May 19, 2011


I've always loved travelling in autumn because I love red trees. When the rays of the sun shine through, they are visually on fire. The cold had always been a nice change from hot and humid.

But being on holiday, even for a few weeks, is different from actually going through the season. Now we are coming up to our first winter. The good news is that Sydney winters are said to be tame. So far we've been able to go out to the park, almost to the end of autumn. When that untamed, merciless sun is shining brightly in the sky, you can almost forget it's autumn.

I found out

1) why people eat stews. If you try grilling or stir frying, as soon as the food lands on your plate, it is cold. The worst is oily food - the oil and juices of a steak or roast, which meld with the meats to make them succulent in warmer climates, turn into cold, congealed fat.

 2) the body adjusts remarkably. When I first arrived, 24 degrees was cool. Then when summer turned to autumn and the temperature dipped below 20 for the first time, I thought 20 degrees was my comfort limit. But each day that I think my limit has been reached, a new threshold is set. Now I can exist at 16 with just one layer.

3) how much temperature really contributes to decomposition. When speaking (read: Skyping) with my friend in UK earlier this year, she advised me to only run the dishwasher on a full load.  'But doesn't it start to smell?' I asked her. She replied, 'oh yes, I forget you live in a warmer climate.' Now that it's autumn, there are no problems with leaving dishes in the dishwasher, leaving the butter out on the countertop, and I've stopped putting the drinking bottles in the fridge because there's no need to.

4) why small spaces can be a good thing. They're easier (and cheaper) to heat up!

5) why carpets (which I've always detested) can be a good thing. Feet that have been under warm blankets doth protest much when planted on freezing tile in the early hours of the morning.

I've also discovered something else I love that turns red in autumn, just like those trees. My sons' cheeks!

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