Perhaps lost in all the drama surrounding the impending arrival of the tempest that was St Jude’s storm, last weekend also marked that annual ritual of putting the clocks back.
Overnight, journeys home from work, previously undertaken in a sort of weak, dappled sunlight, were suddenly plunged into premature darkness with the prospect of this scenario continuing for another 5 months or so.
Coats that had been safely stashed away for many months during the glorious summer of 2013 were rapidly extracted from cupboards and promoted to a more prominent location beside the front door.
Umbrellas were checked and re-checked in anticipation of more frequent usage and central heating manuals were consulted in an attempt to remember how to re-set them.
Yes, it is the approach of winter, England-style.
Meanwhile, a bit like the old German weather houses, as one character heads for the warmth of indoors, on the other side of the world, their alter ego heads out into the sun
That’s right, the Aussies are getting ready for summer.
Suddenly Facebook posts are full of pictures of beaches, kids frolicking in the surf, white zinc plastered across faces, beaches, smiling groups of people eating ‘al fresco’, people in running/cycling gear and….did I mention beaches?
It is as if my social media feed has suddenly become sponsored by the Australian Tourist Commission circa 1985 – in fact, I half expect to get a friend request from Paul Hogan.
Meanwhile, for many of my antipodean friends, the prospect of me being back in the Northern Hemisphere at this time of year seems to be some kind of punishment, deserving of their sympathy.
“Ooh, looks cold” might be the typical response to a Facebook post featuring stunningly beautiful autumn scenery, followed closely by “I bet you miss Australia right now”.
Almost as if happiness and temperature are inextricably linked.
Strangely enough, I don’t see it that way (or maybe that should be “luckily enough”, given the magnitude of last year’s move).
To be honest, I really don’t miss the Australian weather. And during the scorching temperatures leading to the dreadful NSW bushfires recently I realised just how much I don’t miss it.
I think I must be a temperate climate kind of guy. I like to be able to walk up to the shops in summer without having to “slip, slop, slap” or risk getting burnt.
I really don’t mind rugging up when I have to venture out in the cold and I am eagerly anticipating the winter wonderland scenes that the frost and, maybe even snow have in store for us over the months ahead.
Maybe I’m a bit cavalier in dismissing any such weather-related concerns a mere one week into the ‘dark months’, but frankly, I doubt it.
One of the huge pluses to me about moving back home has been the changing of the seasons. I love the sheer variety that each season has to offer and the way in which nature responds accordingly. I also love the fact that I can walk along the same country path every week of the year and it will look different each time.
So, as I contemplate wrapping up warmly on my sofa to watch the opening of the Brisbane Ashes test in a couple of weeks (no doubt being played in searing heat), I will not be thinking “I wish I was there”, more a case of “I’m glad that I’m here”.