Pretty much everyone I know in Melbourne has the beginning of, is in the middle of, or are getting over a coldy-flu type thing. Between Hubs and I we’ve spent the best part of a week in bed, Peanut has soldiered on, admittedly coughing and with a runny nose, but at no point has he just wilted and sat down wanting cuddles. We were due to meet up with other families from our Mother’s Group over the weekend, but I vetoed it, as having a green nose wouldn’t have won him any friends. Dropping him off at nursery this morning, I talked with one of the ladies in his room, she said that all the staff are dropping like flies, but the children are pretty much riding it out.

Hubs is into his second full week, rapidly heading towards his third, I’ve just clicked over onto day ten, and for both of us – it’s still not showing any signs of settling down. We’re both full of congestion, have hacking coughs, glands are still well up and yes, it’s cold in Melbourne, but we’re under the winter duvet, and an extra blanket (me) and a single duvet (him). I’m also on intimate relations with my hot water bottle that I woke up cuddling, curled around it in the foetal position. Gone are the days of sleeping nekkid, we’re both in PJs, given Hubs’ lack of hair on his head, he’s also in a beanie. Most attractive.

Peanut called out at 5:15 this morning, he’d wiggled out under his duvet, and was bum in the air, evidently cold. His hands were certainly freezing when he came barrelling into our room with a ‘Morning Mama’ and gave me a cuddle. I do not understand Australian houses, well some Australian houses. The Queensland ones on stilts I get, you want the air circulating round as best you can, but to not have double glazing, central heating or in some cases, no insulation is beyond me. We spend a fortune heating the house up in winter, for most of the heat to escape out the glass, walls and ceiling; to then spend a fortune in summer cooling the house down, with the opposite of the same problem with heat being retained in hot-boxes.

Hubs and I want to build our own house at some point, the list of things we are wanting to have as normal fixtures and fittings are getting ever longer, although I think I’ve talked him out the fish tank wall… More Bond villain and less family home.

But I digress, it just seems a no brainer to me, certainly the insulation and double glazing, if nothing else, like the bliss of under-floor heating. The majority of electricity in Australia is generated by coal fired power stations, which fills me with horror when you look at the swathes cut through this glorious country to mine it out. Most houses are also open plan, with kitchen, dining and living rooms all in one. Aside from the food smells wafting everywhere, having a great big cathedral-esque cavern in the middle of your house with a tiled floor, is really hard to heat effectively. In most house plans, you’ll then get two, sometimes three other seating areas, labelled as a media room, or a parents retreat.

I look at house plans and face-palm most of the time. How many couches do you need, how many TVs do you need? I read an interesting article over the weekend, if I find the link I’ll add it in later – about the cost of living in Australia going up. In reality, it’s people’s expectations that have gone up, running two cars, umpteen TVs, having mobiles and the interweb being piped into our houses. What we actually need hasn’t changed.

How did I get from a cold to ranting about consumerism?

I spent yesterday afternoon doing some cleaning and housework, pottering around loving my house, with all its foibles, the multi-coloured walls, the fact we’re still renting, five years after emigrating. This feels like the first home I’ve had over here. I wish I knew what it was, but ironing last night to Miss Marple, until the ironing basket was cleared, I felt a peace inside me that has been missing for some time. I was happy with my lot in life.

As this week at work draws to a close (hurry up already!), I’m typing up my handover notes. Counting down the chilly morning starts, explaining to Peanut that next week we could have breakfast together before I drop him into nursery. ‘Yes!’ he excitedly said. Last night, we all had dinner together (mushroom stroganoff if you’re interested, made from scratch – yum). It was lovely, the three of us sat round the table, eating lovely food, talking between us.

Have a good week everyone.

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