23 June 2013

Drawing Challenge :: Solstace (winter)

yes we have snow

solstace skinnydip

spectratasmania 2013

let there be light

Artist: Rhoji Ikeda



Well while you lucky Northern Hemispherers are enjoying the summer solstace...........poor muggins here (with lots of other muggins) are freezing our derrieres off.

There have been some very cold mornings for us Melburnian/Hobartians this month of June. 2 degrees celcius!!!! thats all the warmth that we have been permitted. Yes, there is sun, but it is a bright cold sun and you are only allowed to feel its warmth if you stand worshipping it with face tilted skyward in small shafts. Stan and I and the cat have fought for prime position of such rare golden shafts that touch our backyard for a few minutes a day.

So we walk to try and warm our bones and huddle in front of the heater and complain that this is the coldest winter in a long time and lament the hot summer we know will follow this bitterly cold winter.

For some of you Northerners you may be laughing at our paltry 2 degree celcius and thinking to yourself "That's summer not winter!"
 But us tee-shirt and short wearing Southerners are in shock. Deep shock. We dont quite know what to do with ourselves the streets have been empty till almost midday this weekend as people refuse to leave their warm beds.

But not all Australians shrink at such temperatures. There is a small clan of Australians who relish the cold who consider themselves the 'European' Australians. Who see themselves as explorers who sit on the cold frontier of the vast block of ice that is Antarctica. This band of hardy cold loving individuals are the Taswegians oops Tasmanians. They embrace the month of June and celebrate the Solstace. It is for the shortest day where Tasmanians choose to celebrate by skinnydipping. They strip off and walk into the freezing waters of the River Derwent. In the winter months Tasmanians  build bonfires, hold light festivals and drink mulled wine. They will venture out in the middle of the night to watch the Aurora Australis. They laugh in the face of cold weather and think their wimpy state cousins are a bunch of wusses.

As a South Australian born Tasmanian residing in Melbourne my reaction to this cold snap and short dark days are met with mixed feelings. In Tassie I love it I really do Ill stand in the cold night air sipping warm wine with the best of them but when Im in Melbourne Im not nearly as brave and my feet dont stray too far from the electric blanket.

Im looking forward to returning to Tasmania in the very near future to enjoy once again the month of June and all it brings.....its celebration of the shortest day, the mofo festival, the aurora australis, snow on the mountains, incredible skies and crisp sweet air.

This Solstace reflection has been inspired by this weeks DC host the lovely Kristen. If you would like to visit her blog you will find other solstace inspired works.


SpectraTasmania 2013
Ben Lomond Cabin
Aurora Australis


renilde said...

i've been staring at that cabin Helen,trying to imagine how the days and nights would be living there, isolated, incredible views and sunsets...would be quite an experience

your longing for Tasminia carries me with you to beautiful aurora australis and to the me unknown mofo festival,

although it's midsummer here at the moment skinnydipping would be rather freezing here to right now,

keep warm and enjoy the mulled wine,xx

Stefanie Seltner said...

wow, ok, now I am impressed, really!
thinking of my children: if it would snow right now, they would enjoy it - I mean, they don´t care they just are. Taking what is coming - know what I mean?
We have summer here, but today it´s grey outside.
Enjoy your time!
x Stefanie

Ariane Reichardt said...

Lummy! Dear Helen,
in half a year its Christmas time, already! This in my mind looking at your winter pic... no, I am not longing for it right now. Maybe after holidays, fueld up with warmth and sun. You know, we had a long winter, a dark, cold winter here in Germany, and Spring... gosh! came late this year.
I laugh out loud reading your words, Dear.... and one day... one day I'd like to come to you(r) Tasmania :)

xo Ariane.

Tammie Lee said...

i enjoyed reading of your Solstice time. It is much like our winter here... and our winters last 5 or more months. I love the cold as well. but now we enter summer and i am thrilled. Your photos are awesome. Enjoy that mulled wine and be warm.

Cindi said...

Such wonderful contrasts to us on the other side of the globe! I love the cold (as long as I can snuggle up in warm clothes by a toasty fire now and then!).

Kristen Donegan said...

I love that your experiencing the winter solstice right now! how totally cool (tee-hee) is that! I always think of the summer solstice as coming out of your shell and the winter is moving back into the imagination.

I suspect it's all a matter of perspective- how much we let ourselves be ruled by the weather, but the marker of mid point is a good reason to pause and go for a skinny dip! :)

thanks so much for sharing and playing along!! Happy Winter!

Carole said...

Brrrrrr and I bet your houses aren't insulated or centrally heated! That makes the cold feel even colder!

We lived in Invercargill NZ for two years and froze most of the time there. Should I send you a good old Canadian parka and a Bay blanket?

Keep warm, Helen. xo Carole

objects of whimsy said...

I was thinking a solar powered electric blanket jumpsuit Carole....and youre right no insulation or central heating and large windows with single width glass. I didnt know you lived in New Zealand? Invercargill is very cold like Hobart...next stop Antarctica!

barbarabeesblog said...

I've been to Melbourne end of winter beginning of spring and I can tell you its not half as terrible as our grey dull days with only about 7 hours of daylight, if you can call it that way.
Right now, the weather is so bad here rainy, grey that its not such a difference.
The good news for you, you heading summer, which is always nice.
Have a great time.

♥ w o o l f ♥ said...

my, my... those european australians, he? i hugely enjoyed this blogpost-de-luxe, helen!

objects of whimsy said...

yes hilarious isnt it :)) they really do see themselves as a little country of its own it. When I first moved there it was like I had moved to another country. It was completely different to anything I had known.
I think its isolation from mainland australia meant that it kept more of its European traditions from its colonisation than the rest of Australian did.
It harks back to its English/Danish/Dutch roots and I think its because being so close to Antarctica it is more like New Zealand in climate and has a landscape that is more like Europe than the outback.
Tasmania has quite large dutch, danish and polish communities being a smaller population we notice them more and their ways are more integrated into our mainstream society.
Its a quirky place with quirky people thats why I like it so much.

Patrice A. said...

dear you
i so, so enjoy this post!
only the word Melbourne makes my heart jump of joy
but 2 degrees is cold
(we had such a lovely sunny day
with 20 degrees and a soft warm wind)

you are really living on the other side
we had the longest day
you had the shortest
but what a fine images!
thanks for sharing

Patrice A.

objects of whimsy said...

thanks Patrice......Im getting so excited about moving back to my beloved Tassie....Melba will be an hours flight away. Im pretty sure that it will always feel familiar to me.

Love the fact that we are the polar opposites too!

Helen xx