Thursday, April 3, 2014
The Wintry Side of the Equation
It's been nearly two months now since I slipped into the exhausting slipstream thick of working-mum life. Most of the life dust has settled, but I am struggling to find out exactly where the time has gone, and where the halves of all the sad and single socks in our neglected washing basket have buggered off to.
Somewhere, between reclaiming my work skirts from the back of the wardrobe and trying to source, chop, crumb, bake and pleadingly squeeze zucchini sticks into an eleven month old each evening, the trademark Australian summer days have shifted toward the wintery side of the annual equation.
In true transitional fashion, we are still getting a smattering of hot days wedged in among the cold ones, but they are fast becoming the warm exception to the chilly rule, like finding a prized full noodle in a packet of resolutely broken ones.
For the most part, though, the long rambling evenings of the summer months have given way to the crisp mornings of April, and the train station platform has seen a resurgence of black tights, well-loved boots and mid-length coats topped off with football scarves.
Our cold dinners have given way to casseroles, fish and chips at the beach have been replaced with fish and chips on the lounge room floor, and picnics in the park are teetering indecisively on the precipice of seasonal give.
In the same vein, the tantalizing waft of summer barbecues has been phased out by the acrid smell of wood fire smoke, piping from a medley of disparate chimneys as fireplaces are cleaned and test-fired in readiness for the battle of the temperatures that lies ahead.
The leaves are starting to switch on the trees, going out in sympathy with the browning grass and the gnarling twigs, ready to peter out as daylight savings does and fall to the footpath when the first windscreens ice up in the morning.
My crumbling old house in the inner-outer-inner suburbs of Melbourne is also showing the signs of the season, with the last good lemons throwing themselves from the tree and the cobwebs closing in on the windows that no longer need to be opened.
To protest the shift in the the weather, a small but formidable army of mice have found their way through the cracks, making a mockery of the endless deficiencies in our antique door seals and off-kilter walls and skirting boards.
The washing machine is now full of sturdy toddler trousers, footed pajamas and corporate shift dresses and tights - a far cry from the primary colour carnival of short-sleeve onesies, cotton nappy covers and sensible breastfeeding singlets that have been swallowed up by the missing weeks.
The seasonal shift has even got the washing line preparing for hibernation, catching its last few weeks of relatively useful sun before it will be forced to slink off into a cool grey corner of the backyard for the duration of the lacklustre-laundry winter months.
Somewhere, somehow, summer has turned to autumn, new year has turned to mid year, daycare has turned from new to routine, bottles have turned to cups, crawling has turned to stepping, fast has turned to much faster and I still can't find a pair of matching socks - and by time time I do, my daughter will have outgrown them anyway!
Has time crept up on you lately?