I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
Published June 14th 2012
The Five Best Things About Winter
I love winter. That may sound smug coming from someone who's cocooned in a (usually) sunny Brisbane winter, away from the harsh and often wet realities of south eastern Australia from June to August. But even we have our cold, wet snaps, as recent weather will attest.
I choose to make my visits to family and friends in Melbourne and Sydney in winter, when the air is brisk and bracing, when I can rug up in warm winter clothes, when I can stay in bed late or toast my tootsies in front of a fire with a warming bowl of something spicy or slow-cooked. The inspiration for this article came from my daughter, who doesn't enjoy the cold as I do and who's left today on a holiday to Melbourne armed with the mantra, "If you can't beat it, embrace it", and with talk of my favourite winter things ringing in her ears. Makes me feel a song coming on. You know the one – "snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes and "silver white winters that melt into spring".
As I write this article there's a pot of my home-made minestrone atop the stove, its enticing aroma wafting through the house. My fifteen year old son, who's a dab hand in the kitchen, is checking his recipes for curry or risotto for tomorrow night's meal. Comfort foods like slow-cooked stews, steaming soup, warming wonders from the tagine, chocolate puddings and apple crumbles warm you up from the inside out. If you're worried about your weight you can find low fat versions of almost anything online – okay, probably not self-saucing chocolate pudding, but live dangerously occasionally. As Mark Twain said, "Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out on the inside". Share these gastronomic goodies with your loved ones and accompanied by a bottle of your favourite tipple and who cares what the weather's like outside?
One of the best things about winter? Warm, colourful winter fashion.
Jumpers, coats, scarves, hats and boots. What's not to love about winter fashions? At the first sign of cold weather I'm ferreting around at the back of my wardrobe looking for my favourite boots and scarves and wondering what happened to that jaunty felt beret I bought on sale at the end of last season. Don't stick with black and grey, brighten up your life with racy reds, gorgeous greens and eye-popping purples and bask in the warm inner glow that comes from being a fashionable and stylish beacon against a drab, damp winter backdrop.
Here's one for the girls and only those closest to you need ever know. Winter fashions, by necessity, are largely about covering up. While you can still flash a shapely leg, it's usually ensconced in winter-weight tights, jeans or leggings so unless you're an overpaid and underclad swimsuit model (which means you're probably out of a job in winter anyway), you can give your legs a break and cut down on the frequency of your de-fuzzing method of choice. And no, I'm not going to include a photo of the sprouting legs of anyone I know. It's like I said – only those closest to you, or me, need ever know.
Mt Baw Baw snow - one of the best things about winter.
In my Sydney-based youth I had many skiing sojourns in the New South Wales and Victorian ski fields. My husband and I even spent our honeymoon skiing at Thredbo. There's something magical about snow sparkling in the winter sun; about the whispering swish of skis as you plough through fresh powder; about snow falling silently and delicately on a still, winter evening; and about the deep but comfortable tiredness that overtakes you after a day on the snow.
Log Fire - another one of the best things about winter. Image: FreeFoto.com
What's so enticing about log fires? The pungent scent of smoke, the crisp, crackle of burning wood and the calming, mesmeric effect of flickering flames all combine to make some winter magic. Luxuriate in the warmth and ambience with a good book, a good drink and your favourite person. Toast crumpets or marshmallows, chat, laugh or enjoy companionable silence and let the warmth and serenity strip the worries of the world away.