Winter is definitely looming over us and I’m embracing the fact that the weather is distinctly nippy. I’m trying hard to not spend my life looking forward to the next season.
I’m not good at living in the moment but instead, long for the next thing on the horizon or hanker after the past. Rather than enjoying the summer, I instead, long to stop sweating, wear my warm clothes and drag out my tweed suits. Instead of savouring the autumn, I dread the dark nights, miss my shorts and long for brighter days. It’s a never-ending cycle for me.
This year, I’m trying hard to appreciate what I have. Here are my tips for a pleasurable cold snap:
1) Enjoy the equality of cold weather: Winter clothes are so much more forgiving. You can hide pale and mottled flash, disguise the lumps and bumps and not worry about all those depilatory issues. Just avoid those Christmas jumpers. They may be retro but so was syphilis and no one rejoiced when that came back.
2) Make like Mrs Beeton: Ditch the diet and reach for the stovetop. Winter is all about gaining weight. It’s genetic, forgivable and indeed, sensible. It’s getting bloody cold; you need an extra layer of blubber to keep you warm. It’s all about soup and cakes for me this year (served separately of course). I’ll be swimming in broth come January but may have to have a layer of butter scraped out of my arteries.
3) Curl up with a good book: What finer winter activity than being stuck inside with a comfortable sofa and a pile of books (or DVDs/Netflix/C.D.s; if you’re so inclined)? It’s the perfect excuse for it. We’re practically captives of the weather. Who are we to argue with nature? Go with the flow and ditch the jogging. It’s all about lolling. Lolling won’t give you chapped lips. Lounging around feels so much less decadent when you can blame it on inclement conditions.
4) Enjoy nature: I suppose we must leave the house at some point and when we do, what better sight than the natural world. Forget summer with its parched showy finery. Winter has many charms too. The foliage is sparser but the wildlife is more visible and bolder. A bracing stroll is good to clear the sinuses. Just make sure you have a good mobile phone signal and a Kendall Mint Cake and forget al-fresco romps unless you want frostbitten nipples.
5) Seek good company: Whether you’re single, coupled or polygamous: the long dark nights can become oppressive and if you’re feeling it, then it’s more than likely that so are your friends. Connecting with people is a good thing. Seek out friends and make an effort to enjoy the oppressive nights together (but only if your book is dull). Whether that’s hanging out in a warm sitting room with friends and Cluedo, snuggling in the snug of a bar or sweating in a sauna: it’s good to share (as long as it’s not body fluids).
Whatever you’re doing this winter, stay safe and warm and if it gets too harsh then there’s always the traditional Russian remedy to winter: a thick eiderdown and vodka.
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