Suddenly, the wind came from the west and brought interior cold gusts with it. Wind from the bare outback, the great big red centre of nothing, but a large rock and a few, very small communities, each 100 km from nothing. Sometimes this wind brings red dust with it, but today the wind seems to only bring cold. Last week Brisbane had temperatures up to 30 degrees and unseasonal rain that caught us by surprise, but on Saturday morning it suddenly changed. Like nature realised with a jolt that it was winter.
The winters in Brisbane are nothing like the northern European winters of my childhood. I think it always snowed in people’s childhood and I won’t bore you with mythology of snow to the eaves, building of igloos in the back yard, days off school because we couldn’t get out, or car free Sundays where my brother and I walked through the snow and the icy cold to the bakery for breakfast bread – rundstykker – to come home to hot chocolate and convincing arguments that with thick butter and chocolate topping (pålægschokolade or PC, as this delicacy was called in my childhood home), the top of the roll was better than the flat bottom – look at how they pivot on your plate, like a see-saw – just because our parents preferred the chewy bottom bit. Nor can I say that I miss frost-bitten cheeks, shining like red lanterns in dark afternoons, the feeling of your nosehairs freezing when you breathe through your nose, soggy handknitted gloves or having to scrape half a centimeter of ice of the front windscreen before getting into the freezing car to drive somewhere.
Brisbane winters are nothing like that. When I say it suddenly became cold, I mean it is a cool 7 degrees outside at 7 o’clock in the morning. The temperature might creep up past 20 degrees. It is a sparkling day: the sky is bright blue, the sun is shining and in a sheltered spot in the garden it is lovely to sit and browse FB, Linkedin, WordPress, the news, and when you tire of that to read a book. But if you are exposed to the wind, you will be cold. It goes right through you. The wind sucks all moisture out of everything, your skin on your face is stretched, your lips become cracked and sore, your hands are suddenly crepe like in their texture and your hair electrifies and flies everywhere.
A great day to fly a kite. In the words of a well-loved bear, it’s a rather blustery day!