The winter chill has just hit Canberra with a vengeance. The days are glorious and the sky is blue, but each year when June arrives, it’s just a bit of a shock. Think sub-zero temperatures overnight, crisp mornings when frost greets you with a glistening grin, lawns that crunch, and ponds that freeze (only very small ones though, like dog bowls, with a fairly thin layer). It’s terribly pretty and makes for some lovely photo opps, but it does make you yearn for warm evenings.
So we did what any sensible recently-retired people with time on their hands and a string of friends and relies who live in warmer zones would do—we headed north! What an amazing country that you can go from one weather extreme to another by just hopping in your car and driving for a few hours. Well, rather a lot of hours actually, like a couple of days, and we only travelled around a third of the vertical distance of this great and spacious land, and we didn’t even think about moving west.
Fast forward a few days and we’re in Queensland, where the residents are complaining about the cold snap that’s just bombarded them and how awful it is to cope with 15 degrees celsius during the day when normally it might be 21, or you know, even 24 degrees. Good Lord, they might have to close the doors at night or put a cotton jumper on. Perish the thought.
We were there for some full-on puppy sitting as the newest babe had only arrived a week ago and the very newly appointed fur-parents were already called away (for a holiday, of course) and needed backup . As it turns out, puppy sitting is just as tiring as having your own babies and perhaps just a little more hectic. It even included having to set the alarm at 1am and 4am to take the babies outside for middle of the night wee breaks. We didn’t know that little detail before we agreed to the gig. Good job the *babies were adorably cute. Photographic evidence below.
Occasionally, the effervescent, energy-fuelled and just-home puppies exhaust themselves and cease their endless tumbling and wrestling and nipping and lie exhausted in a bundled, furry and silent heap.
That’s when I move to the edge of the pool and lie on the tiles, reliving the feel of my lazy days of coastal youth lying in the sun, soaking in the rays, and doing exactly nothing. Except this time I am fully clothed and have my face covered, because I’m sensible now. And I don’t need more wrinkles. Or melanoma.
Ah the decadence: the warm, deliciousness of a mellow winter sun that seeps deeply into you languidly and warms your whole body, not enough to get you hot, but just enough, and sends you off to oblivion—or perhaps it’s sleep— as the breeze whips around you, just strong enough to flip the plastic ring out of the pool but not enough to disturb. Perfection, if not for the intermittent little yelp of the grown up, not-sleepy dog contained outside the fence who is annoyed by your oblivion to his ball and his need for attention. ffs, play with me, he impeaches.
It was lovely.
And of course, the experience of a couple of weeks in the glorious winter sun of Queensland during June, while my beloved hometown huddles in down jackets and cranks up the heating appliances, it’s made us reconsider the question of purchasing that fabled campervan for a bit of winter drifting, all over again.
Ahh, it’s back to the drawing board…
* For those interested in dog, the fur babies are Australian Shepherds, from two different litters and showing two colourings. Harkin, the monster-sized white one, is Merle colour and is only 9 weeks in these pics; Murphy is 11 weeks. Just been reading about them – I feel a separate doggy post coming.