I couldn't describe my relief now that winter is over. It is officially 2 weeks into September and so far, the spring is giving us the perfect weather I could ever imagine - a little chilly in the morning and hot and sunny in the afternoon then chilly again at night. This is probably the period where our energy bill will be the lowest - no need for heaters and aircon and whatsoever.
So before I formally bid goodbye to winter and welcome the spring, let me share with you some how I handled my very first winter here in Australia. Was it easy? Well, for starters it was a hell of a struggle.
The Mornings Are Difficult
With sunrises that happen a little later in the day,temperature that is less than 10 degrees, getting up in the morning is the hardest thing to do. Even if we have our heaters set at a certain temperature and time, preparing was a struggle. The dark and the cold weather just makes you want to sleep more. The worst part? Even if you have heated showers in the morning, the moment you go out of the tub, you will just freeze. Because I really can't handle the cold that well, we bought a mini heater for the bathroom. It made my winter baths much more tolerable (and Leon's too!)
The Flus (and Hay Fever) Are Terrible
Okay, catching the flu is expected during the winter. At this season, everyone is encouraged to have a flu shot to fight it. For kids, expect to see a number of them with a runny nose and cough. Typically, doctors here don't treat a cough and cold unless the patient has an infection or a fever. It took us a while to adjust to it and eventually realized the advantage of letting the body fight it naturally before drinking any medication. Turns out, Leon's non-stop cough and colds are caused by his allergy to pollen. Hay fever (or allergic rhinitis) is apparently something really common here and is usually caused by pollen (which is usually high in winter) or dust. (Leon was allergic to dust in the Philippines, btw!)
Dressing Up Can Be Fun and Hard
Okay, I admit. I enjoyed layering up! Winter is the only time you can bring out your nice coats and scarves and dress up however you like. Layering could be a little annoying though. Since I spend a good amout of time walking to and from work, I had to put on thick pieces clothing to keep me warm. However, the trains, buses, malls, and (our) office have heaters that I usually feel warm when I'm inside. Thus, dressing up during winters could be really really tricky. You have to be extra smart, actually!
The Days Are Shorter
It was summer when I arrived here in Sydney. It was a surprise to me when I realized that the sun sets at 8PM that time. On autumn, the sun sets an hour earlier and on winter, it just became way earlier. After adjusting to the Daylight Savings, the sun sets at around 5:30PM here (and rises at 7:30AM). A bit sad right? So on winters, we were more efficient on our time to make the most out of our day.
The best part about winter? NO FOOD SPOILAGE! I love it! There are times that I'll leave the rice in the rice cooker for a couple of days and it's still okay. Leon's milk? I can just leave his fresh milk in the car the whole day and it won't spoil. It will take a while for my fruit to rot. The disadvantage? The food that I cook or the coffee that I just made will be cold in an instant.
Oh No Chores
I don't know why but winter can make you feel stubborn. Haha. With the weather being so cold outside, you literally just want to sit and keep yourself warm. Of course, that's not an option here. It takes a while for the laundry to dry so we had to use the dryer. Hanging clothes and cleaning the balcony means putting on a sweater to keep you warm. I don't know pero nakakatamad pag winter, haha.
Still, I'm glad to have experienced my very first winter here in our new home. If I compare our winter to other countries (or Sydney states), I'm sure that the level of cold here is nothing compared to what others experienced. Despite all the adjustments, I had a very happy and interesting season. Now that I know what to expect in the future, I know I can find ways to make our winter warmer, happier and better.
xx, The Mommy Roves