Ode to Tasmania in Winter

There is a kind of Cult of Warmth which assumes that most people would prefer to live in a warmer climate if they had the means to do so and if given half a chance.  I am not one of its devotees. In fact over my fourteen years in tropical Darwin I strove mightily to find a way to get to a cooler climate.  I eventually succeeded in 1990, and have been happily Tasmanian ever since.  So happy indeed that I composed the following paean of praise to my chilly ancestral homeland.

Ode To Tasmania in Winter

(With apologies to Dorothea Mackellar)

The love of palm and coconut,

Of flesh-warm tropic rains

Of sand and surf and bathing-suits

Is running in your veins

Strong love of suntan lotion,

Of cloudless glaring skies

I know but cannot share it,

My love is otherwise.

I love a wintry island

Where snow falls on the ground

Where the air is full of wood-smoke

And storms don’t muck around.

Where it’s not too hot for woolly scarves

Or gloves or roll-neck jumpers

And boots are fine though I draw the line

At those ugly fleece-lined numbers.

I love the way those winter clothes

Can make you look lots thinner

And you don’t work up a sticky sweat

Just eating a big roast dinner.

I like the friendly ‘click’ you get

When you turn on your leckie blankie

And it’s never too hot when you fancy a spot

Of good old hanky-panky.

You can have your squishy mangoes

Your paw-paws rich as blood

I’ll take the fruit of the good cold earth

The apple and the spud.

You can have your humid northern climes

With their swarms of flies and mozzies

You can stick those flying cockroaches

In a very darkened possie.

I shall not grieve if I never perceive

Of crocodiles one more trace

I like a land where nature’s grand

But the wildlife knows its place.

I shall not weep if I can’t sleep

‘Neath a rackety ceiling-fan

I’d very much sooner be wrapped in a doona

A snug Tas-man-i-an!

This was first published in the 40º South Winter 98 edition ‘Waypoints’