Before I had kids I don’t think I ever appreciated the seasons – I never really sat down to appreciate the changes that they brought. Granted, Sydney’s seasons aren’t as dramatic as, say Canada, but we do have subtle changes. And thanks to the Cherubs, I’ve been forced to slow down and watch the seasons transition while I sit on the grass as they play at the park or while they take their time to decide if they’ll get changed now or in 2 hours or never.
Summer in Sydney is dry and hot. And when it’s humid, your energy’s zapped even before you wake up from an uncomfortably hot night where not even the fan can make a difference. But it does mean the beach, bbqs, slathers of sunscreen, your washing drying to a crisp in less than 3 hours on the clothes line (the smell of sun dried washing is spectacular!), ice-cream (especially hazelnut and pistachio) and ice cold home-made lemonade. Spring rolls with vermicelli salad, mangoes, rice paper rolls, lychees and fish and chips on the sand with the sea gulls eyeing your catch.
Autumn’s allure is when the deciduous trees drop their beautiful yellow, red, orange and brown forms all over the footpath. They’re soft underfoot, and then go crispy after a few weeks, and there’s a wonderfully satisfying crunchy-crunch-crunchy-crunch as the Cherubs walk and jump on them.
It’s a nice change from the draining heat of summer, a time when your skin gets a bit of a reprieve from the glare of the sun. This lovely mild weather is soothing and comfortable, but I can’t fully enjoy it because I know that the colder season is due. However, there are spaghetti and meat balls to be had, Mexican burritos, lemon grass pork with carrot and radish pickles and home-made pizza.
I love how the wattle tree blooms in winter, and how the late afternoon sun shines through the window in our back room and I can snatch a quick snooze in its rays before the Cherubs discover, yet again, my hidey spot. But I dislike the winter season because that’s when we all inevitably get sick.
It’s hard enough looking after yourself when you’re coughing and sneezing and your body aches all over, but try that with kids in the mix. In my youth, I would have just laid on the lounge and watched awful daytime TV, but now there’s no real down time even if you feel crappy, your head hurts and your nose is like a leaking tap.
Also, my ability to weather any chill factor has declined with the passing of each winter. So (now that we’re safely out of the winter season) I confess to wearing THERMAL UNDERWEAR in winter. And my goodness did I LOVE it. Because I was WARM and I was SMILING (I hasten to add though, that I didn’t buy them -my mum gave them to me and I took them because I didn’t want to offend her). Maybe it’s because they’re a size too big for me, but my only gripe is the cut of them. Not much thought has gone into how they could flatter the shape of the body. Both (okay, I’ve got 2 pairs) the pants go way up above my belly button. Sexy is not the word.
But yummy is most definitely the word for the comfort foods of this season. Duck noodle soup, Chinese roast pork with crackling, lamb shanks with lentils and tomato, roast lamb and massaman beef curry.
My all-time favourite season is Spring. It hails the end of the need to wear (ahem) layers of clothes. It hails the end of the colds and flu, chilly nights and freezy toes. It brings with it the promise of any type of food because it’s Spring – tis the season for anything! And the other most bestest thing of all? The amazing spring flowers that I never noticed until my Cherubs came.