Four seasons in one day…
I like four seasons well enough, whether it’s in a sub-tropical setting like Queensland where I lived for over four years, or in the UK. I don’t remember a UK winter much because the last time I experienced it, I was six years old. I have been in sub-zero weather in adulthood, though. In Canberra, which I visited for a Drama and Performance Studies conference, back when I was still a Performance Studies PhD candidate (I switched over to Literature which was always my first love). I was bundled up in several layers and freezing. Hilarious memory of cooking while bundled up in a winter coat in the youth hostel kitchen, scrounging together stuff I’d brought over from my little cottage in Brisbane (some leftover sausages, pasta, a can of tomatoes) because postgrads are always broke, right?
That was fun enough but my point is that I like the four seasons well enough but equatorial weather will always have my heart. We don’t have four seasons, but we sometimes have several seasons in one week, from pouring monsoons, to dry, arid weather. Things are a little more extreme now with climate change and this makes me worry for the future.
Anyone who says that this weather is boring or just the same from day to day probably is suffering from a lack of imagination and discernment. I love these equatorial skies when they are blindingly blue, I love them when they are all Romantic greys and smouldering clouds. It’s magical.
In teenhood, I would revel in walking briskly when the skies were grey and when the winds were buffeting me. It was in such weather that I would dream dreams of Yrejveree and set those dreams down on paper. In those days those dreams encompassed thoughts of Byron and Keats and the Romantic Imagination (so it should surprise no one at all that I became a literary academic), and perhaps I yearned to live abroad.
But no longer. I don’t think I could live in a world that was grey for months at a time, with no blindingly blue skies emerging every few days. I prefer to be in a air-conditioned or fan-cooled temperature indoors while the sun is shining then in heating (which I find really stifling) while it is sub-zero outdoors. Sure, it would be cozy short-term but I think it would get to me longterm. I want to be able to kick off the covers, and to go outside in my shorts without being worried of the cold killing me. Perhaps, if the climate situation accelerates, such wishes would no longer be feasible. But for right now, when I think about where I would settle, anywhere at all, I know that the weather would keep me right here in Malaysia.