Some years ago I worked with an exchange teacher from Britain.
She returned home at the end of her exchange year, but in about April the following year I received a phone call late one afternoon, asking if I would be her referee.
“A British selection panel will ring at midnight!” I exclaimed.
But, no, she was returning to Australia as soon as possible, and this job was in Perth.
In Britain they had started school on January 8 that year, but the final straw was someone saying that she was lucky to be home.
She was sitting watching the rain splashing against the window, freezing before it could reach the bottom, forming thick ice. She told me that she burst into tears.
“The kids are being fed in the dining hall, and we’re here in a warm staff room. In Australia teachers would be doing playground duty now, not relaxing!” a comforting voice intoned.
“Yes, at home in Wagga I’d be in the playground,” she sobbed.
“The sun would be shining. The kids would be laughing and playing, and I want to go back!”
She is back in Australia, at a school north of Perth.
Our children will return to school refreshed after swimming and playing in the gorgeous January weather we have been enjoying.
This summer’s storms have provided green grassy playgrounds, and beautiful playing fields and parks for summer sports competitions.
In times like this we can count our blessings here in Wagga.
Our beautiful dome-blue skies, the grandeur of lightning and rolling black clouds that have moved on by morning, the invigorating bright days that follow, are assets that many in Britain can only dream about, even in summer.
In Britain right now, a prolonged freezing spell has led to cancellation of school buses in some areas.
“Aren’t British children lucky?” I can almost hear one or two children saying this week.
When headlines scream, “Temperatures set to plummet to -15C and yet more snow on the way”, and other stories claim that“a million elderly people are at risk from the bitter cold as they cannot afford to heat their homes”, we know who the lucky people really are.
Television news coverage of horrific ice and snow accidents in North America last week should have reminded viewers that the northern hemisphere has been experiencing “record” freezing winters for some years now, which in global terms has balanced the hot temperatures in the southern hemisphere.
Today, Australia Day reminds us that we are the lucky ones, living in the best country in the world.
In my humble opinion, Wagga offers us the best variety of weather year-round, and is the best place for children to grow up.
When we consider news from around the world, Wagga is the place to be.
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