Sunday, August 02, 2009

Rough winter

I am just getting over a nasty cold, which might have been the flu...and possibly even the swine flu. Who knows? A visit to the Internet to learn about how cold and flu symptoms led to more confusion than clarity. Whatever it was, it knocked me on my ass for about three days.

Unfortunately, it appears that S has now contracted something and she's probably in for it as well...poor thing. She tried so hard not to get it - O.J., vitamins, etc. - but living with a sick person makes it practically impossible to avoid.

It's surprising that sickness was kept at bay as long as it has been, since everyone (and I mean everyone) in my office has had an ailment in the recent weeks. New Zealand proudly raised it's hand early (not one to be left out, you know) to declare it had cases of the pig flu, and it's been spreading pretty handily ever since. Fortunately, for most people the symptoms seem to be relatively mild.

It has been a cold and wet winter here, conducive to sickness. People say it's worse than usual. I find this comment to be laughable, having heard it every year since coming here. Frankly, I've never thought Wellington's winters looked or felt anything other than miserable. Well, we wear shorts and jandals in the winter here (either pretending it's warm or willing winter to go away?) so we may as well have other delusions. Whatever gets us through it, I suppose.

It's kind of funny, actually. I grew up in St. Louis, where at least once or twice a year you could expect a decent snow and temps well below freezing. Yet this is the first place I've ever worn a scarf. I wasn't even sure how to tie it. I was admiring the many scarves around town and emulated their treatments, which are apparently 'European knots". I have to admit that my scarf really is quite nice and warm -- one of those cozy possum-blend ones.

In related news....we also broke down and bought a dehumidifier, because the curtains in our bedroom were literally sopping wet each morning when we woke up due to heating the room and our exhaled moisture. I'm sure all that dampness hasn't been helpful in our efforts to avoid disease. Dehumidifiers are a common household appliance here, but, like hot water bottles and scarves, it's not something I've ever really needed. Always learning something new, eh? Too bad it cost $300.

There is hope however.

This week, we had a couple of days above 10° C (50° F), and it seems to be staying light out just a tiny bit longer now. Of course, now a veteran of Wellington's patterns, I recognize the warmer weather as simply toying with us. The final, crushing winter blow usually doesn't come until as late as October, just when you think you cannot take it anymore. Fortunately, we plan to be in the U.S. during that month so maybe we'll miss it.

Until then, I am keeping that scarf very handy.

1 comment:

Portland Vagabond said...

Hey William,

Sorry you all have the winter crud. I hope you both feel better soon.

Over here in Portland, we're weathering the tale end of a wicked heat wave.

Anyhow, good luck figuring out the best way to tie a scarf.