Who Invited You?

April 15, 2008 at 6:22 am (Uncategorized)

I’m not at all ready for winter to land on my doorstep. I’m not even ready for winter to hit the neighbourhood and pitch a tent on national parkland. Quite frankly, winter is an unwanted guest. Take the way it always turns up before you’re ready. It always catches me in a state of near undress. I think it does it on purpose. I can see the Today Tonight expose now. Winter: the Hidden Peeping Tom.

I also don’t appreciate the way winter overstays its welcome time after time. Not wanted in the first place, it never seems to get the hint that it’s time to shuffle off back up north and leave us southern hemisphere sunlovers to do what we do best: worship the sun. I don’t worship the sun in a bare-breasts-lathered-in-coconut-oil-arse-in-a-Brazilian-piece-of-string-tilted-toward-the-lifeguards kind of way (how long is a piece of string, you ask? Any man on any given day on any Australian beach can probably tell you the answer to that old conundrum very, very precisely), but I am one for the tropics. I like to be able to say “It’s hot, damn hot” the way some people say grace. And this summer was shit, so my averages are well below par for the year. If there was a store for all seasons, this is where I’d be producing a receipt and asking for my money back.

You know what else I hate about winter? The way it thieves all the moisture from the air as surely as a bastard house guest breaking into your newest unopened tub of million dollar skin-care. I hate winter skin, winter skin makes me feel scaly and reptilian and, yes, old. My skin goes all crepey and wrinkly and arid and it’s like I’m being sucked apart from the inside. Nothing helps, except winter fucking off. I have one pinkie finger (but you can imagine it’s my middle finger, winter, and this one’s for you) that takes particular umbrage to the feel of winter in the air. It sort of shrivels up in protest like when they speed up the life cycle of a flower on Planet Earth. Overnight, as soon as winter is in the house, deep angry red lines coarse down my little finger like darts. It’s the finger of a 90 year old woman, and I’d really like to know what it’s doing on the end of my hand.

I also hate winter for my poor circulation. I turn blue, ritually, like I’m an unwilling superhero. “Wonder twins, activate! Form of…an iceberg!” I pity Llew, I really do. Going to bed with me on a cold winter’s night must be like hopping into one of those shelves at the morgue. Luckily, I do eventually thaw. Sometimes, I hasten this along by spending the night blowing on my hands. Yes, it’s non-stop seduction around here in the winter months. This year I’m even thinking of introducing a hot water bottle. Maybe some long-sleeved flannelette jammies.

Don’t even get me started on the loss of daylight hours. Like whose stupid idea was that?? How miserable – how thoroughly demoralising – is it to have darkness fall every night while you’re still at your desk working? It’s the lowest of the low, I hate it. At the end of the (TOO BLOODY SHORT) day, I’m just not ready for it to be winter. This is Sydney, you know, Australia. This is not what I signed up for. I love it here because it’s hot and humid, not because it’s arctic and aging. I don’t want any. I’m not prepared. It’s not a good time. Come back later. Nobody’s home. I gave already. Never open the door to strangers. No cash kept on premises. Closed. Relocated. Gone Fishing. At the beach. Bugger off, winter, you’re just not welcome around here.

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