}

Monday, June 01, 2020

Welcome to winter. Again.

Today is the first day of Winter in this part of the world. Yay. It’s also the Queen’s Birthday public holiday, the last one until Labour Day at the end of October. So, bad and good-ish?

I’ve probably never mentioned this on the blog (or maybe once or twice), but I really hate winter. No, I really hate winter would be more accurate. The winters I’ve experienced in Auckland were as bad as I can tolerate, and even then right at my limits. That fact could mean I’m in for a rough time over the next three months.

Many years ago, Nigel and I lived in Paeroa. Compared to Auckland, the winters there were brutal: Cold, even by Northern Illinois standards, but without snow, at least (there were very heavy frosts—ice on the car windscreen heavy—several winter mornings while we lived there). Summers were often hot, too, but it was the winter that was the worst. In fact, our first winter in our house in Paeroa, Nigel and I both wore knit caps to bed to try to keep warm. Very Dickensian, I thought at the time.

Paeroa is in the Waikato, and so is Hamilton. In general, the weather here in Hamilton is usually a bit better than in Paeroa, but it’s more extreme than in Auckland. Hamilton, like Paeroa, has winters that are cold and the summers that are hot when compared to Auckland. It was the winters I dreaded the most.

Whenever Nigel and I talked about moving to Hamilton, which we did a lot, I said it would have to be to a well-insulated house that had air conditioning (heat pumps) installed, double glazed windows, and underfloor heating in the bathroom and ensuite. The only thing I didn’t get in my new house is the underfloor heating.

When I was going through a coat closet while getting ready to move to Hamilton, I ran across a nice, very warm (yet light!) winter jacket that Nigel bought in recent years. I don’t remember if he ever actually wore it (I don't think so), but when I tried it on the first thing I thought was, “I’m going to need this in Hamilton winters.” I’m still sure I will.

The weather has been turning colder (by the standards of the upper North Island) well before today, but also with some warm(er) patches, too. It’s been rainy much of the past couple days, though that’s unlikely to break the drought unless it continues for a few more days. It’s been cold (by the standards of the northwestern part of the upper North Island) in the morning, as low as just above freezing. Today was “warmer”, low to mid teens (low to mid-50s Fahrenheit), but it felt very cold, probably because it was so damp from all the rain.

Cold, rain—that’s winter in this part of the country. I don’t like it any more than the winteres I had growing up, but maybe I hate it just a little bit less. That’s something, at least.

So, bad and good-ish.

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