Let’s cut northerners some snow slack

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)

I’m a proud born-and-bred Southlander but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel the pain of my northern countrymen and women.

This latest patch of decidedly non-tropical weather engulfed the entire country and divided it at the same time.

You see, apparently Aucklanders aren’t allowed to complain about the cold weather. Permission to have a wee moan about freezing your bits off is reserved for those of us living in the South Island.

Well, that’s the rule according to many of the Trade Me message-board users who have jumped on and belittled everyone north of the Bombays who has dared to mention they are feeling the cold.

That same attitude has popped up elsewhere online too. Even Wellingtonians have been copping flak for daring to mention the snow (pictured above in a photo taken in Willis St, Wellington by Dominion Post photographer John Nicholson).

Come on, people, of course the poor buggers in Auckland are struggling with temperatures that we probably think are pretty decent numbers for winter readings: that’s because their city is generally a few degrees warmer than here.

Get over it.

And yes, residents of our nation’s capital were buzzing about the white stuff falling because it was such a huge novelty. Again, get over it.

There were a few Cantabrians who certainly didn’t do their province proud when they got stuck in to some of our more northern Kiwis for complaining about being cold, one, in particular, trundling out the old “typical bloody Jafa” line, before comparing the February earthquake and the snowfall and suggesting they harden up (but with a few extra, not-suitable-for-a-family-newspaper words thrown in).

I never realised it was a competition to see who could have the biggest disaster.

It’s nice to see Aucklanders have a sense of humour about it all, with supportive Facebook groups popping up (I hit the “like” button for the “I survived Auckland’s snowfall 15/8/2011” page as a sign of my support).

So listen up my wee Jafa friends (and I use the term Jafa in a friendly, affectionate manner): I hope you all manage to stay warm and toasty during this chilly time. May your lattes be fluffy and your skies blue.

I also Facebook liked “Wearing shorts in Invercargill, because this place is f…ing tropical” because it made me think of my dad, who died 11 years ago.

Like many Southland blokes of a certain age, he wore the year-round uniform of T-shirt, shorts and Jandals, adding a Swanndri on top during the coldest part of winter.

The other Facebook page I hit like for this week had nothing at all to do with the weather: “Gluing coconuts to your dog’s feet so neighbours think you have a horse” has all-season appealĀ  although I don’t own a dog.

I wonder if it would still work with a cat? Perhaps the neighbours will think I have a Shetland pony.

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