Celebrating the joys of winter
IF YOU live in the southern climes like we do, winter is well and truly with us.
It seemed that one day we had a beautiful summer and the next we were straight into winter.
Even the trees got caught by surprise and brought on their autumn colours after the event, so to speak.
Being intrepid and loving the outdoors, Rita and I have not given in to the zero mornings and (thankfully so far, rare) icy breezes that accompany this time of the year.
We just don a couple of extra layers of clothing and take our coffees out onto the patio, as is our norm.
Of course after my coffee I put on the headphones and cap, and head off on my walk.
This morning it was -1.6 degrees when I set off.
That’s a great incentive to really pound the pavement.
By the time I return home I’m hot stuff.
(Spoiler Alert: Rita asks me to make it clear that I am referring to my body temperature.)
Usually I have to shove my specs in a pocket as they steam up and viewing the world hazily is better than not being able to view it at all.
Another problem with this time of the year is that it is holding up our house renos, mainly consisting of painting.
Keen to get the skirting boards, architraves, windows and doors done before our Steve and Miki come stay with us, means I have to sit the paint tin in front of the heater in the living room for an hour or two before use, or risk painting with treacle.
Don’t tell me about paint thinners please.
Tried that and got a huge fail.
I’m also working with shortened days.
Can anyone explain why the coldest time of year comes after the shortest day instead of on it?
While we’re at it, how come the days get shorter much more quickly than they get longer?
It’s nice to see the lawns return to green and the cracks in the ground healing.
Whilst the nights are cold here, the days for the most part come with beautiful, clear blue sky.
The bare trees have been compensated for with an array of winter bulbs starting to sprout, which for us is a bit of an Aladdin’s Cave as we didn’t plant them.
Winter is also compensated by hot soups, one-pot dinners and roasts with lashings of vegetables – which Rita eats while I watch.
It is not the greatest time of the year for dieting.
Our three pet magpies hang around now for most of the day and one-legged Tony has taken to perching himself on the back of one of the patio chairs.
Being not very well toilet trained, we try to discourage him.
I walk out and shoo him off the chair wherein he simply moves himself to the next one, and then the next and next.
It’s bloody magpie ring-a-ring-a-rosie!
They say familiarity breeds contempt and so it seems with the ‘pies who have become very demanding.
Rita loves birds, but definitely from a distance.
Having them flap their wings around her brings Alfred Hitchcock-type nightmares (is anyone out there old enough to remember The Birds movie?).
Last weekend we headed over to Yackandandah, a beautiful little town about 20 minutes south of Wodonga, and where close friends, Don and Linda have recently moved to.
Don grew up in the town so it’s back to the egg for him.
They have settled in well and are familiar faces with every coffee shop in town.
Don asked if we’d like to go to local footy to which we readily agreed.
In his younger years the team was known as the Yackandandah Cats but changed to The Roos a couple of decades ago.
We trooped across to Rutherglen and watched the 2nds belt Rutherglen 24.28 to 0.0. Good footy from our point of view.
The seniors was a much closer game.
The great thing about country footy is going out onto the ground during the intervals to hear the coach geeing up the team.
We crowded around to hear his words of expletive wisdom in a very tight game at three-quarter time.
Donny, who is very passionate and can’t get away from the past kept screaming, “Go Cats! You can do this Cats! Pommel ‘em Cats!”
This drew very strange looks and a deal of anger from the huddled Yackandandah team.
The opposition team, Rutherglen are the Cats!
Poor Don is struggling to keep up with the times.
Back on the boundary and he still got Cats and Roos mixed up as he heckled Rutherglen, making for an entertaining arvo.
He is a good heckler is our Don, much better than Rita. The best she could do to a Rutherglen player as he came by was to shout, “Love your dreads!” — Take care of you, Kermie (93kg)
WINTER TIME: Enjoy the coldest time of the year.