a capital autumn

I had written up a short post on Saturday morning, and I thought I’d published it successfully from my phone, but now I cannot find it amongst my published, draft, scheduled or discarded posts, so I have no idea what happened to it.

But, whatever, there wasn’t much in it. Just that this week has been a bit busy. Add to that an impromptu trip to Canberra, and it hasn’t left me much time to blog. Even so, I’m not ready to break my long-standing post-per-week streak (as tempting as it is, I think it’s also a matter of pride).

Hopefully back to “normal” next week.

And by “impromptu” I mean I booked the flights on Thursday night, and I was on the plane Friday morning. Don’t worry, it wasn’t for any serious emergency, unless you consider providing emotional support an emergency (although I think the trip did me just as much good as it did for my friend).

As it turns out, Canberra is really pretty in the autumn. My favourite sight was the trees with a gradient of leaves from green in the lower branches, to yellow then orange and red and brown at the top. Unfortunately it didn’t occur to me to take a photo at the time, but I got a few other magnificent landscapes. Here is one for now:

I suppose to most people autumn is a lacklustre time when everything and everyone is preparing to enter some kind of dormancy or hibernation, but autumn is actually my favourite season. To me, it’s full of amazing colour, vigour and vibrancy.

Seeing trees aflame with deep red leaves, or shimmering with golden sequins, or even to see ghostly bare branches casting intricate patterns across the sky – these are the sights that evoke wonder and intrigue.


It is finally cold here. In the last few days, the temperature has dropped, the chill has set in, and it is finally cold.

It’s the sort of cold that makes me shiver and makes my teeth chatter. It’s the sort of cold that makes my fingers freeze as I type, and makes me contemplate searching for my gloves (but I probably won’t). It’s the sort of cold that gives me hope that maybe – just maybe – we will have a “proper” winter this year.

It is gloriously cold.

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Where I am, today is the last day of summer, although, tecnically, “summer” tends to extend several weeks (if not a month or two) beyond it’s school-book defined limits (traditionally, summer is only meant to be from the start of December to the end of February).

I’m definitely not a fan of heat and humidity, so it’s actually my least favourite season. I like winter because it’s cold, and I like autumn because it leads to winter. But, because I always try to be positive (the operative word here being “try”), I thought I’d make a list of things that I actually like about summertime. I wonder if I can get up to ten…

  1. There are more daylight hours. This is kind of part of the problem of why it’s so hot, but having more daylight means that when I leave work after 6pm, it’s not pitch dark already. Seasonal affective disorder is a real thing, people!
  2. School and uni students are on holidays for most of summer, which means less people on trains/buses, which means I can commute in peace without thinking angry thoughts about the school kids who take up half the seats.
  3. Every day is a good day to have ice-cream (granted, any day of the year is also a good day for ice-cream)
  4. Summer storms actually have a bit of a nostalgic quality about them – you know, when they’re not being desctructive and all…
  5. I can take cold showers every day. This is mostly important to me because I’m weirdly environmentally conscious, and have a thing about energy conservation. Basically, I’ll think of these three months when I haven’t used any water heating as being a small saving for the environment.
  6. Summer makes me really appreciate the freezing cold aircon at work. On good days, I will be so cold leaving work that I will have only just defrosted by the time I get home (and take a cold shower).
  7. Mangoes are in season. They are delicious. I don’t think I need to elaborate.

I’m actually really struggling to think of more reasons now. I just keep thinking of reasons why I don’t like summer. Then I did a search of my blog to see if I’d written stuff about summer before, and it turns out that I did a similar post (although not as elaborate or list-y) at about this time last year. It seems like I’ve always had a bit of trouble coming to terms with this dislike of summer… but no matter how hard I try, I just cannot make myself like it more.

Perhaps instead of trying to cover up the dislikes with likes, I should just come out and vent away all my frustrations with summer:

  1. Of course, problem number one is that it’s too hot and too humid.
  2. In winter, if it’s too cold, I can just wear more layers or grab an extra blanket, but in summer you have no choice but to have the air conditioner running 99% of the time (may or may not be an exaggeration), or otherwise risk melting and evaporating away (assuming the humidity will permit you to evaporate). This is related to my slightly obsessive must-try-to-be-environmentally-friendly mentality.
  3. There are more mosquitos. I don’t know where mozzies go in the colder months (are their natural lifespans long enough to justify hibernation?) but when it’s summer, they are everywhere.
  4. There’s no AFL or NRL – only cricket. At risk of sounding a bit “un-Australian”, I really don’t understand cricket; I have exactly zero interest in cricket. Ok, maybe, like, 0.01 interest.
  5. The sun rises earlier and disturbs my week-end sleep-ins by shining brightly through my curtains. To be fair, this is partly my fault for not closing the curtains properly, but that is probably because I’m too busy trying to fall asleep in a puddle of my own sweat. I’m just kidding – I’d probably have the aircon on.
  6. The UV danger rating is always “extreme”, which means I’m thoroughly discouraged from going outside anywhere between about 8am and 6pm. We’re always being reminded of the high risk, and hence the high rates of melanoma in our sunny state, so I think it’s no wonder that I’m so afraid of sunlight.
  7. Storms can take out powerlines and be generally quite destructive. And no powerlines means no power, which means no aircon and no refrigeration.

Actually, even with this list, I’m struggling to get to ten. Maybe summer’s not that bad after all… or maybe the intensity of the items on the second list is greater than that of the items of the first list, which means overall I still don’t particularly like summer.

I’m kind of predicting that I’ll have this same dilemma next year…