It has been a busy couple of weeks, my dearest doodlers!
I was first distracted by the spectacular Australian coast before returning to Canberra and the real world to start my new job.
I’ll undoubtedly do a post about the dolphins, pelicans and beaches at some point, so I’ll leave that for now. Today I want to talk about seasonal déjà vu.
Walking home from work yesterday, it was made clear that autumn has hit the ACT with force. It’s a little strange for my Canadian brain to wrap around the concept of autumn in the spring. Back home April is probably the most exciting time of year. After 4-5 months, the snow is actually melting, the temperatures are actually rising, hinting at the promise that any day now you might just be tempted to leave that heavy winter parka at home or- should you dare to hope- it might get above 10 degrees and you seriously contemplate wearing short sleeves. Schizophrenic fashions will start to congregate on every street corner: a girl wearing Uggs, shorts and a university sweatshirt, a guy donning basketball shorts, a T-shirt, gloves, a scarf and a toque. Any excuse to feel liberated from 20 pounds of wool and down and revel in the encouraging warm-ish breeze on your bare limbs. Spring has sprung!
I do miss the genuine excitement that comes from a melting Canadian April. In England, I associate April with daffodils: daffodils in the park, daffodils in English gardens, daffodils on the side of the road. Daffodils everywhere you look. My Australian April is turning out to be a season of a completely different colour: autumn.
It’s easy enough to remember that winter = summer and summer = winter, but the months in between are where things get a bit hazy. My walk home from work today really brought it home that autumn is upon the Aussies. Trees are shedding their multi-coloured coats, the breeze is cooler and the rain, more frequent.
Apart from the odd timing of the whole climate (I just went though this season!), there are some distinct differences between an Australian April and a Canadian October. One: it’s still pretty frickin’ warm. It can hit the mid 20s during the day and cools down to 4-7 degrees at night. I was out with relatives this weekend and they remarked that I was still wearing shorts “our little Canadian girl” they endearingly cooed. Another are the amazing smells. Australia always has this fantastic spicy smell which I attribute to the dried (to a crisp) leaves of the gum tree. But in a grand finale before winter, many roses and flowering shrubs are bursting with fragrant flora. It’s heavenly. The smells can be so present that you feel like you could actually taste the air.
Anyway, I doubt you all take a grandmother-level amount of interest in the weather so I’ll stop droning on. Speaking of my grandmother (actual unintended segue) this photo was taken just down the road from where my father and his family grew up in the Fraser Valley in British Columbia. My dad took me out there this past December. We had just come across some salmon caught in shallow water trying swimming upstream. We were not the only admirers as dozens of bald eagles and gargantuan seagulls lurked in the surrounding pines. It was when I turned away from this scene, towards the mountains, that I snapped this shot.
Today’s music selection has been taken from the only album I’ve been listening to in the last two weeks, Ben Howard’s Every Kingdom. Every time I listen to it- which is often- I find a new gem. However I do keep coming back to three favourites: “Dancing in the Dark” (not on album) and:
“Old Pine” by Ben Howard
“Gracious” by Ben Howard