There are many benefits to travelling to the other side of the world, not least of which is that you can potentially skip an entire Winter, which I am happily doing as we speak. I haven’t had a tan like this since I was a kid in Newcastle, where burning oneself to a crisp each summer was totally acceptable behaviour.
However, an unexpected drawback has surfaced in the form of Hayfever x 2. Anyone who works, lives or walks though Canberra’s Civic in Spring willhave cursed those trees that drop the seed balls which break up into a fluffy like substance, ripe for breathing in on a windy day. I often wondered who the hell thought it was a good idea to plant those trees. Imagine my shock and horror as I swallowed some fluff yesterday from the same species of tree. In our current temporary abode in Bloomsbury, London the parks are full of them — as are the gutters full of their cough inducing fluff. Ah well, nothing like a reminder of home to alleviate the home sickness.
Tree Nerds may be interested to know that the tree in question is called “London Plane” (Platanus × hispanica). The Wikipedia article explains that the tree “…has a number of problems in urban use, most notably the short, stiff hairs shed by the young leaves and the dispersing seeds; these are an irritant if breathed in, and can exacerbate breathing difficulties for people with asthma.”