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Showing posts with the label weather

Spring downunder in Australia

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If you live in the northern hemisphere, Australia's seasons can be confusing. Here's what you need to know about spring. Spring goes from 1 September to 30 November. Technically. Sometimes it only lasts about a week. It's freezing, you blink, and it's suddenly baking hot. Spring in the north of Australia is less exciting, as of course it's the tropics. In fact, the tropics really have entirely different seasons, the wet and the dry. We don't pay as much attention as we should because only small numbers of people live in the tropics compared to the southern cities. What we don't have  Spring break, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. We don't have spring break because spring is the end of the academic year for us. Halloween just doesn't mean anything on a warm spring evening looking forward into summer. Of course a few people do Trick or Treat, especially my Canadian in-laws, but it isn't a national past-time. Thanksgiving is not part

Reading journal: Once Burned, Twice Spy by Diane Henders

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Genre: Spies and espionage Published: 2018 Series: Never Say Spy Date read: June 2018 Aidan Kelly works for a Canadian secret agency. In this outing she must ride herd on a bunch of international scientists showing each other their secret weapons. Something goes wrong and Aidan is accused of stealing the weapon. Quite a good yarn. I particularly liked the beginning, where Aidan’s team must drive through heavy snow to a meeting in Calgary, and one of their vehicles slides off the road. There’s a lot of detail about how to survive atrocious road conditions and what not to do. As an Australian living in the inland plains this is not a hazard I have ever faced, nor am I likely to. I was reminded of Tim Taylor in the series Home Improvement , a man who received an award for safety training for showing realistic accidents and injuries on his TV handyman program. Of course, Tim was actually a total klutz. Aidan does much better. This is the thirteenth book in the series, and th

Winter downunder in Australia

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If you live in the northern hemisphere, Australia's seasons can be confusing. Here's what you need to know about winter. Cold miserable duck Winter officially goes from 1 June to 30 August. In the north it is warm and dry, which explains why people like going to Queensland for holidays at this time of year. In the south it is cool to cold, and miserable. Most rain in the south falls in winter., except when there is drought, of course. Australian cities are on the coast and rarely go below zero, but you will get light frosts. Snow is pretty much limited to mountain areas. We don't need snow plows in our cities. From a northern hemisphere person's perspective, Australia doesn't really have any winter. It's my least favourite time of year, because the days are shorter and it feels dark and gloomy. July seems to drag on forever. And winter has no public holidays at all, just when we could really use them. It does have school holidays, which is a total

Autumn (fall) downunder in Australia — Party time!

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If you live in the northern hemisphere, Australia's seasons can be confusing. Here's what you need to know about autumn. Autumn goes from 1 March to 31 May. It's the best season in most places. Weather is calmer, temperatures more moderate (your milage may vary, I'm talking about you, 2018!) We have festivals at this time. Mardi Gras in Sydney, Moomba in Melbourne, the alternative arts festival WOMADelaide in Adelaide, the Sydney Easter Show, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, and many others. You get the idea. Party time! We celebrate Easter with public holidays on Good Friday and Easter Monday. For many this is an opportunity for a long weekend, the last chance to go away before the nice weather finishes. Of course, the whole message of renewal, new life, Easter bonnets, bunnies and so on, m

Reading journal: Wyatt’s Hurricane by Desmond Bagley

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Genre: Action/Adventure Published: 1966 Read: January 2018 A story about a hurricane and a revolution on a Caribbean island. There is a large cast of secondary characters, some little more than stereotypes, but the main characters are strong and interesting. Dave Wyatt is a meteorologist specialising in hurricanes, and a man of principle. He fights his way through obstacles to save the population and the girl he loves. Great descriptions of the hurricane and its impact on the island, and of the chaos of war and the aftermath of disaster. Recommended.

Summer downunder in Australia

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If you live in the northern hemisphere, Australia's seasons can be confusing. Here's what you need to know about summer. Summer is officially December 1 to February 28. DECEMBER December is the end of the school year and the university (college) year. Think end of year formals (dances) for high school kids. Think crazy pace of shopping for Christmas with all the kids underfoot. Think office Christmas parties and huge numbers of people off on holiday. Christmas Day on 25 December is a public holiday. For some it means church, for most it means family get-togethers and opening presents. Christmas is the main family event in Australia, and people travel long distances to be with family. Food is excessive. Some have traditional roast meat with pudding, others have barbecues, salads and seafood. Boxing Day 26 December is for retail frenzy, the after Christmas sales. I've never been to them. Also, the start of the Sydney-Hobart yacht race, which looks excel