Friday, July 3, 2009
It’s freezing cold and blowing a gale here in Brisbane today, so it seems appropriate that slap-bang in the middle of winter is a good time to review the naming of the seasons. It’s about time we jettisoned the traditions of our English forebears and came up with some seasons of our own. The Yanks call autumn ‘fall’ and likewise we Aussies should become more conscious of our own environment and adjust. Most Australian-born children suffer from a crippling cultural schizophrenia. There is something deeply disturbing about watching your parents paint frost on the window on a 38 degree December day. Children feel cheated when story books promise a snowy Christmas, blazing Yule log and magnificent fir tree only to be greeted by a piece of gum tree sprayed silver with cotton wool glued on it. How can we expect our children to be beguiled by the wonder of scrawny, mixo-ridden vermin bringing gifts at Easter? You may as well tell the kids the kindly old Easter European carp is on his way. Rethinking the seasons is a good way to start healing this cultural schism. We obviously can’t look to the trees to help us out being the mix of evergreen and deciduous varieties that we have. Perhaps northern Australians could have two seasons, ‘Wet’ and ‘Dry’ and the southerners could have two called ‘Cricket’ and ‘Footy’. Melbourne’s seasons could be renamed ‘Drizzle’, ‘Overcast’, ‘Sopping Wet’ and ‘Blowing a Dog off a Chain’ and here in Brisbane we could go ‘Muggy as Hell’, ‘Rumbling Skies’, ‘Freezing Westerlies’ and 'Bludge’, a season which runs from November until January, as in, ‘Oh sorry mate, we’d love to come out and look at your new fridge/extension/pergola, but we’re flat out like a lizard till Chrissy’. So dear reader, how would you rename the seasons of your city?