Nature’s sense of irony

Joanne Robertson says living in Western Queensland means hot weather and hot showers.

After a morning of outside work, which left me a bit the worse for wear, I shucked my grubby work clothes for a cold shower before slipping on inside clothes.

Let me rephrase that. I turned on the cold water tap for a quick shower.

What came out of the pipes, after a morning in the hot sun, was not what I would call ‘cold water’.

In fact it was decidedly the opposite of cold water.

It may be autumn, according to the calendar, but the Queensland sun says different.

In fact it was pretty close to scalding temperature, threatening to give me third degree burns on some tender bits of my anatomy, as I danced around the tub.

I directed the stream to a couple of sore bits that enjoyed the soothing sensation of the heat, while waiting for the water from the tank to kick in.

It seemed like a long wait, from where I was standing.

While I waited, I had time to reminisce about my first year here in Queensland, as a tourist, fresh from Canada.

I had a bucket list of things I wanted to see in Australia, that started long before there was such a thing as a bucket list.

Second to seeing ‘Skippy’ (which I did in spades, thanks to a job that had me travelling the outback) was visiting the Great Barrier Reef, which I elected to do during the June school break, judging there would be less tourists to cramp my style.

That turned out to be a good choice, as, according to the locals I met, the only people interested in water activities in winter, even around Cairns, were Victorians and Canadians.

I had a lot of territory more or less to myself, including a day of snorkelling off Heron Island.

There was just me and a family of five, alone in the great big ocean.

Except, of course, for the plethora of sea life, which I’d first seen in Jacques Cousteau documentaries as a kid.

Those old scenes all seemed to come to life before my delighted eyes.

Being Canadian, I found the water to be quite pleasant, while the scenery was gobsmackingly gorgeous.

However, by the end of a long day in the water, especially after the sun went down, I was starting to feel a bit of a chill, so I headed for a hot shower.

Unfortunately, the same principle that left me scalding in summer left me decidedly chilled in winter.

I believe the resort did have a hot water system, however it seemed to run short by the time I hit the showers.

Guess that handy hot water supply sitting in the pipes in January wasn’t available in June, when it could actually be useful.

Every time I do the scalding water dance in summer, I think of that chilly winter evening at Heron Island and nature’s sense of irony.