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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Am I Uncle Traveling Matt?

Autumn is most certainly upon us here in Sydney so it's pretty bizarre to jump on social media sites and see our American friends wrapping up their school year, swimming, boating and enjoying the arrival of summer (even if the solstice is still a few weeks away).

Temps in Sydney are in the teens (remember that is Celsius; the conversion is T(°F) = T(°C) × 9/5 + 32, whatever that means). So today's high of 17°C = 63°F. That seems really pleasant but - HOLY MOLY - I've climatized! I'm in a t-shirt, jumper (hoodie) and puffy vest. I wouldn't scoff at gloves. I am cold.

Graphic courtesy of

The kids have been a bit slower to climatize. Just this morning, when the temps were a crisp 10°C (52°F) I bundled them in three layers each. E was displeased but went along with my shenanigans; M loves new clothes so was thrilled for a new jacket. By the time I collected them from school they were both down to just their t-shirts (and pants!). I guess as long as they're comfortable...

Sydney hasn't seen measurable snow since 1836. That is not a typo. It has been 181 years since there was enough snow in Sydney to accurately measure. Farther out of Sydney -- the Blue Mountains especially -- will see some snow. I hope we're not here to see that 181 year old record broken.

If you walk into a chemist (pharmacy), variety store, grocery store, etc. you'll see gobs of winter gear. A few weekends ago ALDI released their middle aisle winter gear and it was the talk of the playground. You would've thought a shipment of 100 Hatchimals were begin stocked on Black Friday in the US. Proper winter boots; ski jackets, pants and other attire; space heaters; heating blankets; fleece-lined slippers / blankets / everything; hot water bottles...the list goes on and on. 

Thank you, Sydney Morning Herald!
This pic is from an ALDI in Melbourne during last year's winter gear release.

Aussies prepare for the tundra, but get mostly San Diego (with more precipitation). I really wish I knew how to order a proper coffee here to keep myself warm.

When preparing for this move, one adult in our household convinced the other adult that it was insane to bring heavy sweaters, gloves / hats / scarves, serious winter jackets, etc as it wouldn't get cold enough for any of that. But what we've learned is a) it does get cold enough, especially in the shade or when the sun sets (remember the sun sets early as we head into winter); and b) insulation in buildings isn't a thing here. As in, I'm pretty sure we have no insulation in our walls.

I guess I get to (have to?) go shopping.

The boys have gotten really into Fraggle Rock lately. It's such fun to watch with them and relive my childhood. Many days I feel like a less clumsy Uncle Traveling Matt exploring this new world! I have ventured out of the Rock and into Outer Space.

Image courtesy of Muppet Wiki

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