My Kingdom for a Fire

May 27, 2008 at 5:55 am (Uncategorized)

Apologies for the radio silence. I have been in Melbourne and unable to blog in a rather solid itinerary that involved strolling, visiting, wining, dining, shopping, and Yarra Valley vineyard hopping. It’s a tough gig, to be sure, but I survived.

And now I’m back, and isn’t Sydney stunning today? Warm, so divinely warm, which is good timing because Melbourne, whilst surprisingly sunny, was freezing. Saturday night, still nursing the mother of all hangovers from Thursday night (thank you, Miriam and Tim, for a warm, decidedly wine-soaked welcome), I actually absented myself from the one pub in the whole of Victoria that was definitely showing the rugby (it’s called the Turf Club, and it’s on Queen St in the CBD) in order to drag myself home (being my brother-in-law and his wife’s apartment in the Docklands) to recover. It was so cold that once I got there, I started convulsing, my knees started knocking, and my teeth started chattering. I turned up their heating, and I verily leapt into bed wearing flannelette pjs (very unusual, as I am quite the renegade in that department in normal circumstances). I spent the next twenty minutes curled in a tight ball blowing on my hands. Then I thought “This is ridiculous.” Little did I realise that in fact, no, this was ridiculous: I donned a woollen scarf, Llew’s socks, a woollen beanie, and my leather gloves, and got back into bed no doubt looking an absolute treat.

Still chattering, all teeth talking, I lay awake shivering, wondering if adequate circulation was necessary to keep me alive. I was wracked with cold. This went on for another three hours, and I was too terrified of the temperature outside the bed to venture out to the lounge-room to further adjust their internal heating. I just lay there with my hands tucked into my armpits thinking warm thoughts and occasionally even saying totally inane things to myself like “Hot chocolate….” and “Fire…”. I am now in a strong position to confirm that the whole word association thing is BOGUS. I shivered on.

Eventually I was still. It took about four hours, but just before midnight I peeled off the beanie, gloves, socks and scarf and just lay there. I wouldn’t say I was warm, exactly, but nor was I hypothermic any longer. I was just awake, having come home specifically to sleep the dead, dreamless sleep of the truly exhausted. It wasn’t to be. The others eventually returned from their night out (victorious, I might add), Llew came to bed and the others went to theirs, and then I, the broken little icicle, listened to the rest of the apartment fall quiet again as everyone but me fell into an easy slumber. Too tired to sleep and too cold to warm: an utterly rotten combination I’m in no hurry to repeat. How people actually choose cold climes… well, it’s just beyond me. I’ve always been desperate to go to Antarctica, but Saturday gave me pause. Maybe my blood would freeze like water in a pipe.

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