Living in England taught me many things; layering will save your life, beer can be served at higher temperatures than ice-cold and actually that’s pretty nice, yes you can fit that many people into a Tube carriage and by the way how about we try fit ten more just for kicks there’s the chap.
One of the lessons that I treasure most is this; be aware of the seasons.
Australia is a hot bloody place a lot of the time, and when it isn’t hot it tends to be raining. These two states aside, it’s very easy to grow up lacking a basic understanding of the order of nature.
Gum trees are perennials, so they don’t change very much. Plus there are lots of them, so in the end they’re just sort of there – background. We have native flowers but in the cities they don’t appear everywhere.
In England it is so obvious. February is the snowdrops, March and April is daffodils, early summer is tulips. Late summer is blackberries from laneway to the train station. In autumn the leaves turn and drop. Winter is bare trees and red berries.
The change of the seasons is easy to miss in Oz. Sure, it’s hot or it’s not, but until I lived in England I did not or could not pay any attention to the inbetween.
There are some exceptions. One of the few obvious signifiers of the seasons in most of Australia is the Jacaranda bloom.
The jacaranda means it’s summer.