This is a sample of The Echidna newsletter sent out each weekday morning. To sign up for FREE, go to theechidna.com.au It came as a shock. After weeks away in the warm bath of South-East Asia, the chill in the air pinched the moment we stepped from the airport. The season had turned. A body grown used to the ease of shorts, T-shirts and sandals was quickly imprisoned in fabric. Long pants, sweater, socks and shoes - the shackles of winter - covered arms, legs and torso, a tanned face and sun-silvered hair the only evidence of having been somewhere warm. But it wasn't the drop in temperature that was most disconcerting. It was the long shadows. They'd crept further during the time away, extending their fingers between the buildings and walls, the trees and the shrubs, of the city. It's said there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes and I tend to agree. The wardrobe is full of jackets, parkas, scarves, gloves and jumpers built to withstand the cold. But there's nothing to withstand the dimming of the light over the winter months. For as long as I can remember, I've suffered the winter blues. From about May, the struggle to stay cheerful gets a little harder and the countdown towards the winter solstice begins. It's the shortest day of the year - four hours and 31 minutes shorter than the longest day in December. Once that day in June passes, and the days begin to get longer, but even colder, the mood starts to lift. Although the condition is rare in this country, I suspect I suffer from mild seasonal affective disorder or SAD. According to the government-run Healthdirect website, symptoms of SAD include lethargy, over-sleeping, struggling to wake up in the morning, over-eating and craving carbs. Tick, tick, tick and tick. Interruptions to the body's circadian rhythms and changes in the production of sleep and mood enhancing hormones melatonin and serotonin are the suspected culprits. SAD tends to affect us more when we age and women are more prone to suffer it than men. Fortunately, the treatment in mild cases is fairly simple: more light, more exercise and more vitamin D. All this is relatively easy in Australia but pity those poor folk in the higher latitudes where light in winter all but vanishes. In more extreme cases, light therapy involving sitting in front of light boxes, counselling and even antidepressants may be called for. Fortunately for me, SAD remains at worst a demotivating annoyance. Over the years, I've learned that the best way to deal with winter is to embrace it. Walk in it, cycle in it, surf in it - for as long as I'm healthy enough to do so. When that's no longer possible, it might just be time to move somewhere with a warmer climate. Somewhere like South-East Asia. HAVE YOUR SAY: What's your favourite season? Do you suffer from the winter blues? Is there anything good about winter? Email us: email@example.com SHARE THE LOVE: If you enjoy The Echidna, forward it to a friend so they can sign up, too. IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: - Borrowers have been hit with a further rate hike after a one-month reprieve in an unexpected move by the central bank. In a move that surprised markets, the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to lift its official cash rate to 3.85 per cent - its highest point in 11 years - adding almost $100 to monthly repayments on an average mortgage. - Tennis star Nick Kyrgios used an app to limit the speed of his Tesla and help police track the car after a man allegedly stole it from his mother at gunpoint. Details of the alarming incident, which is said to have occurred in Canberra's north, were revealed in police documents tendered to the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday, when the 32-year-old alleged robber was refused bail. - Treasurer Jim Chalmers has hinted that the budget may include an increase in JobSeeker payments for older people after observing that women aged 55 years and older are "the most vulnerable part of the unemployed population". THEY SAID IT: "In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer." - Albert Camus YOU SAID IT: Anthony Albanese's pledge to help fund a stadium in Hobart in the midst of the housing crisis has many scratching their heads. So, too, his attendance at shock-jock Kyle Sandilands' lavish wedding. David is disappointed with the government's performance in its first year: "Started well then fell into some old bad habits - submarines, tax cuts for the wealthy, stadiums over housing and increases to JobSeeker - nothing more disingenuous and disappointing than a polly who talks about his public housing roots and then treats people in the same boat now with contempt." Arthur's a little more generous: "I would rate the government's performance as fair. There have been no significant innovations. The shortage of skilled workers has not been given the priority it deserves. We have to wait for the budget next week to see if the widening gap between rich and poor is being addressed. Penny Wong has been outstanding in trying to repair relations with our Pacific neighbours but that is the one point on which the government has performed well. I shake my head in disbelief at the decision to give priority to building a stadium in Tasmania instead of social housing. There is obviously a hidden political agenda behind this decision." Brian from Tassie has a theory about that agenda: "Politics at its best. Federal funds from a Labor Prime Minister to build a stadium in Hobart on the request of a Liberal state premier. Opposition from every quarter does not register and the Liberal Party loses the next election so Labor in Tasmania form government and - lo and behold - discover that the state is broke and cancel the stadium. Brilliant strategy." John, also from Tassie, is angry: "Albanese is in the grip of a power surge. Tasmania is the last non-Labor state and he wants it. He also wants to hoover up disaffected Liberal voters. He sees himself as presiding over decades of Albanese-led governments, Labor in name only, in reality a well-to-the-right neoliberal party. A traitor to his own cause." Maree says: "It's a disgrace that in this country there are people living in tents anywhere, but under Mt Wellington, in the snow, in winter! Not listening, Albo." "Tasmania will finally get their AFL team," says Allan. "Well done, except it's 40 or 50 years too late - the glory days of football in Tasmania are sadly long gone. The AFL's demand for $715 million to be spent on a new stadium is outrageous, as is PM Albanese's commitment of $240 million in a blatant move to secure seats in Tasmania. He clearly doesn't realise the depth of feeling on the issue, including opposition from his own state Labor Party." It's not just the stadium, says Erik. "They've also dropped the ball on their claimed refugee platform, but most worryingly, their climate credentials are totally shot to pieces, kowtowing to the big polluters and paying lip service to actually doing something effective. For all that, would I have the Coalition back? Absolutely not." Shivers says: "The Sandilands' garish wedding display was truly a 'Morrison moment', letting us all know that Albanese is disappointingly just as susceptible to dodgy shock jocks as Scotty and his crew. Cringe-worthy. Opposite to what young people want Labor to stand for."