Winter is upon us.
I’m a winter baby, born in the middle of winter, just 2 weeks after the solstice. For a long time, winter was my favourite month. It’s easier to keep warm in winter, compared to keeping cool in summer. Also, winter fashion is better, in my opinion. Or, at least, so I thought.
Since moving to Tasmania, and living here for over a decade, I must confess that I don’t like winter that much. It’s not so much about the temperatures (although they too can be a real drag – like today, with a maximum of 12 – it’s currently 9). For me, it’s the short days that I don’t like. Short, gloomy, grey, damp days.
What else don’t I like about winter? Not being able to dry clothes outside. Honestly, there is zero point hanging washing up outside during winter. I’m pretty sure that my washing gets even damper if I leave it outside, even if I hang it up in the north facing verandah on a sunny day. Instead, we dry all the washing in front of the fire (or the windows, if it’s sunny), or we use (gasp!) the dryer, which I bought last year after twenty years of not having one. It’s useful. As interesting it is to talk about my laundry, my main point is that winter makes this task an arduous one for me, being the main laundry person. There are six people in the house, so that’s a lot of washing. I always feel like I spend all day with the laundry during winter, hence the dedication of an entire paragraph on the topic.
Another thing I don’t like about winter is how the garden suffers. Wallabies tend to eat whatever they can around now, as the growth of grass and other things declines. My garden suffers a bit from it. They eat my fuchsia down each year. They have eaten my Boston Ivy. They are nibbling at my Daphne, and any fruit tree they can reach. Wallabies are a pest. It’s hard to grow plants when they’re around.
I’m not going to complain about winter anymore, except to say that having to leave for work early when your car is frosted over is a problem.
I love winter because our house is super warm. We usually run the fire all day, so we also have a lot of hot water. During winter, we walk around the house in our shorts and t-shirts. Having the fire on all day not only keeps the house and water warm, but it means we can cook whenever we want, having a preheated oven and a hot stovetop at our disposal. Usually, during winter, my cooking mojo takes a leap. Lately I have been trying out some slow cooked recipes from Ethiopia, Russia, India and Morocco! We all need a bit of comfort food in winter! I think that cooking sends me to my happy place, and I’ve needed a bit of that lately.
Despite days being shorter, meaning that we have less opportunities to do much after work, there is something lovely about cosying up inside. We draw the curtains, have the salt lamps on, and just ‘be’ together in the warm house. I like the way we are all drawn to the warmest area of the house, and we all hang out for a while. One night I took it too far and made mulled cider. I was a fan, but nobody else was, and the house smelled like oranges for a few days.
Another thing I like about winter: frosts. The children are so excited when Jack Frost comes. I love wandering around in my dressing gown and Birkenstocks in freezing temperatures, listening to the children chat excitedly about the pond being frozen, and the leaves being frozen, and the ground being frozen and crunchy. and everything being so so cold, but so so pretty. And then, after a while, we come inside, talk about how cold it was, and how warm it is inside, and perhaps have a milo or porridge to warm up.
As I write this, I am sensing that despite feeling like winter is a little bit dull and arduous, it’s actually quite magical. Anybody would think we are a family from an Enid Blyton novel, visiting fairies in the garden and coming home to eat fresh google buns. Good old Enid. I’m sure she writes about mothers having an afternoon nap, and even her mother characters get a bit snappy at times, and ask their children to do chores, having to spend all day doing the laundry and all!
I’m going to make myself remember the things that make me love winter, so the next few months becomes easier, and lovelier.
Another good thing I like about winter is coats. Each year I buy a new coat. This year I bought two.
Thanks for reading. Take care x