Fire Out, Sunscreen On
It would appear (on the whole) that the Spring has arrived
For those who have lived in the Central West for a bazillion years, the change of season always gives us something to chat about. “Ahhh, September is the best time of the year”. “I like it when the leaves fall in March better”. “I’m a fan of the cold.” “I’m gonna move north before winter comes again.” And of course the oldie but goodie … “If you don’t like the weather … stop whinging and don’t live here!”
September 1st (Father’s Day) saw us bite the bullet and stop feeding logs into the slow combustion fire. The temp outside warranted this decision at midday on Dad’s day, but by the morning of Sept 2, the temp inside our house has dropped from the pleasant 20 degrees that the fire keep it at, to a challenging 14.7 degrees. I guess it’ll be a while before the walls of the house warm up!
Me? I’m a fan of September and October. The stunning mornings, the stillness of the early afternoons (the only thing that kills it for me in Orange is the wind), and the realisation that wearing t-shirts is actually an option again. One part of me will miss hiking it out to the forest with permit, chainsaw and wingmen in hand – for yet another muscle testing session of woodcutting and hauling. We cut the logs big and then lug them home, doing the splitting behind the shed. Excellent for fitness and the ‘paddock to plate’ experience, but at age 53 it’s becoming a little less fun than it used to be. Don’t think #3 son and wife ever thought it was fun, but we’ve saved a motza cutting our own wood over a decade. We also subscribe to the theory that “wood heat is the best heat”, way better than Air-Con or gas heat – up for debate I guess. Won’t have to worry about sawdust, voltarens and bar lube until next March.
Thoughts now turn to being occupied for three hours every weekend as we garden and mow. The pros of having a small chunk of acreage certainly outweigh the cons, and solving the problems of the world when on the ride-on is up there as a pro, I guess. But also with the good stuff comes one of the rare things I really detest about the warmer months – sunscreen. In the days when I had hair, it was of the orange variety. That means my skin only needs about 8 seconds in the sun to start frying, and I’m still being super careful to this day. Way back when I was a pup, the sunscreen was called ‘Blockout’, and it was ugly to say the least. Can you remember it? It was a translucent blue colour, it was really sticky and it smelt a bit like metho. It also didn’t last very long, so there was certainly no ‘four hours between applications’ in those days. The first day of Spring last week also marked the initial application of sunscreen. Now I’ll be doing it religiously for the next 6 months. Ugh. Even though my pasty white skin could be used as a satellite reflector dish, I’ve been very lucky when it comes to skin hassles. A couple of little bits frozen here and there, and an application of the special cream to ward off the nasties potentially hiding underneath is all I’ve had. I know it only takes ONE miss with my sunscreen application and I’ll pay for it for days – and if I’m not on the ball I could pay the ultimate price. So I guess lathering every couple of hours is really just a small price. It’s Spring … I’ll remember.