As I type the rain is currently HAMMERING on the window and the wind is howling; the light is diminishing daily and there are many weather related struggles rearing their ugly heads. For example the recycling dilemma. Do I put the recycling out and risk getting it blown all over the place, so I have to later go round and collect it looking like I’m part of a community service program or do I leave it stacking up in the garage for months until the windy weather passes? (sometime around June of next year). I speak from experience on this and believe me when I say it’s a nail-biting fortnightly decision. Clothing is no longer defined by how good you might look in it, but only how warm it’s going to keep you. How else can we explain the increase of hats with ear warmers?; and we are all teetering on the edge of being force fed ghastly Christmas tunes in every public building that plays music. A couple of weeks from now and I’m pretty sure I will have heard Noddy Holder screeching ‘It’s chriiiiiiiiiiiistmaaaaaaas’ several hundred times. Maybe we need to arrange some kind of flashmob where we all burst out crying in the store until it stops.
To top it all, we start to see article after article on the internet prophesying doom and telling us it’s going to be the worst winter E~V~E~R blah, blah, blah….
So how do we keep our heads and survive the November misery? Here’re some things I do in winter to try and blow away the blues and give me something to look forward to.
- Good old boxed sets. There’s nothing nicer on a cold winter day than to binge watch back-to-back episodes of something on Netflix or from my trustee DVD collection. Every winter I watch 2000 Acres of Sky and dream about visiting where it was filmed some day. But there are many others. I’m currently into the Shetland series and have managed to neglect many aspects of housework while watching in the process.
- Crochet. Several winters ago I decide to teach myself to crochet. There are hundreds of women (and men) wanting to impart their crochet wisdom on YouTube. So I just pressed play, followed the instructions, paused, rewound, and pressed play again until I’d learned it. I now have hundreds of half-finished projects littered around the house and I’ve loved every minute of it. My current half finished project is a blanket made of a trillion little squares that take 20 minutes per square to make. I’m 3/4 of the way through now so I have to finish it this winter. I bought all the wool for making it according to the pattern and will probably only use about a third of it too so I can make many more blankets. But next time I will use bigger squares to get the wretched thing finished in the same winter I started it. Incidentally, I tried knitting too but it wasn’t for me. All I managed was odd shaped squares and there’s only so many of those a person can use as dishcloths….
- Looking on the bright side. Every day is a day closer to spring and we are just over a month away from the shortest day, which means the nights will start drawing out again just six week from now. *does happy dance*
- A fire, a book and a nap. I can’t recommend these enough. I love having a real fire and think it’s worth all the hassle of sending Orkney Beef out to the shed to cut up more wood and carry it in. On a wintery afternoon, I like nothing more than to light the fire, open a book and promptly nod off for half an hour. I think I must be half human half door mouse or something but I completely endorse the power of a good book and an afternoon zzzz. I’m currently reading ‘The Organist’ by friend and neighbour Barbara Stevenson. I’m really enjoying it and you can look out for a review coming soon.
- Writing. I write every single day. In fact, sometimes I set my alarm and write for the first hour before doing anything else and it sets me up for the day. I just feel better for having got all those thoughts and phrases out of my head and onto the page. Sometimes I sit in my car at lunchtime with the laptop and write too. Then I upload it on to here and bore you lot with it, but you keep coming back for more so maybe it’s not that boring after all.
- Wave watching. I can see Skaill beach from my window and on a day like today the waves are pretty powerful and exciting to watch. Sometimes I’ll stop off at the beach in my car to watch them but when it’s really windy like today I feel like I’m in a flight simulator so it doesn’t last long.
- Hot chocolate. I don’t need to expand on this other than for a real treat I have a frothy making thingy that’s totally worth the effort.
- Mulled wine, because it doesn’t have to be Chriiiiiiiiistmaaaaaas for a little mulled wine.
I think that’s my lot for now. But do tell me your winter survival tips, I can always do with more!