I'm feeling very grateful this week, for this amazing weather. I know lots of people out there are holding their breath for the summer months, but this is the best time of year for me. Incredible blue skies, fresh early mornings to give you energy for the day and a gentle warmth that subsides by early evening and gives way for cosy nights. I'm English, so come on, it's not really winter, but call it what you like, I love it and one of the reasons I'm enjoying being in Australia right now. Ask me in December, and I probably want to get the heck out of here.
My last post was all about what my life lacks down under, so I'll redress the balance. Since moving to the Central Coast, I'm finding plenty to like. Great beaches where dogs are welcome. Amazing views. The gently hilly landscape. The fact we are five minutes away from oh so many things to do on a Saturday morning. The relaxed vibe.
What I really love about being here (and what used to drive me nuts in the UK) is that when the sun shines and the sky is bright, you can relax in the knowledge that the sun will shine and the sky will be bright tomorrow. I don't have to madly plan something to do for the day (when I secretly want to potter around at home), bundle the kids into the car, sit on the motorway for hours to join the throngs that have also decided to venture out to the Hampstead ponds, Dulwich Park, the beach.
I don't have to decide that today is probably the only chance for a barbecue, to sit in traffic again (amongst idiots in convertibles with their shirts off) to get to the supermarket, only to realise that every other bugger wants lamb chops on their barbie, so it's that last chicken drumstick or nothing. I don't have to hang out for that glass of wine with hubby on the decking with thoughts that it's the last balmy night, because I've just heard the heat wave is over. A thunderstorm is on its way and summer's off. It's rain and cloud for the next 364 days.
OK, maybe I'm stretching it with that last bit.
But I don't miss the crowds. It's bright, it's warm (English-warm, not Australian-warm), it's just me and the dog on the beach, and there was oodles of choice for dinner tonight when I went shopping.
It turns out July was the best month for my birthday in the northern hemisphere, and it's the best month for it down here.