Wednesday, 4 January 2012

I'm not good at winter.

This is a purely personal view. I know there are plenty of people who look forward to cuddling by the fire on short days, with the wind howling outside and smell of soup in the kitchen. Or putting on every garment they own and trudging through the snow, like Good King Wenceslas, resurrecting memories of every snowy winter as a child.

Not me. And it's not simply that I have the wrong clothes. Indeed, I have plenty of the right clothes. Thermal undies, sturdy Gore-tex boots, a down-jacket that took me almost to the top of Kilimanjaro (it's minus twenty degrees up there). Given that I have no car (my choice) I have enough clothes to stand comfortably at bus stops for ten minutes or so, and can keep going for much longer with a bit of foot-stamping.

But I wish it didn't take so long to put them all on. Dressing in the morning is an event in the winter. half a drawer-full of clothes heaped on the bed; then that terrible moment of taking off the night-things. Why is everything always back-to-front? Why do I leave my socks till last - when the layers of vests and jumpers mean I have to curl round rolls of clothing to reach my feet? And then - it's time to go out. The first decision, do I need to loo before I get togged up - peeing is so much more difficult with a winter coat to negotiate as well as all the thermal what-nots. Coat. Oh help, now I've got to get boots on. Hat, scarf, gloves. But I can't manage the key to the front door with gloves on . . .

Okay, all that is a pain, but manageable. But the dark - who likes the dark? It's not that it's scary - I have no visions of things going bump in the night the moment I pull the curtains. Rather, I resent pulling those curtains at half past three, knowing that's the end of daylight for another sixteen hours. If I have an evening event, that's not so bad. But on too many days I shut out the day in mid-afternoon and am faced with hours of dark to fill. I cannot hear the birds singing. I cannot take a sudden decision to have a quick stroll through the forest (well, I could, but even I'm not that bonkers). Even deciding to treat myself to a bath with wine and candles is rarely available, given that my bathroom is colder than an igloo.

No, I'm not good at winter. Which is why I try to go away at this time of year. But this year I shall have to wait until the end of March. So I must stop grumbling and get on with it. Yes, you may remind me I said that.

What about you - am I alone in being grumbly at this time of year? Tell me what you love about winter - maybe I can learn to see it differently.


  1. Nope, I'm with you. And riding a bike every day really makes you notice the wind, rain, sleet, snow, darkness and crazy drivers insulated in their little warm reinforced boxes.

    But we've had the shortest day! Spring will be here any minute now. Okay, any month now...

  2. Sorry , can't help you. I can't think of a single thing I love about winter! But at least I sympathise and loved your post xxx

  3. You live in the wrong place. Our winters are much better. It can be very cold for two or three days, but then the sun comes out and it feels quite warm.

  4. I don't think I'd like unremitting cold - winter clothes are so cumbersome, as you so wittily pointed out. Fresh cold winter air clears the mind and the lungs wonderfully. When the sun shines it seems brighter and clearer in winter and can even feel warm. Birds flock to the feeders and the shrubs and trees with berries when it's cold.

  5. Thank you all - good to know I'm not on my own with this.
    Miriam - indeed I do live in the wrong place. But my family are here. And Jabblog - I take your point - And I, too, can enjoy the birds and fresh air, in a grumbly sort of way.

  6. I love the Winter. For the first time, I'm sort of glad I'm unemployed :-)

  7. Jo, I was nodding all through this post.I feel your pain....and my dislike of winter seems to increase every year.

    I love being out in the fresh air and I resent being cooped up indoors.Don't even get me started on the long, dark nights!

    Is it an age thing do you think? I'm sure I diodbbn't notice all the winter irritations and frustrations when I was younger....

  8. Sarah - I envy you. I hope this winter will be everything you need it to be. (But I might not join you in the rain and the snow ...)

    Thinking etc - maybe it's an age thing. Though I think I've probably always been grumpy in the winter, but now I recognise it and don't try so hard to pretend I'm not!

  9. I'm absolutely with you on this. I hate winter and am always glad to get to spring. It's frustrating taking those clothes off as much as putting them on, because, usually I'm freezing by the time I've taken off all those layers and put them away again.