Thursday, 10 October 2013

Seasonal Envy Disorder

I'm suffering from SED- Seasonal Envy Disorder.

Hearing stories of stunningly beautiful Jacaranda blossoms heralding the spring from my friends and family living further south in Australia, not to mention getting overloaded by fall crafts and decorations on Pinterest, has got me feeling a little disenchanted with Darwin's constantly hot weather.
Sadly, here in the Top End we don't have four seasons.  European Australians have officially identified two seasons- Wet Season and Dry Season. They went all out in the creative naming stakes, huh?

The difference, aside from the amount of H2O falling from the sky, is minimal. It's still at least 30'C every day in the dry, though admittedly the air lacks it's usual stifling humidity and the nights cool off beautifully.  It's still hot every day. 

Palm trees don't change colour, there are minimal flowering shrubs and Cold? Jumper-wearing, hot-chocolate-drinking, warm-your-toes-in-front-of-the-fire Cold? Forget it! (Unless you were to go camping inland a bit in the middle of the dry. Though we weren't really that lucky.) 

Then there's the unofficial third season called Build-Up, so called because the heat and humidity just build and build and build.  Storm clouds and thunder threaten on the horizon but it never rains, just builds and builds until everyone gets a little crazy! 

The Yolngu people, the indigenous Australians from Arnhem Land, have identified six seasons in the Top End. 

In addition to the wet season proper (known as Gurnmul or Waltjarnmirri) which is January to March and the dry season (known as Dhaarratharramirri) which runs from late April to August, they have identified a further four seasons using important environmental indicators that assist in their food collection and nomadic movements.

Baarramirri (late December & January) is a short season characterised by the breaking of the wet.  Mirdawarr (late March and April) is the end of wet season with scattered showers while the air is still hot & humid.  Rarranhdharr (September & October) are hot periods towards close of the dry season.
Then there's Worlmamirri (from late October to December) meaning the 'nose of the wet season'. The nose! I just love that term.  The nose of the wet is that build up- a period of maximum heat and humidity immediately before the rain season, characterised by those violent thunder storms of increasing frequency. 
Unfortunately, the end of Term 3 holidays fall right on the nose.  A whole week at home to entertain the kids when it's too hot to go to the park or play outside after, well, 9am in my opinion. It's also too crowded and awful in shopping centers and movie theaters. So, we spent last week at home trying very hard to avoid the heat and to cool ourselves down as much as possible.
We put the garden sprinkler under the trampoline which made for some cool bouncing. Then we tried attaching the sprinkler to the top of the trampoline. Wet jumping gold!
We splashed in the spa.
And had a "tropical island" themed day.  You know how much I love a good themed day! (If not, see here, here, here and here)
Tropical Island day requires beach towels spread out in front of the television, an appropriately themed film (we chose Nim's Island), fancy drinks with umbrellas and suitable snacks.
Toenails painted like a rainbow help too. 

These are coconut and pineapple muffins served with Watermelon and mint slushies. The umbrellas are essential. 
UPDATE: Recipe for Coconut and Pineapple Muffins is now here.
As well as trying to avoid the heat, part of my SED means that I try as hard as possible to pretend that's it's not ridiculously hot.  It's not the build up, and there is no 'nose'. Last month I decorated the dining room to pretend it was spring.
This month we're getting in the spirit for Halloween, which isn't really a big deal here in Oz, but we have a bit of fun with a few little treats anyway.
So, are you lucky enough to experience the traditional four seasons? If so, which one is you favourite? Or, if you are a Darwinite (Darwinian?) do you enjoy our weather or do you pine for variety in as dysfunctional a way as me?


  1. Just came across your blog and I am looking forward to reading more about your lovely family! I'm in Canada and we are just enjoying the glorious autumn weather - leaves changing on the trees, sunny days but nights getting chilly, and we will have snow within months. I visited Australia a few years back and adored the heat too. Great theme - love the snacks and your toes are too cute. Cheers.

    1. Hi Melanie, thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I am crazy jealous of your forthcoming snow - I could handle a winter wonderland right about now. Sarah : )


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