Jack Frost, Nipping At My Nose

I do not like the cold.  This is not opinion.  This is not subjective hyperbole.  This is fact.  I am not made for the cold.  Before moving to Wellington, my only experience with truly cold temperatures was that time I was in Niagra for a day.

But since moving to Wellington, I’ve had to adjust to howling Southerlies racing off the Antarctica ice and up the coast of New Zealand before whipping through Wellington.  It’s like having your air conditioning adjusted to perma-freeze.  Or sticking your whole body in your freezer and turning the fan on high.  This is unnatural.  But so is horizontal rain (another Wellington fixture).

It wouldn’t be so bad if homes in New Zealand had central heating.  Generally speaking, they do not.  Generally speaking, they have no systematic ventilation at all.  You either open a window (sans screen) or throw on yet another wool sweater.  This is how you regulate temperature in New Zealand.

But until now, I at least had the smug confidence of being able to say, “Well, at least we’re not in Invercargill!”

You see, it snows in Invercargill.  Wellington may have a summer that lasts approximately 48 hours, but we could say with assurance that the likelihood of snow in the Wellington CBD was on par with Tiger Woods clawing his way back to the top of the leaderboard.

Apparently he’s on his way.

Over the last three days, it has, in fact, snowed in Wellington.  But mostly, it has hailed, sleeted, rained, and iced in Wellington.  I left home today in three layers of merino, plus leggings, wool knee socks, and knee-high leather boots.  Plus my woolly scarf, coat, hat, and gloves.  This was not a fashion statement, this was a necessity.

I have had to learn much about layers.  This is a foreign concept.  You see, Southerners do not *do* layers.  We strive to strike a balance between wearing as few layers as possible and maintaining a healthy sense of decorum and decency.  But here—even in the 48 hours of summer—I never the leave the house without a cardigan, scarf, and/or a hat of some sort.  On the rare occasion that I catch sight of myself in reflection in a store window, I wonder aloud, “Who is that bag lady?”

(I suspect I still have much to learn with respect to layering elegantly.)

This ‘cold’ snap is supposed to last a few more days.  And then, temperatures should return to normal.  Which means cold instead of bitterly freezing.

Maybe T is right.  Maybe he did import an exotic lizard.

The upside to this is the most cozy bed you could ever imagine (two winter-weight duvets and the most delicious electric mattress pad you could ever imagine, and woolly pajamas) and the ability to swaddle yourself in soft woollen goods to go to work.  No high heels, structured suits, or complicated skirts.  Just layer after layer of warm, cozy, goodness.

And then there’s hot chocolate while snuggling on the couch (under a blanket, of course) and watching the fluffy white stuff fall over the city.  That part is pretty cool too.

An image captured by a friend of Newlands, a northern Wellington suburb--definitely in the "hills"