Winter is here, ready or not, and officially begins on June 1 according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
The last few days have brought the usual sudden transition from autumn - officially May - into winter and jumpers and scarves are out and heaters are on.
A very brief but welcome flurry of rain a few nights ago has accompanied the lower temperatures.
A large proportion of the population welcomes winter - it’s easier to keep warm than cool in the hot northwestern summer, they say.
But there is no need to be cold in winter - Narrabri stores have everything you need to keep cosy, from fire places to comfort food.
Meanwhile, the non winter-lovers will be looking forward to the end of the cold season and once again according to the Bureau of Meteorology, that is the end of August.
But the shortest day, the winter solstice, is not too far off - and after that the days get longer and warmer days are on the horizon.
The winter solstice is the day of the year that has the least daylight hours of any in the year and this year occurs on June 21. Meanwhile, winter has its own appeal, so rug up.
For the record, the Bureau says, our seasons are summer: December to February, autumn: March to May, winter: June to August and spring: September to November.
Heat your home with the natural warmth of a wood fire
There is nothing like a wood fire to heat your home.
In Narrabri, Narrabri Plumbing is the agent for Scandia freestanding and in built wood heaters.
Narrabri Plumbing also provides installation and service support.
Scandia Premier Series wood heaters are the product of three generations of experience which have resulted in one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly wood heater ranges in Australia.
Scandia wood heaters are designed and manufactured in a state-of-the-art facility, made with heavy gauge steel and kiln-fired fire bricks.
Scandia heaters are available as free standing or inbuilt models. You can choose the model suitable for your home, heating from 140 to 300 square metres.
Scandia backs its products with a 10-year warranty in all the Premier models.
Narrabri Plumbing has a comprehensive range of products to keep you warm, including solar, gas and electric hot water systems and gas heaters.
Winter is wool season
Nowadays more than ever people are sticking to their knitting.
People outside the knitting world would be surprised how many are busy knitting, enjoying themselves, socialising while they are doing it and supporting charities with a craft which is fun and functional.
And supporting the knitting community is Leesa Cupitt, proprietor of Narrabri’s Creative Stitches shop in Maitland Street.
Ms Cupitt is an enthusiast for all things wool, fabric and knitting and has everything for the knitter (and sewer and seamstress) on her shelves.
“How lucky am I to come to work everyday where my hobby is my business,” she said.
Her shop has everything in haberdashery - from buttons to zippers and cotton threads and fabrics to mending and alterations services.
Ms Cupitt is particularly proud to supply Australian grown and processed Heirloom brand wool. “I have been using it for years - it is a
beautiful product, fully machine washable, all Australian, and it is cheaper than others.”
Ms Cuppit said that Narrabri district had a “big knitting and crocheting community” ranging from individual hobbyists and knitters of garments for family and friends to Red Cross branch and Salvation Army members knitting and crocheting squares to send off to be made into blankets for charity.
There are the Knitting Natters who get together at the library each week. And the Sit and Sew group. And there is a growing number of male knitters.
“Men work differently and are easy to teach knitting to,” said Ms Cuppit.
A top knitting exhibitor and regular winner at the Gunnedah Show is a male, she said.
“He learned to knit young starting when he was confined ill in bed as a child and has kept going.”
The knitting fraternity is a friendly one, said Ms Cuppit.
“Knitters are always happy to pass on their skills to learners.”
Knitting is fun and therapeutic, relaxing and either a social or a solitary pastime.
The results are handmade and useful items from jumpers to scarves to anything in wool including toys.
“Anyone who would like to learn how to knit is welcome to come and see me at the shop. Phone 6792 2124 or 0438 255 931. We will find someone who will be happy to teach you.”
Time for a place lift with paint
Winter is a good time to freshen up homes and furniture. Orman’s Pool and Paint in Maitland Street, Narrabri, has the complete range of paints, interior and exterior, timber and metal treatment products to give your home or business premises a facelift.
“Our big range includes the top brands like Dulux, Berger, Australis, Feast Watson Woodcare,” said manager Tim Wilson.
“And winter is a good time to paint and touch up your property.” See Orman’s for advice and the newest paint products and the accessories to do a professional job easily.
Chalked - personalise your furniture and decor
Chalked - ultra matt paint finishes were hugely popular, said Mr Wilson.
“Recreate your old but loved furniture with chalked paint from Orman’s Pool and Paint,” he said.
“Chalked paint is a product which will allow you to personalise your furniture, with a modern, vintage or rustic finish. Chalked furniture will add character to your decor.
If you have furniture, cupboards, book cases, dressers, which need a new lease on life, talk to the team at Orman’s. Homemakers are rescuing, restoring and personalising furniture of all kinds from telephone tables to vanities and chairs, buying old pieces from second hand stores or online and creating something new to enhance their home.
Help your pool keep its cool in winter
Barden Pumps has advice on how to maintain your swimming pool during winter.
Let your pool keep its cool and stay in good condition while it awaits the return of the swimming season.
You can easily make sure it is ready for action when you are.
Don’t simply turn off and forget the pool for three or four months.
This is false economy because of the time, effort and money needed to get the pool water correctly adjusted next season.
Avoid the risk of Blackspot and Osmosis.
Bring in a water sample and allow Barden Pumps to do a free pool test, so that alkalinity, pH, chlorine and salt levels are all correct.
Mix one kilogram of chlorine with a bucket of water and add it to the pool.
Wait three days before adding algicide. Mix one litre of a long-life algicide that is specifically designed for winter and add it to the pool.
Mix one litre of Supershine or one
litre of clarifier in a bucket of water and add to the pool.
Adjust the timer to allow the filter to operate for two to three hours each day.
Remove pool cleaner before installing pool cover.
If you have a pool cover it can now be installed.
If the pool is a salt pool, clean the cell with cell cleaner.
It will be necessary to check the chlorine level every two to three weeks and empty skimmer basket of leaves etc.
Check occasionally to ensure the water level is correct and the pressure gauge on the filter is not indicating backwash. This simple procedure will ensure that your swimming pool will be ready for the first warm days of next summer.
If you want to shut your pool down until September, double the amounts above. Visit Barden Pump Services for advice and products to ‘winterise’ your pool.