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459 Fitzgerald Street
North Perth, WA, 6006
Australia

Tiny, freezing cold children.

Tahlia Palmer: Steady Eye

Tiny, freezing cold children.

Andrew Ryan

The cold is finally upon me. I’ve noticed you Perthites are getting it pretty good at the moment, with your pleasant 22 degrees and sunny conditions, and I have to express my complete jealousy. I AM COMPLETELY JEALOUS. It’s been jacket weather for a few weeks on this side of the Nullarbor, and I’m totally over it already. Want to know why? Keep in mind that my uncompromisingly negative tone may be because I’m suffering from seasonal affective disorder (fuckyou fuckyou fuckyou i’m cold and ihateeverything).

First of all, majority of Australian houses are not designed for our climate. At least not the ones I can afford to live in. BIG FAIL OLDEN DAYS GUYS. They suck in summer, they suck in winter, and with heating systems being a touch expensive to run, if they even work, it makes for the shivers, chattering teeth and a whole lot of aching bones. If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, then… you are indeed lucky, but then you have to find someone to sell you enough wood to last the winter, and then you have to pay for it, all the while dealing with that inevitable guilt you’d be feeling about helping destroy precious forest and killing the ozone layer a little more with every cosy night you enjoy.

Then there is the bedding problem. Working in hospitality and living in the first house I could find that would take me (one that I can barely afford), I am very intimidated by the prospect of shopping for blankets and doonas and all of that. I think I will buy a new blanket tomorrow actually, but I’m going to feel pretty shit about spending 40 dollars on one when I didn’t even give my little brother a birthday present this year. Going to an opshop is a legitimate option of course, but then I am very aware of just how much worse off some people are, and why should I take their cheap blankets when they’re living out of their car with some tiny, freezing cold children to look after? Oh, the turmoil I go through.

So this brings me to socks. I have a few good, thick pairs of socks that definitely help fight off the cold. I’ve been wearing them, and they help a lot, but wearing socks in bed makes me feel mildly claustrophobic. I’ve noticed this claustrophobia thing creeping up on me a bit lately, and socks-in-bed is the icing on the cake. I generally dislike wearing shoes too, so when I would normally be barefoot around the house or outside, the cold makes it impossible to feel ate ease with myself. “Waaahhhhhh,” I cry. “Curse my selfish individualism, I want what makes me feel good NOW.” Logic be damned, I’m unhappy that I have to wear socks.

And now for the worst part: clothing. I really don’t enjoy shopping for clothes, because, as a tom boy who finds it easiest to wear black, it find hard to find anything in clothing stores I actually like within my price range. I prefer not to pay more than 50 dollars for anything other than camera equipment. So this puts me in a tough spot. I am at the mercy of what’s available in opshops, and as we all know, the only way to get the good opshop stuff (which is running out very fast) is to go all the way out to the end of train lines in order to find it. I have done this once in Melbourne. It wasn’t pretty. I did get a good hoard, and I found a place that sold buckets of hot chips with gravy for one dollar, but I was on public transport for about 3 hours that day, and no one should have to do that without a portable music playing device.

My last complaint is one that I plan on fixing for myself in the coming months: an inability to cook means that I cannot easily have the warm comfort food I so crave during these cold, sad times. I must rely on the kindness of others (I am lucky enough to know a few people who can cook amazing pies and whatnot), or I must leave the slightly warmer comfort of my own house to go pay someone else to do it. I just have no confidence in the kitchen, and no idea how to create true flavour. But this will change. Maybe you will read about my cooking adventures soon. FINGERS CROSSED.

Last winter, I decided I want to start chasing the sun. And this winter might just be the time to start saving for that journey. Fuck going out and spending money on trying to having fun, because I won’t be good company anyway (ie: full of complaints). So I’ll find some crappy second job, work my ass off, and start flying to wherever has good weather. And start planting trees to offset the giant carbon footprint I’ll be creating. FUCK YEAH.