AUTUMN in Canberra is just beautiful. We might be the bush capital, but nothing beats the display of European colour as the leaves turn gold, crimson and maroon before falling and covering the ground with a crunchy, brown carpet.
Then there are those amazing autumn days when the sun has lost its summer sting but the skies are clear, brilliant blue and enormous.
It’s also the time that Canberrans seem to be out and about.
The Enlighten Festival was wonderful and it’s a joy to see the balloons in the morning sky – though I really missed our beautiful Skywhale.
In a blink of an eye Easter will be here – a favourite time for chocoholics like me and the rest of our family.
Yet I always get the blues in autumn.
As the days get shorter it gets harder to get up early. This seems especially so with our kids, one of whom is on the cusp of his teens and already wakes like a bear disturbed from hibernation.
But that’s nothing; I absolutely hate cold mornings and want nothing other than to pull the doona over my head and hope that it will all go away.
There’s no getting around the fact that autumn means winter is not far away.
Of course, winter isn’t all cold and bleak. It’s just that it’s harder.
For parents, it is harder to motivate themselves, much less get recalcitrant children to do things.
Venturing out to early morning sports training becomes a mammoth effort. Last year we were up at 6am for a 7am start in temperatures that were around minus 5C – and one morning it was minus 7C! – with a big wind-chill factor.
I’m already stocking up on a new inventory of double-lined gloves, coats, woollen hats, snow boots and a bum warmer that you can pop in the microwave and get a good two hours of warmth from.
My husband wants to buy a Canadian beaver fur coat and hat over the internet, but we have to draw the line somewhere. It may get cold, but I couldn’t have the deaths of a beaver family on our conscience.
I reckon it’s time to buy a new doona, extra thick, fleecy pyjamas and fluffy slippers.
In the kitchen I’m already stocking up on ingredients for soups.
I guess we’re just like cuddly critters looking to make their hollow log just that bit warmer and comfortable for the long haul until spring.
But there is a grim reality that can’t be avoided: winter is coming…