Winter is coming which is probably why we’ve just had a Federal Election. I don’t know why the two are linked but they seem to be made for one another. Both are unwelcome, annoying and together help define the weird state of our world right now.
Winter for the over 60s is that time of the year when our bodies like to remind us that they are really unhappy at the way we have treated them these past decades and winter is when they take painful revenge to remind us of how they control our lives now. The hips and knees are usually the first to deliver payback on us, programmed to ache whenever it rains or, if winter is looming, to give us grief every day.
It’s a known fact that old folk become less tolerant of the world if struggling with age-related health conditions inflicted by rogue hips and knees. And just when we think it can’t get any worse, we got politicians pretending to like retirees and throwing a few dollars about so the pensioners could buy a sausage roll as a special treat this year.
The 2022 election campaign which is now thankfully concluded, was like a runny nose in winter – full of drips. Most of the candidates wanting our votes will now scurry away to Canberra, the city that invented winter.
In my several decades on this planet, I’ve endured many election campaigns but a lingering impression of the 2022 one is how it refined the lazy media’s use of the “Gotcha!” question, asking the leaders to list things easily found on Google. This generates what passes for a news headline these days.
Sadly nobody asked the journalists to list the key points in their Code of Ethics. I think these are:
1. Ensure that every news article includes a mention of Harry and Meghan. Or Rebel Wilson’s weight loss or Bindi Irwin’s baby. Bonus points for all three topics in the one article.
2. If short of news create a scoop about a huge meteorite on a collision course with Earth to scare the bejeebers out of the public.
Winter brings out the cranky in some folk and this year is especially worrying for the retiree generation because of the lurking presence of the latest version of the flu and Covid – which is why we have to line up and be vaccinated. I’m still waiting for a vaccine to ward off politicians. The Government has been strangely silent on offering us that one.
Spring and summer are infinitely preferable seasons of the year which is why so many happy folks live in Queensland as for its perpetual summer – unless it’s raining or flooding. Which only happens during election campaigns it seems. If the world is going to be gripped by conspiracy theories I claim copyright on this one.
I have endured winter for several decades which has helped shape my finely tuned grumpy old man persona. This is a legacy of growing up in New Zealand, also known as the Land Of The Long Grey Deluge.
Life has been made more complicated when we also have the Cancer Council shrieking that ham sandwiches may cause cancer, while lobby groups debate the rights of transgender sportspeople and the correct pronouns to assign to such folk. Life was much simpler during the Cold War (also named for winter). The world was divided into Them and Us and both sides had nukes and threatened to use them.
On reflection, this sounds like Russia today but there’s one bright spot in this dark wintry scenario – the story about the bomb disposal dog in Ukraine being awarded a bravery medal by the Ukrainian president which was featured on the TV news. I watched the item in case Harry and Meghan were featured. It was interesting that the dog had the same hair colour as Harry, a connection the media overlooked.
Nuclear war in the northern hemisphere could of course lead to a nuclear winter, another indicator that this is the most unpopular season of the year.
Being an optimistic fellow, I am facing this year’s winter with stoic fortitude, four Covid vaccinations and a flu jab too. I’ve also laid in an extra supply of handkerchiefs because of the wintry runny nose issue.
Now to settle down for some winter TV entertainment. I wonder what’s on? Oh look, a show starring Harry and Meghan.