photograph by the amazing Hannah Davis
Unlike my dear chum Jaimie, I willingly take winter as a lover, year after year after year. While I acknowledge that the frostiest season has it's drawbacks - namely waking up in the morning with a numb nose and the ensuing battle to get out of bed - I find, that with the right attitude and a bit of foresight, winter can actually be rather charming in his old brown coat, threadbared woolen scarf and whiskey breath. Here's how to enjoy your inevitable yearly winter experience:
1. Buy yourself a decent coat, some warm socks, gloves, thick stockings and woolen items you can easily layer. I truly believe that the biggest problem with winter in Canberra is that people can't quite justify splurging on quality, warm items because it isn't quite cold enough for long enough, so no one wears enough clothes and everyone complains constantly for three months. DO NOT let this be you, doll faces! DO NOT be like one of those ridiculous mini-skirted girls teetering outside a dodgy nightclub in a state of frozen stupor. Snuggle yourself up like a fattened rabbit and make everyone else jealous.
2. During autumn (AKA NOW!), prepare your home for winter hibernation. Clean everything thoroughly, organise and throw a bunch of stuff out. Make sure every nook has plenty of blankets and cushions for snuggling, restock your tea cupboard with lots of tasty varieties for sipping, and amalgamate a collection of books for cozy winter reading. You'll probably spend a lot more time in-doors, so make home a place you'll love to be.
3. Also during autumn, plant some beautiful bulbs in pots by your front door so you have something to look forward to in spring.
4. Appreciate the fact that, at least in Canberra, we still get plenty of sunlight in winter. Whenever you can, find a spot in full sun, and soak up the toasty rays of light with a cup of tea, a blanket and a good book. I promise this will make you happy.
5. Buy or pick fresh, beautiful flowers for your home whenever you can.
6. Spend a lot of time reflecting on the miserable, sleepless nights of last summer and the lack of motivation you felt to do anything at all. Take solace in the fact that cold is far more easily escaped than heat, and bury yourself under your doona or soak in a steaming bath for hours.
7. Learn to knit. It's pretty easy, and once you get the hang of it, it's something creative and productive you can do while watching questionable television and avoiding the cold. Or paint, draw, make friendship bands...
8. If you start to feel a little claustrophobic, rug yourself up in zillions of layers and go for a brisk evening walk. Breath in the cold, refreshing air and enjoy the rustic smell of woodsmoke, before rushing home for a hot chocolate or a milky chai.
9. Cook yourself delicious, wholesome, hearty winter food. A deep, dark mushroom stew, a zesty tomato soup, loaf of artisan style bread, pumpkin scones. Bake your blues away, and bask in the added warmth that comes from a blisteringly hot oven.
10. Buy (or make) yourself a wheat pack. Warm it up and take it to bed with you every night. If winter doesn't become your lover, one of these darlings just might. xx