Wednesday, 26 April 2006

The Island

Four years in Melbourne have made me realize one thing: As much as I have a problem now with Israel's warm weather, I am a warm weather person at heart. Cold weather doesn't suit me; the main thing I do when it's cold is catch a cold. Summer comes and goes without a hassle, but come the first signs of cold weather and my nose automatically starts running, helped by the occasional sour throat in the morning. And about once a month I get a genuine cold, with three of them a year rendering me inoperative enough that I have to take some sick leave.
How do I deal with it? The best answer so far seems to be getting fit. It definitely helps in lowering the probability of a cold and the longevity of the colds that I do catch. Alas, it's a case of no pain no gain, and lately I'm with the no pain side (especially as with the new job I hardly have time to breath).
So this year Jo & I have decided on a new strategy: If you can't beat them, join them. No, I'm not talking about our plans for Euro travel during the Xmess season, I'm talking about us booking a cabin in Phillip Island (overlooking the sea) for a couple of days during the Queen's birthday weekend (mid June, and pretty much peak winter).
Phillip Island is one of the windiest places I know. There's pretty much nothing between it and Antarctica (other than Tasmania, which is equivalent to nothing according to everyone you ask here). So the winds are pretty fresh and the temperatures are as low as they can go.
I've been to the island's penguin parades twice, both times during peak summer. On both times I had to wear some major cold weather gear - like the coat I only wore for visits to Europe during winter - and I would still be cold, sitting there on the hill facing the ocean and "enjoying" the summer breeze.
One of my work colleagues came back today from a similar long weekend there. I asked her how it was, explaining how we'll be taking her place in a couple of moths. She said it was very relaxing: The winds were so strong you couldn't walk straight and the only option was to wear so many layers she felt like an onion. So they just stayed in.
Which is pretty much what we intend to do: Stay in by the heater, watch the waves, enjoy some DVDs and board games at night, and go for the occasional ten minute walk to satisfy the sado-masochist inside us. I might even take the guitar and the amp with me: plenty of room in the Canyonero.

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