A journal of questionable quality

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

mid week, mid winter

winter drags on, and on
41 kilometers today, 41 kilometers on Monday; I'm loving this new bike. I'm hating the weather that I have to go out in - the prevailing Westerly is something that should have been banned in the last century, a biting cold, constant, relic of a former weather pattern.

I remember the Westerly. I remember the winter. I remember arriving in Brisbane, out on the Northern outskirts, late in the evening, stopping at a motel, alighting and being struck by the fact that is was cold. My then partner had neglected to tell me she had the heating on in the car for the last two hours.

Welcome to Brisbane. We froze. From the tropic luxury of Cairns, a place on the Strand in fact, the view to kill for, to a seedy, but close to the city center little hovel until we found out where to go, what to do.

Why did we pack up and travel all that way to all this cold, to the home of the violent Westerly? It seemed like a good idea at the time. It just seemed like a good idea at the time, encouraged by old friends, obviously friends in need of sharing their misery.

For years the Westerly made everyone's life a misery; I was compelled to warn everyone arriving from overseas not to expect the traditional 'tropics', for we had identified a glitch in the dream of ideal. It was not, in case you suspect, just a fixation of mine - the entire city spent three months bitching.

How well I remember the wind coming up through the floor boards, and from under the eves, in our tiny little wooden 'worker's cottage', the very thing to live in here in this tropical paradise we were assured.

And then, right about the time we began to run out of water, some 10 years before the politicians saw fit to declare an emergency over the subject, the Westerly stopped. Winters became mild, suspiciously so. It happened year after year. And year after year we were also using vast stocks of water that were never going to be replenished - a symptom of the new weather pattern we apparently slipped in to. Year after year I predicted that dreadful weather again - year after year I was wrong.

Present day. About the same time as I had managed to accept the 'no Westerly' policy. About the same time as we really really did manage to run our main water storage down to an insane 20% without a backup plan; the Westerly debuts again. Ferocious. Unrelenting. Bastard.

The good news, we have rammed down out '140 litre per person per day' throats, is that the weather pattern has changed back to it's old self, record lows are now the norm, and one day, about the time I call Spring and they call 'wet season', we will have vast amounts of useful rain which will fill our dams, perhaps even manage to fire up some of the grass in the backyard. Water will arrive again; and so will the Westerly.

In the meantime, as I prepare for a summer of the correct, northerly winds, the 'kite buggy' winds, I will continue to do battle with these bitching elements.

Don't let anyone tell you Brisbane is a sub tropical location. We know better. All the promo photos you see were taken in summer, they're not letting on about the winter.

You have, indeed, been warned.

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