IF you’re having indulgent visions of leaving the UK before the miserable, dark, icy winter sets in and coming back to Australia’s bright and sunny days … stop. Australia is not as warm as you remember.
Battling through the UK’s winter months is a testing experience for any Aussie, especially one who, like me, can’t get enough of lazy hot summer days.
So when trying to decide whether to pack up and go back to Oz, rose-tinted memories of lying by the pool on sweltering 30-degree days are guaranteed to come flooding back.
After making up my own mind and deciding to book a one-way flight to Melbourne, I was faced with the tough task of packing up the belongings I had accumulated in my time abroad.
Courier and Customs fees are sky high, so you have to be ruthless.
All the crappy, faded, falling-apart Primark purchases went straight to the NO pile. The majority of the books, CDs and DVDs in my modest collection also failed to survive the cull.
I left London in November, just as winter was beginning to show itself, so I had no choice but to keep my big warm winter coats until my last day. But when that final day arrived I ditched those coats and headed to Heathrow. My spring coat was the only one I would need in my sunny homeland, I though naively. That wasn’t my smartest moment.
Despite friends warning me that “Melbourne does get pretty cold in the winter” and suggesting I keep them, I could only picture the scorching hot Australian summer which lay ahead.
But now, seven months on and with Melbourne’s winter well and truly here, I wish I’d taken off my rose-tinted glasses and held on to those coats.
While the mornings and evenings are the only time I would actually need them here in Melbourne, and even then I would probably overheat in those 80% wool beauties, the icy wind that roars up the tram line is no match for my light-weight spring jacket.
So if you’re faced with the arduous task of culling your London wardrobe, heed my advice and hold on to those coats. For you never know what icy cold gust of wind the Australian winter has in store.
*Author’s note: Obviously, if you’re headed for any of Australia’s balmy states (Qld, NT and WA), you can probably ignore this entire article and leave behind every item in your London wardrobe. The bikini and singlets you wore while on holiday in Greece are probably the only items you’ll need. But then again, I’ve been wrong before.