THEY'RE a weird mob, Queenslanders. I should know, I've been one all my life.
They seem to have an unnatural affection for a beer whose name looks like a deleted expletive.
They repeatedly elect governments which they immediately hate (though I think they might not be alone in that).
And they have a strange relationship with winter which, despite PR to the contrary, does occur up there - sometimes for as long as three days a year.
But each year, the moment it gets cold, Queenslanders react as if the change in weather was an affront, a betrayal, something unnatural, rare and disturbing. You know, like losing an Origin series.
No. Queenslanders are not good at winter.
So preparing to spend a week in Grafton required frequent, appalled use of a weather app, the digging out of some serious winter woolies, and the purchase (bless my lovely wife) of some rather fetching long underwear.
And yet, despite the quite rational fear of bits of one's anatomy being frozen off, I could easily fall in love with the Clarence Valley.
The clear, crisp mornings softened by clean mist above the water. The beautiful old buildings. The magnificent trees, streets and streets of them, including glorious giant figs. (I want to call them Moreton Bay figs, but that seems inappropriate.)
And through it all, the Clarence, flowing on strong and quiet as it has for thousands of years. You have a beautiful place. Take care of it please.
Ed's note: Queenslanders are not really weird. They are almost like normal people. Even the head count per person is pretty standard.