A cool change, for a change

Interesting how latitude affects climate in a very immediate way.

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6am this morning, Dorrigo. A light frost, mist over the hills and gorgeous leaf colour – but there’s still fruit on the mandarin tree!

Winter mornings in Mackay are cool, a little chilly, but the tiles underfoot in the bathroom are merely cold, not achingly, hurt-makingly cold. Your toes don’t go a little numb if you stand there for a few minutes. Your breath doesn’t show in the air before you turn the hot water on. You don’t get goosebumps on your goosebumps. You don’t need flannel pyjamas, Ugg boots, heavy sweaters or gloves. Sunglasses are still the order of the day.

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My mountains, this winter morning at 9am.

I’ve been staying in northern New South Wales for the last two days, and here, it’s definitely winter. In the morning, the grass is crisp and white and crunchy, the windscreen needs to have hot air on it for about 5 minutes before the ice will clear, mist lies in the valleys before the sun comes over the hill and woodsmoke scents the morning air as the neighbours crank up their wood stoves in the early morning to take the chill off the air inside. Night is dry and cold, with immense black skies sprinkled with brilliant stars and the broad white swathe of the Milky Way crossing overhead. There’s a dawn chorus of kurrajongs giggling and tootling in the trees outside, and later the lorikeets, galahs and collared doves will swoop down to try and steal the chicken food. I’m back in the mountain town I love, where I lived and had my garden for 3 years, and it feels comfortable and familiar. The Husband, north Queensland born and bred, finds it a little, um, unexpected and chilly. It makes me nostalgic for all the nice things about winter, but I won’t miss the comfort of not getting so cold that my arthritic bones ache…

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Same day, at the coast 60kms away. There were dolphins playing in the surf.

We’re on the way home today. Two days on the road, with a stop en route to catch up briefly with a blogging friend. Tonight is the familiar motel we always stay at, and then Saturday night we’ll sleep again, with some relief, in our own familiar bed. I’m looking forward to inspecting progress in the vegie garden and leaping joyfully back into work on Steampunk, which I haven’t had time to touch while we were away.

Homeward bound 🙂



13 thoughts on “A cool change, for a change

  1. Those courgettes of yours are going to be monsters by now!

  2. tialys says:

    Monster marrows!
    I never think of Australia as being cold – ever! Your bathroom memories must be of the U.K.. are they?
    I used to rent a cottage in England which, for reasons I won’t go into, I was supposed to be sharing with somebody but then didn’t. I couldn’t afford to put the heating on and would wake up in the morning with frosted hair. When a friend of mine came to stay for a couple of weeks, she begged to let her pay me some money to put the heating on and then we made cocktails using the snow from outside as ice because it was too cold for the refrigerator to work!
    In case you were wondering, the reason we had enough money for cocktails but not heating was because we worked for an airline and had a backlog of duty free 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      No, the cold memories are actually of the mountain house – but you’re right, the UK was the coldest. We regularly woke up as children with frost inside the windows; no central heating, and no heating at all in the bedrooms. It was an old brick cottage built in the 1820s, and not at all well insulated. We’ve had record falls in our snowfields this year, and the ski resorts are jam packed this school holiday season!

  3. EllaDee says:

    You’ve put it I to words beautifully. Oh, your post makes me want to be at home at Taylor Arm 🙂 Looking at the stars with a glass of wine in hand. The not quite chilly air with the fire going through the night, replenished just enough to warm an early morning hour, and finding a glorious patch of sun with a coffee in hand.

    • katechiconi says:

      You’ve got it! It’s a long wait, but when the Husband retires, we’ll be heading south again, probably Coffs or its immediate surroundings. We’ll be occasional near-neighbours!

  4. nsturgill says:

    What a lovely description!

  5. mihrank says:

    incredible – the views, the color, the nature and your blog is a melody of happiness. Bravo!

  6. Nanette says:

    Our brief catch up was such good fun Kate, and happy to relieve my friends’ worries that you and hubby are not axe murderers. Hope the rest of your trip was uneventful and you’re home now and enjoying those giant zucchinis.

    • katechiconi says:

      It was fun, wasn’t it? You’ll be glad to know that the zucchini have not in fact turned into green monsters; everything is quite manageable! I have a little pruning and harvesting to do, but it’s going to be fine! The journey was long, and we’re very happy to be back. I’ll email you photos tomorrow. 🙂

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