Short days, widespread snow and continuous frosts, winter seems to be more brutal than usual this year.
The colds and sniffles are doing the rounds and without so much as a hint of warm weather in the air, it’s easy to feel a little blue.
Sick of the winter doldrums, we put our heads together to come up with some things we LOVE about winter, and surprisingly it wasn’t that difficult.
So if you are laid up with the cold, struggling to find motivation to walk the dog or just feeling a little over winter, we hope you’ll find something to be excited about, and keep you going until spring.
1. Comfort Food: Summer is the time of salads, steamed fish and barbecued lamb, but winter is the time of casseroles, soups, roasts and syrupy, decadent puddings. Nothing takes the edge off returning home in the dark, like a house filled with the aroma of meat that’s been slow cooking in its own juices all day. Steam some veggies, boil some rice or potatoes, pour the wine and your done. Devine. Here’s some great recipe ideas.
2. Fires: In these days of the convenient and environmentally friendly heat pump and gas fire, not many people get to experience the quietly satisfying ritual of building and lighting a fire. “Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice,” said Henry Ford. Not only that, but the smell and sight of a stack of freshly chopped wood warms the soul.
3. Winter Woollies: In summer the feeling of the sun on your bare skin and grass under foot lends a sense of freedom and joy. But there’s something about slipping on heavy boots and wrapping up in a warm jacket before heading out in the elements that’s so empowering. Just donning a hat, scarf and gloves makes us feel like we’re embarking on a expedition of Antarctic proportions. Who knows what the weather might bring!
4. The Smell: Whether it’s the cool, crisp air on a frosty morning, the fresh, earthy smell after rain or smoke from log burners in the early evenings, the smells of winter enliven the senses and make our hearts skip a beat with childlike nostalgia.
5. Wild, Wet, Windy Walks: As long as a warm house and hot shower awaits, braving the wind and rain is as invigorating and energising as any summer stroll. The hard part is getting out the door. But wrap up warm, take a deep breath and dive into it, you’ll be glad you did.
6. Pyjamas: And robes. And slippers. As adults, the chances to dress up in matching stripy outfits or onesies dotted with tiny giraffes are few and far between. In summer it’s light until far too late to respectably wear pajamas – even though secretly we’d all like to now and then. Also pyjamas are by far the comfiest, cosiest clothes money can buy. So jump in and get snuggling!
7. Hot Toddies: Hot buttered rum, mulled wine, Irish whiskeys – there are so many deliciously rich, warm comforting tipples to indulge in and brighten those long evenings. Here’s some great recipes of some our favourite winter warmers.
8. Box Sets and Good Books: Winter is the time to catch up on all seven series of Breaking Bad. Or how about re-watching the Star Wars series before Star Wars VII The Force Awakens is released later this year? During summer, the sun is shining too sweetly to allow you to curl up with a good book for too long without guilt creeping in. Live it up.
9. Dreams and Plans: Long evenings and wet weekends are the ideal time to plan, prepare and collect ideas for your next big project or adventure. Maybe you’re planning your wedding or next big holiday, or perhaps you’re working on a DIY project or dreaming of renovating or building your own home. All you need is an internet connection and a computer and the world is at your fingertips. Create some pin boards on Pinterest to collect and share ideas, or search hashtags on Instagram to find inspiring blogs and images.
10. Mid Winter Christmas Parties: The northern hemisphere might get their postcard perfect, snowy white Christmases, but try explaining a mid-winter Christmas party to them. “It’s pretty much just an excuse to dress up, catch up with friends and family and celebrate the winter season with good food and drink.” What more excuse do you need?