I hate the cold. I really do. It makes my muscles seize up, causing an aching back and neck and headache. I don't like wearing layers. No siree. Give me a lovely, loose, flowing summer dress any day. I have slight cleithrophobia, so where lots of layers and high necked jumpers make others feel cozy, it just makes me feel trapped. I also find that I end up a little like the bowls of porridge in Goldilocks - parts of me are too hot, others too cold, and very few bits feel just right. At the speed I walk I end up overheating, throwing off most of my clothes and being that weirdo walking through the city centre in a tshirt and jeans, even though the temperature is barely above freezing.
However, last week, after a particularly cold day, as I sunk into a warm, hot bath, wondering why people hate January so, I had an epiphany. There are certain things that just aren't as enjoyable come the summer months. So here's my list of things, and reminder to myself that seasons are seasons and the only way I can truly appreciate the spring and summer is to get through autumn and winter first:
- January. I know for many January is that dreary month after December and all its warmth, light and wonderful food. For me, though, January is a second month of celebration. I was born in January, as were many of the people I know and love dearly. Each week there's yet another reason to celebrate, eat cake and be grateful I have these people in my life. In a week and a half I made two cakes and helped finish off four cakes in total. Corey and Joe secretly arranged a lovely day for my birthday. I got to celebrate my mother's 50th and my brother's 18th in one week.
- Baths. I love baths no matter what the weather. A lovely long, hot bath is often the best way to ease any troubles for me. The difference between winter and summer is that I truly appreciate sinking into a hot bath. As my limbs slowly warm up, I can feel the cold leaving and I end up feeling warm and relaxed. It's not the same in summer. If it's hot outside you don't really want to have a long hot bath. A bubble bath is just not the same.
- Hot chocolate. Winter is the time to sit with your hands wrapped around a big mug of hot chocolate, with mini marshmallows and, if I have any in (which is rare) a load of whipped cream.
- Spending the weekend's mooching about the flat in pyjamas. When it's sunny and warm outside, spending the weekend doing nothing but watching bad TV and knitting feels like you've wasted your day. In winter, when the wind is howling outside and the rain lashing against the window, it's almost mandatory.
- Stews, casseroles and other warming foods. I love my slow cooker and all the things I can make in it. Summer is for salads. Winter is for comfort food.
- Crisp blue skies and golden hazes. My office is on top of a hill. Not a very high one, but it's enough for me to have a view over the city, with a clear view of the sky. In winter, when the sun does shine, the sky looks so much bluer than it does in the summer. Sometimes, where there's just a hint of haze or cloud, the sky turns a beautiful golden shade. Every evening, until the clocks change, I get to watch the sun set, with all it's glorious colours reaching out across the sky.
The final thing that consoles me when the list above cannot is this: winter is but one season. There are three others, and spring, with all it's budding shoots and coming to life flower beds, is just around the corner.