It’s the first weekend of winter here, and it’s…. not the weather I moved to Sydney for! I know I risk being accused of being a fake northerner by saying this, but it’s cold! Ok, not England winter cold, but colder than I expected. I’ve been here in winter before, but not for a long time, and I’d clearly erased from my memory. The middle of the day is quite pleasant on a sunny day – high teens or even low twenties – but overnight and first thing in the morning… not so much.
Much as I complain it’s cold, it’s not so much the weather as Sydney not really being set up for it, just like London isn’t set up for the month a year when it’s hot. It’s certainly fair to say that my 1930s ground floor apartment, which was beautifully cool in summer despite no air conditioning, wasn’t built for winter! Very glad of the heater I invested in last weekend. On the subject of stuff, I have to say I made a couple of rookie errors when packing to move here, namely giving away my electric blanket and throwing away a pair of boots which were pretty worn but had a bit of life left. I’ve not replaced the blanket, but my hot water bottle has had plenty of use in the last few weeks!
Autumn was a bit confusing – it was a real Indian summer this year, so properly hot through March and well into April, and the combination of that and dark evenings after we lost daylight savings was very strange indeed. In late April and May, Sydney didn’t really reach a consensus on what season it was. On some days, I saw people in sandals and others in winter coats – maybe one dressing for lunchtime and the other for the 7am walk to the bus. I’ve not got dressed without checking the weather forecast for a while, but decided this week that the summer dresses can have a month or two in the cupboard, and I’ve worn tights for the first time since leaving the UK. What’s that about?
Sydney winter does have some things going for it – firstly, it’s not Melbourne weather which is far colder! Secondly, the Vivid festival is pretty fantastic. I’d never heard of it, but it involves some amazing lights and light shows and events, which look incredible on the iconic harbour buildings. I enjoyed walking home from work last week over the harbour bridge looking at the opening night, and will make sure I walk round the harbourfront one evening – though will need to battle the crowds as it’s become a bit of a victim of its own success.
Winter is probably also better for exercise, given my preference to do so outside rather than in a gym. Jogging and cycling is better out of the heat, and the pool I use by the harbour bridge is heated so it’s only the dash from the pool to the changing room that’s shivery! And rowing would be fine had I not taken an inadvertent dip this morning when I had an equipment failure and fell in. That *was* chilly, especially the soaking bike ride home!
I know I’m lucky that this is winter… but bring on September and Spring!