Opinion

Winter beats summer any day of the year

By James Bennett

Other than a teaser two weeks ago, we have not really felt the full onslaught of the typical hot end of the year — in fact, quite the opposite.

Although November is a spring month, it is common to have consistent 30°C-plus days that feel like the true definition of summer.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the mercury rising well past 30°C too often in November this year.

I have actually been using a fair bit of my Macpac jacket and sleeping with a doona recently.

I prefer winter over summer. It comes down to one simple thing: it is much easier to keep warm in the winter than to keep cool in the summer. I keep warm in the winter by using my jacket. It cost me $99 and lasts a lifetime.

Other than using special cooling products, summer requires a swim, gallons of fluid and the air-conditioner in order for us to keep cool. In you use cooling products (such as the special gels and the material you wrap around your neck), you usually need help from a freezer — but my jacket needs no special help.

We might crave summer because it feels less dreary; in winter the mind tends to live in a cloudy, wet, leafless, tissue-ridden and miserable place.

On the other hand, summer does have its advantages. I cannot wait until my upcoming annual leave when I migrate to my parents’ beach house. Swimming in the Indian Ocean, playing endless hours of beach cricket, a thirst-quenching cold beer and spending time with family — some of my favourite pastimes.

But that is my holiday, not everyday life. When it comes to the holiday period, most would agree summer is better.

Outside of holidays, summer is a nightmare.

When I wake up in winter, I am snug and can remain wrapped in the doona.

In summer, I am dripping with sweat or shaking with cold because when I went to sleep it was so hot I lay topless with no blanket.

Obviously, not everything is one giant tick in winter.

The car takes its sweet time to heat up and defrost in the morning (if it is not under shelter).

When you get out of bed and the house is freezing, there is really no point trying to heat up the place before leaving for work.

Some readers won’t have any of these problems because they can afford heating or cooling, but even if I had the money, it would not make much of a difference. As someone who has lived in numerous houses, I know than one or two split-systems is not enough to do the trick.

On the average summer’s day, we crank the AC to full blast and don’t dare leave the room.

Except for the morning run, the car in winter can be a place of comfort.

If the car has been sitting in the sun all day in 40°C, I switch on the car and actually wait outside for the cabin to cool down. I can’t touch the steering wheel and I risk permanent branding if I touch the metal on the seat belt. Even when the car is cool, I spend a little bit of time sweating.

We have to drink a reservoir of water during summer, but a nice strong cup of tea can hit the spot in winter.

Because I am profusely sweating in summer means I need to do a lunchtime shirt change and put on extra deodorant.

But it might come as a surprise it is actually better to have a beard in summer than winter due to condensation.

Don’t get me started on autumn or spring — as long as it is chilly, I am happy.

 James Bennett is a journalist at The News. Follow him on Twitter @jwbennett93

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