“Roasting Brits lost their cool in a wide brown land” by Troy Lennon
Analysis of the Article
This article talks about the Australian weather that has been cited by Brits as extreme ever since the first Brit set foot on Australia in 1788. Troy talks of how the Australian weather was much more different from the weather in other European countries especially Britain. During the time of arrival of the British, the average temperatures in Australia were 20 degrees Celsius which were quite higher than the temperatures back home. The Brits found life difficult in Australia and had to adapt. First off they had to abandon their heavy clothing that was meant for European chills and adopt much lighter ones do reduce the effect of the heat. They also realized that the humidity in Australia could easily transform into rain.
Troy Lennon talks of how the several effects of the higher temperatures especially for first timers in Australia. He tells us how the high temperatures led to sunstrokes, sunburn and other illnesses on the British immigrants. Things did not get easy for them after this as they found out the hospital tents were poorly ventilated making the heat inside them to double to over 40 degrees Celsius. They found cooling down another problem as most of them were unable to swim. The officers on duty found it difficult to shed their red coats for fear of being disciplined. The convicts too were afraid of taking unauthorized dips in the harbor, in fear of being flogged for being inappropriately dressed. Their inability to swim lasted decades after the arrival of the first fleet and in 19th century, taking a bath on the sea was made illegal in some parts of Australia.
According to Troy Lennon, the visitors discovered that this hot weather meant that the food once cooked would spoil much faster than it would have back home. They were delighted when winter approached. However, they found out that it was quite mild compared to the winter they used to experience in Britain. After this, the hot weather returned much hotter than before. They found out the true effects of this heat when they discovered a convict had died from the combined effect of malnutrition and the high temperatures. Bushfires were also more common than before.
The summer of 1791 was the worst for these visitors as Captain David Collins recorded the temperatures were over 40 degrees Celsius. In the end Troy talks of how the British had to concede that this place was far much different from Britain. They had to adapt to this new climate in order to survive, and they did so. They started wearing of lighter clothing, they grew crops that were much more tolerant to the high temperatures. They also built houses with wide verandas that were modeled after the ones built by the British who was serving in India. By the end of 19th century, many Australians had overcome the restrictions of cooling off in the ocean.
Relevance of the article
This article is very informative in telling us about the experiences that the first Brits to arrive in Australia went through. It gives us an insight into the lives of those who were living in Australia as at that time. This article is very much educative in that it contains information that is directly linked to our studies about the arrival of the Europeans. It talks about the lives of the convicts that were deported to Australia to provide labor to the European settlers. It tells us about the lives of these settlers and the troubles they went through before they could settle in Australia. Troy Lennon tries to tell us how the Europeans finally adapted to the life and how they changed their lifestyles to the suit life in Australia. They started wearing lighter clothes due to the warm weather. They also planted crops that were more tolerant to the high temperatures. Just like we learned in class, this article tells us how the Europeans came to settle peacefully until they now call it home.
This article gives us much information about the events that occurred during the European immigration to Australia. It is surprising of the troubles they went through before they could settle down. Living in this place was so tough, and this can be seen when the convict died from illnesses related to the high temperatures that was in this place. Comparing this article and what we have learned in class. There are several similarities with regards to the troubles that were affecting these immigrants. My personal experience with a change in weather was when I went to Africa, it was tough for me to adapt to the new temperatures. The temperatures were so high that it was difficult walking around during the day. I can imagine what these European settlers went through as I have been in that situation before. However, it is impressive how they were able to transform to the new conditions such that, by the end of 19th century, they were completely settled with fewer troubles.