I am about to leave Canberra after a week here at my parents’ place. There were two things I was particularly looking forward to as I planned the trip: 1) my mum’s cooking, and 2) the colder weather.
Yes, I know, you probably think I’m crazy. But I quite enjoy colder weather and it’s been a WHOLE YEAR since I last lived in anything approaching it. It was Beijing summer, then Phnom Penh (which is warm even in “cold” season) then Sydney summer… But for this week I’ve had some nice cool weather. Not exactly cold, but cold enough to wear tights and gloves and even the occasional scarf (fun, even if not strictly necessary). One night it got down to 6°C (42°F) and there was even a little snow on the mountains to the south of the city.
Why do I love winter? I love layers of soft, comfy winter clothes. I love burrowing under piles of quilts/doonas/blankets. I love how a hot chocolate becomes the Best Thing Ever. I love wearing fingerless gloves. I love the feeling of crisp cold air against my face. It is especially awesome when, as is often the case in Canberra, the cold air is accompanied by bright sunshine. It’s not quite cold enough for winter here yet, but I don’t think Sydney is EVER cold enough to properly be called winter, so I’ll have to look forward to my next visit to Canberra instead.
Other than enjoying the cold, there were lots of other things to enjoy during my week here: hot cross buns, singing with my Mum’s church choir on Easter (they are very good), a visit from the Easter bunny, birdwatching from my window as crimson rosellas and king parrots cavort in the banksia and bottlebrush trees outside, home-grown steak with the Leasks, and rediscovering warm clothes (and other goodies) in the last from-China suitcase to find its way back to me.
Of course I also spent time catching up with a few friends. It was particularly special to spend time with two of my Beijing friends who are visiting at the moment. Nick and I have been friends for about 15 years and for nearly half of those we both lived in Beijing. It was really fun (although not as surreal as I expected) to hang out with him and his wife here in Canberra. They came over to my parents’ house for a lovely Easter dinner, and I went with them to visit his brother’s family (also good friends of mine). It was a lovely touch of China in my week – although it made me miss my Beijing friends! I may not have done as much school work as I intended, but I did work on my book. Misunderstood explains what is like to grow up abroad in the 21st century and will be published later this year. Over 400 people have now completed the online survey for TCKs I created, and I’m hoping for at least 500 before I close it on the 19th. The responses include people from over 60 passport countries, who have lived in over 130 different countries/territories. Quite amazing! The results so far line up well with what I’ve written for the book and the statistics that flow from it will make a really good addition to the manuscript. If you lived overseas before turning 18 I would love to have your input as well – and feel free to pass it along to anyone you think might be interested.
It’s been a lovely week, but now it’s time to go. My parents are leaving today to visit my grandparents, so I’m hitching a ride with them. I’ll take the train back to Sydney on Sunday, in time to go to class (and take a Greek test!) on Monday. For those of you in Australia (and elsewhere) who have holidays, I hope yours are as pleasant and relaxing as mine has been!