THE HEATER IS ON

COLD IS A MAT­TER OF DE­GREES AND INFORMER’S TRAV­ELS UN­DER DOWN UN­DER HAVE TESTED HIS THIN NORTH­ERN BLOOD

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - INFORMER - WORDS: MICHAEL JA­COB­SON

For Informer’s sec­ond rec­tan­gle from the Ap­ple Isle, I am in the foetal po­si­tion, in the north-west cor­ner of my ho­tel room, wrapped around a three-bar heater, one-fin­ger typ­ing a sin­gle word ev­ery 10 min­utes or so.

To write any faster or to em­ploy other fin­gers risks be­ing sep­a­rated from said heater for too long, thus invit­ing the like­li­hood of in­stant frost­bite.

Yes, it’s cold down here. Cold as that For­eigner song about how cold you are.

So cold that even in­trepid po­lar ex­plor­ers like Scott, Amund­sen and Shack­le­ton might lick the old in­dex, bung it out­side the tent to test the tem­per­a­ture, de­cide “Sod this for a game of sol­diers” and wait out the win­ter in Ja­maica.

The cal­en­dar may say it’s spring, but in Tas­ma­nia win­ter’s grip is, um, grip­ping.

It’s as cold as a witch’s what­sit. Mind you, Mrs Informer seems to be cop­ing well. She says her what­sit has never been warmer.

And the truth is I’m hap­pier than I was yes­ter­day, when it was even brisker.

At the mo­ment it is five de­grees, which is one bet­ter than the fore­cast of only four, so that’s a win­try win.

I’d raise a hand in tri­umph ex­cept, as I say, I’m not let­ting go of the heater.

The funny thing is, grow­ing up in Tas­ma­nia I don’t re­mem­ber ever feel­ing the cold. We walked to school in fog so thick we car­ried lanterns.

The frost car­peted the ground white un­til lunch time.

We played footy on frozen ovals with grass so hard and spiky that it was noth­ing unusual for play­ers to leave the ground with stab wounds.

Liv­ing in Queens­land, there’s never re­ally any cold to feel. Win­ter is a con­cept for Game

of Thrones more than an ac­tual thing, and as much as ev­ery year Queens­lan­ders dress in their wool­lies and coats as if win­ter is real, it’s not. Down here, how­ever, it is real and raw and re­lent­less.

I went for a run the other morn­ing. It’ll be OK, I thought, as I left the toasty con­fines of the ho­tel lobby and ap­proached the au­to­matic doors. Whoosh, they swished, or swish, they whooshed — it was one of the two — and in surged a gust of such cryo­genic cru­elty that all dan­gling parts of Informer’s anatomy im­me­di­ately scut­tled away, pos­si­bly not to be seen again un­til sum­mer.

Oh well, I thought, at least I’m more aero­dy­namic now, so off I gamely trot­ted.

About thirty sec­onds in I heard a strange crack­ling noise. It was my nip­ples break­ing off. A few min­utes later all the hair on my body had frozen solid and snapped. Informer is now com­pletely bald.

No mat­ter what I do, I just can’t seem to warm up.

Mrs Informer, who has no sense of irony, keeps telling me to chill out. The trou­ble is, I just have too much chill in.

Still, if there’s one thing I can’t com­plain about it is the warmth of the peo­ple in Tassie.

This place re­ally is the Ap­ple Isle of my eye. Bol­lock bust­ingly cold, yes, but Tassie can still warm the cock­les of my heart.

As for my ac­tual cock­les, all I can say is turn up the heater and bring on sum­mer. Un­til then, have an ice day.

“YES, IT’S COLD DOWN HERE. COLD AS THAT FOR­EIGNER SONG ABOUT HOW COLD YOU ARE.”

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