently live, the seasons are neatly compartmentalised into four distinct categories: hot; cool; cold; warm. There is enough variation in the weather to justify cluttering up my wardrobe with those quirky three-quarter sleeve, light weight tops that are neither hot nor cold, depending on the season. But it hasn’t always been that way. I have lived in climates that have been singularly extreme: hot and hotter; and where there were only two categories: hot or cold.

My Island Adventure

For two years I called Penang home. It was two of the most memorable years of my life and I could happily have stayed there forever, but duty called me home. Penang is a tiny island off the mainland of Malaysia. There were only two variations in the weather: it was either hot, or hotter. The ceiling fans rotated at a rapid rate twenty four hours a day, three hundred and sixty five days a year. They never stopped!

Penang has one of those climates where you step out of the shower, dry yourself off, and within seconds you need to repeat the process. But I loved it! Friends would ask if I missed winter while living in such a hot climate and the response was always a resounding – No! I still hate winter with a passion, but that’s another story.

My Inland Adventure

In 2011 Central Queensland beckoned me. I loaded up my car, a small sedan, with everything that I considered to be essential for a six-month adventure, and I drove. The car was so heavily laden that when I stopped along the way to buy a supply of coffee beans, just in case I couldn’t buy them there, I had to be very creative about how to fit them in. Had I known what was in store for me, weather wise, I could have sacrificed all those quirky three-quarter sleeve tops and made room for more practical things, like more coffee beans.

Crickey! Another hot day!

Four Seasons?

I arrived in Moura late January. It was hot! And it stayed hot – very hot, until one day the weather Gods turned the heaters off. No warning, no transition; just no more heat. Summer ended and winter began with nothing more than a day between them. At the end of winter, summer began in the same way. The cold switched off and the summer heaters turned on without any warning. No Spring, just as there had been no Autumn. The three-quarter sleeve tops stayed safely stowed until I made my way back to a temperate climate. Despite the lack of four distinct seasons, my love of living in Central Queensland persuaded me to extend my six-month adventure to five fabulous years that are etched lovingly in my Most Memorable Years album.

Those Quirky Tops!

And those quirky three-quarter sleeve tops? I’m glad I kept them. For the past four distinct seasons in my new home, they have served me well.

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Posted by Maureen in Travel, 6 comments