Wool. A subject that may seem rather mundane, but one that has been very close to me this NZ winter. (pun intended)  

Arriving at the beginning of winter, having learned that the temperatures are fairly mild year round…at least mild compared to my native US northern Rockies weather…apparently I underestimated the strength of the infamous Southerlies. When the first Southerly hit, with a fresh delivery of weather direct from Antarctica, it may have been only in the high 30’s (I still think in Fahrenheit), but the wind and the humidity and the dense air made for some penetrating cold! My cotton and synthetic inner layers just didn’t cut it. Even a brisk walk or bike ride didn’t keep me warm! Brrr. 

Enter the wool. Everyone knows of NZ’s sheep. They vastly outnumber Kiwis by something like 10 to 1. And how fitting…because wool is the perfect thing to wear in this constantly changing marine climate. Finally, thanks to a sale at the local Kathmandu outfitters, I broke down and bought merino wool long underwear. Strangely, the proliferation of sheep doesn’t seem to bring down the price of wool garments here. But it was the best hundred and fifty bucks I could have spent. I have been warm and wooly since. I shivered so much before…and I can’t remember a time I’ve shivered since!! In fact, on the colder days I have stopped and realized that the only non-wool things on me are my skivvies, my spectacles, and my shoes. Everything else…hat to sweater to Ebby’s hand-knitted mitts to long underwear to pants to socks…is wool. And I am so comfortable. Wool really does have a fantastic way of regulating temperature, warm or cold.




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