Saturday, November 20, 2010

Downside Up in Autumn

In Oz, its true—you’re upside down. Your seasons, they’re not right.
When we in northern climates sweat, you’re nippy in the night.
While we are drinking lemonade and fanning air around,
You Aussies dress in flannel, and wool socks do abound.

Of course, such things are relative. At ZERO, you are cold.
But thirty-two (to Yanks like me) just means the frost takes hold.
Your Celsius, our Fahrenheit—these numbers are a tease.
(But, here or there--when ice is formed--it’s cold enough to freeze.)

Those old dog days of summer (when northern girls like me
Take midnight swims in river pools when no one else can see)
Have faded fast to autumn, we race to winter’s chills…
When I am pulling woolies on, you’ll fire up your grills.

You bear a long hot summer while I survive the snow.
You hang out by the swimming pool. I watch the snow banks grow.
So, yes… you are quite backwards… or aptly, downside-up.
When you are downing cold ones, hot cider’s in my cup.

November is upon us. For us up here in Maine
The leaves have turned and fallen, and covered up the lane.
For Aussies there Down Under, the opposite is fact.
Your spring has sprung in autumn! (You guys are really whacked…)

Top Photo: Frangipani in bloom, Queensland, by Jack Ramsay
Middle Photo: Bald Mountain, New South Wales, by Ali g
Bottom Photo: Sunset in Darwin, by Dozy
(All I'm missing is an Aussie photo from CP...)


  1. What a beautiful poem Karen - love the pics too !!

  2. Hey, Dozy dear! Thank YOU for the lovely bottom photo!!!

    Is Darwin in Northern Queensland? I was going to write that, then wasn't sure... and was too busy/lazy to go downstairs to dig out my encyclopedia....

    Love you! Glad it's a sunny and warm day down there! Snowed here this a.m., but didn't 'stick'. Yay! (I'm not ready, as there's still a half-cord of firewood left to throw inside...)


  3. Hey Babe !

    Darwin is the capitol of the Northern Territory or 'top end' of Oz.

    We really are 'ass-about' as one of my chores now is to move my firewood back out from the protection of the porch onto the woodpile outside (don't want any snakes or spiders using it as a haven so close to my door - I really abhor spiders as you know)

    Thinking of you xxxxx..

  4. Ah, yes! The NORTHERN Territory. I knew it was far north... but ... well. My world geography is about 30 years out of date (and mind...)

    So, is it okay to have your woodpile be a haven for spiders and snakes in the WINTER? Judas Priest... As you know, I hate spiders, too. And we don't even have spiders the size of dinner plates up here, like you do. Ugh!!!


  5. Yep, the NT is far north - has been there (geographically) for quite a few million years.......snicker.

    Our spiders & snakes tend to hibernate in winter so I can safely bring some of my wood under cover to keep it dry. Now that the weather is warming up the spiders are out in full force (already walked through 3 big webs this morning - shudder) & there are snakes about so now it all needs to be moved back to the pile away from the house.....

    Big hugs xxx

  6. Hey Kaz! Great poem :)

    Been cool here in SEQ - magnificently so. About to warm up though. Best of all, it's WET and cool, so the garden's looking green.

    Saw the first python of the season yesterday. Just a little feller - about 14 feet or so.

    Heading down to the bottle-o, so need to get going.

    Great poem! :)


  7. Hey - meant to say: I'll give you that five bucks back if you can tell me where the spider is on that frangi. heh... it's there, I swear.

  8. OH... MY.... GOD!!!!!!!!

    I SEE it!!!!

    That's... horrible!!!!! What if I touched it, and got bit? Or sucked? Or whatever the HELL it is that those HUGE Aussie spiders do?????

    Okay... now I've got the CREEPS. Big time. (And Dozy will, too. Trust me!)

    Aw, Jack...(the creeps! I'm tellin' ya! And the shivers....)


    (The girl who once loved frangipanis...)

  9. Judas Priest. You are GOOD at what you do...



  10. King Brown strolled accross the entry path the other day about 5 meteres from the front door..went out with the hoe to whack him but he buggered off. Only about 6 foot long but that's big enough for those deadly poisonous buggers.
    Funnel web spiders are the worst ones here in Oz but we don't have them here out west thank heavens. some redbacks [poisonous] and the huntsmen are big but not poisonous. Give you a good fanging if you annoy them so best to approach them from the rear when picking them up to take back outside. They'll bite you I guess but they don't eat much and with so much alcohol in my system they quickly spit me out.So no worries.
    Kate's got a pet spider in the bathroom over the bath tub.. he's quite fat so obviously getting plenty of the flies that follow me in when I need to visit.

  11. Oh My God !!!

    I used to have a lovely little frangipani but our record winter frosts have caused it to suffer a slight case of death - after discovering the spider in Jack's I decided not to replace it.....way too creepy ! (Shudder)

  12. Jayzum, Grahame. I don't know whether to cringe, or laugh! (Laughing won. Can just picture the flies, hehehehe...)

    Just yesterday I got an invitation to Oz, and yet all I hear is poisonous this and deadly that.

    We had freezing rain here in Maine, yesterday.


  13. There's no spider in that frangipani. They're just bud stems .
    Nice picture there of the hills of Mudgee..the track leading back to Varykino from the top of Bald mountain I believe..
    If you come on down under we'll lock up the biteys for the duration of your visit.
    You'll be good. None of us here have been bit yet..[although have come close a couple of times but wtf.]

  14. Okay, now I've GOT to know!!! Bud stems? Spiders? JACK!!!!

    Hehehe.... okay, one way or another, I'm going to get to the bottom of this. Has that man been pulling my leg again? I STILL am not sure if a haggis is a bog lemming, or not!


    If I come Down Under, you all might not get rid of me. Then where would your biteys go? Maybe on a slow boat to China? :o)

    Nah, I ain't skeered of biteys! Not much, anyway. Certainly not enough to keep me away. They can't be nearly as intimidating as some of the corporate peeps I've run into lately.


    SO, spider, or bud stems? Hmmm...

  15. If you come on down drop in if you're passing by and we can play arm wrestles and shoot the haystack & other good fun dinkum stuff like stomp the frangipani arachnids while we cook a sheep on the barbie.
    will piss off the snakes for you even.
    Bring Jack the leg puller too.

  16. Hey, Trev! Great to see you!

    You're up early! It's Thanksgiving here, and we've just finished off a HUGE meal....ugh.

    I'll bring Jack, all right. How about Larry and Ali G and CP and Dozy? KK and Ali? Pete and Naomi? How big is that sheep, anyway?

    Heh... that'd be fun.

    How do you piss off a snake? And don't they tend to bite if you piss them off? How about we make them laugh, instead?


  17. Cripes girl ...if you bring all them fat blokes I'll have to switch the sheep on the barbie for a steer. You can bring the sheilas no worries especially Ali g's georgeous missus KK cos she's real hot...

  18. sorry got carried away in my excitement..that should have spelt 'gorgeous' nuthin blokey about that girl..

  19. Hehehehe...

    Okay, Trev. Your (somewhat discriminatory) hospitality is duly noted.

    Heh.... dill.