Do I Need a Coat?

It’s cold!

July 12, 2014

July 12, 2014

Until about two weeks ago, I could be heard saying that winter in Melbourne is just like summer in Scotland.

Overall, I still believe this to be true, apart from those periods when the extremes happen in either city — like now.

Currently, we are having a cold snap. And Glasgow is having a warm spell.

July 12, 2014

July 12, 2014

This is my first winter in Australia for nine or ten years, and I’ve been making comparisons between the cities. The greatest difference between a Glasgow winter and a Melbourne winter is in the plant behaviour.

Gardens shut down in Glasgow’s winter.  The worms hibernated, the weeds died, the gardeners put their tools away, and nothing flowered. This has been normal for me for the last five years, so I was surprised by the abundance of native flowering plants I see on my walks around my neighbourhood.

Red Hot Pokers

Red Hot Pokers

Winter flowers 013

Although, there was one special kind of winter ‘flower’ in Glasgow — snow blossoms.

Snow Blossoms

Snow Blossoms

I loved the snow and hoar frosts  that transformed the city on rare occasions.  They totally made up for the general drabness of Glasgow’s winter, but weren’t something you could count on.

Queens Park

Queens Park

It would be most unlikely to see snow blossoms where I now live, but I’ll settle for the Australian wattle trees which are currently bursting into bloom, and spreading a splash of bright yellow across the land.



My biggest problem with the Melbourne winter, is the inconsistency of the weather.

Winter flowers 012

The forecast can be wet, windy and cold, but then the sun will shine, the wind dies down, and I have to peel off the layers of clothing to be comfortable.

Winter flowers 011

Donning hats, coats, scarves, and gloves in Scotland was commen sense, but if I venture out here rugged up like that, it’s just as likely to suddenly warm up, and I’ll end up carrying the extra layers.

Winter flowers 010

I wish there was a reliable way of knowing whether I’ll need a coat today.


13 thoughts on “Do I Need a Coat?

  1. Snow blossoms, so magical, and yes, throughout the bush our wattles are now beginning to show their magical charm too…..which just adds to the joy of winter. But if you want consistency in your weather, then it’s one more move for you, a little further south to beautiful Hobart. When it’s cold, it’s cold, when it’s mild it’s mild, and best of all it never gets hot…..well not often.

  2. I just love your pictures Juli, especially the ones of Glasgow in the winter. Now that’s what I call a ‘real’ winter.
    Here in Brighton & Hove (and most of the rest of the UK), we had a really bad winter 2013/14 with storm force winds and rain. But it was also mild, too mild, and we had hardly any frosty mornings. I really did miss them. Everything seems to be early over here this year and I’m just wondering if the Autumn will join in and come early as well. I know, I’m wishing the summer away, but when it’s humid and hot, I just do not like it. “Summers from hell” as I call them.
    I hope you are well and enjoying life down-under.

    • Thank you for popping by, Hugh.

      We were fortunate to have snow every year we spent in Glasgow, but it never lasted long enough for my liking. I used to feel cheated if I didn’t get at least one decent snowfall. The same way I feel cheated here, if I don’t get some blistering hot days. If you consider any UK summer to be a ‘summer from hell’, then you wouldn’t enjoy our summers.

      And yes, thank you, I am enjoying being here very much. 🙂

      • Hugh, obviously the ideal time for you to visit your sister is in our winter, your summer! Brisbane doesn’t get hot in the winter, and you’ll escape UK’s blistering summer heat waves. No more excuses!

        Thank you for the award – I’ve not done well with these in the past. I’ll have to put my thinking cap on – that’ll make for a change.

      • You are very welcome, Juli. As I said in my post about the award, you were the first person to say “Well done” to me when I declared via a post to the blogging 101 community, that I had dyslexia. I’ll always remember that as it gave me the courage and strength to start my blog. So a big ‘thank you’.

  3. I always enjoy your blogs, Juli. Apart from when lives or livelihoods are affected, the weather in temperate and semi-temperate climes is a constant source of interest and challenge – I’ll bet you are a mistress of the art of layering! And a totally predictable climate, though convenient, wouldn’t feel like life, would it? We sometimes feel a bit idiotic saying to the breakfast servers when we’re on holiday in a hot place, “What a beautiful morning!” You can almost see them shrug inside their heads, roll their eyes and mutter “Tourists!” But they smile and agree politely.

    • Oooh, you may be right, Suzanne, but I loved the consistency of Florida’s weather – beautiful one day, perfect the next. The only time I became disgruntled there was on the odd days when I needed a jacket.
      I did think Scotland taught be about layering, but I don’t seem to manage it here as well. It seems to be a lifelong learning curve for me.

  4. How did you feel about the winters in Boca Raton. Our winter is months away but I am already curious to see now I will fare in NC for the winter. Will I need to escape to sunny Florida? I’m thinking of spending January in NJ. Am I nuts? Will I love sitting in my NC living room in front of the fire with a good book and hot soup watching the snow fall gently on the high mountain tops? Will I need a new winter coat after 15 years?

  5. I’ll be interested to see how you cope, too. At least I know that the cold won’t last long here, but then, I never minded the cold when there was snow, which you’ll probably get. Right?

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