Little victories.

I delight in the fact that Queensland does not have daylight saving. I do not delight in waking up with the sun at a quarter past five every morning, but I’m learning to cope. But today, even at that early hour, I could tell that the day was going to be a hot one.

Fact: for those who consider Tasmania a great place to be in summer, Brisbane in spring feels like someone left the heater on – generally meteorologically intolerable.

My method of coping is to use a camp stove in the cockpit to make cups of tea. Avoid cooking food. Get out and about early, and spend most of the day in the library. (Where I am writing this right now.)

The ‘not cooking’ thing that has come upon me has had a negative effect upon feeding the family breakfast. Given that three quarters of us have coeliac disease and Bella Luna is gluten free, breakfast generally has to be made, not poured out of a box.

But in the last week of heat my inspiration/inclination has evaporated. It’s too hot to fry up eggs, or apples, or banana and coconut. But a message from a friend in Melbourne two days ago seemed quite serendipitous.

—GF Weet Bix half price at Coles this week!—

The Smalls and I went to both Coles supermarkets in the city – the ones we have been using regularly while we’re moored in the Brisbane River. Neither had GF Weet Bix on special, and my dreams of easy-packet breakfasts for a while began to droop. I assumed the special was limited to the Victorian supermarkets…

It was then I (re-)realised the profiteering inherent in supermarketland. Once I had spent a few minutes exploring Coles online shopping site, I realised that GF Weet Bix were indeed on special in Queensland – just not in the Brisbane city stores – presumably because they service a greater number of the population in a smaller area, they don’t bother with such trifles…

Thus M took Small DB and I across the river this morning to seek out a Coles Supermarket that was not in the CBD. God it was hot – and not yet 8.30am. We clambered up the rocks, shopping trolley in hand, and began making our way toward the supermarket in Woollongabba.

The hot hot walk…

Why was it that no one else who passed us seemed to be experiencing the same weather we were? Both of us red faced, dripping with sweat, gasping slightly, singlets sticking to our backs… I saw people coming from the opposite direction without ANY OBVIOUS PERSPIRATION. Some of them were even wearing long sleeves.

By the time our navigation app had planted us in front of the supermarket, I was ready for concerned members of the public to start asking if we were okay and did we need to sit down? Small DB collapsed in a trolley and I limply pushed both of us to the butter and yoghurt aisle… sweet, cool, air-conditioned bliss.

Once revived, we plundered every box of GF Weet Bix from the shelf. I love it when this happens. Living gluten free is so expensive that I rejoice in any opportunity to save a buck. If I ever clear a product from a supermarket shelf, selfishly leaving none for any other frustrated coeliacs, my glee propels me to the service desk at the front of the store. Motioning to the contents of my trolley (the cereal, not Small DB) I say, “You don’t have any more on the shelf. Can I get a raincheck?”

What happens then is that the salesperson writes you a little slip of paper, saying that you can have six boxes at sale price for the next month AT ANY COLES location. Depending on our whims and the weather, that may be somewhere along the Clarence River (Grafton?) or possibly Manly in Sydney, or even Hobart.

Although I am very tempted to take my precious raincheck into one of the Brisbane city supermarkets, just for my own satisfaction.

Small DB and I found an air-conditioned bus with a very helpful driver in order to return to the boat with our trolley full of half-price Weet Bix. A win.


  1. Katie McKid

    Love this.
    Rob and I dingy’d to those steep steps many a time, carting a huge bag full of washing and a pocket full of coins up to the laundromat.
    There were always brisbane city folk exercising on those stairs. We would look at each other and acknowledge that our lives are exercise enough! A pretty satisfying feeling.

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      I thought of you guys when we hit those stairs!! All those backpacker sheets… 😫 I remembered that you’d told me about the stairs, but until then I hadn’t encountered them.

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  2. Tom Dixon

    Live and learn- I bought your mum 10 boxes of GF Weetbix for $2.50 at Coles in Victoria some months ago, clearing the shelves. Now I know I could have gotten a rain check as well. Would that be considered greedy or just good business?

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      Every time I think about daylight saving I think about YOU!! I have been waking up just before 6am every day – but back to NSW in a week or so, and then we have to decide whether to live by our own time, or everyone elses!!

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