Friday, November 27, 2009


If Jane tagged me to reveal seven things I love, which coincided with my shocked realisation that...I don't mind this winter* that much. So far. I've been dreading it all year, but now that the ground is full of wet slimy leaves and the curtain of darkness falls at 3.45pm precisely, the anticipated plunge into despair has not materialised. Yet. Maybe I was remembering it wrong and it's just January and February I can't deal with. So to cut the broad sweep of relaying seven things I love in general in half, I give you: things I think I might love about the beginning of winter.

1. Quiet and slow. If nature is hibernating, surely we're meant to as well. Stocking up on food and drink and staying home with a good book is far more socially acceptable in winter, so that's my excuse.

2. Fresh winter flowers for cheap from Columbia Road market: 10 enormous stalks of amaryllis for £10, 3 pots of paperwhites, each with 4 bulbs in, for £5. Who needs a Christmas tree?

3. Exploring a foreign city for the first time - one which includes an archipelago, mulled wine and possibly a voyage on an ice breaking ship.

4. English country pubs suddenly make sense in winter. Ah yes, being warm inside by an open fire nursing a single malt when it's raining outside. 4b. Wellies as daywear.

5. Traditions. As in - every year a friend and I go to the Cheshire Street Christmas shopping evening and every year we do exactly the same thing: At MarMar Co I always think I'm going to knock something fragile over, then lament not being able to buy the red and white stripy string they wrap things in, then we admire a lot of things we can't really afford. By the time we get to Labour & Wait I become paranoid that my right cheek has flushed red from drinking mulled wine. We are always surprised at how packed and busy it is in there as we shuffle around, even though it always is. By the time we reach Shelf, we have started comparing the relative pros/cons of the mulled wine and mince pies given out in each shop. (There is also a moment where we can't work out where to put our empty cups.) Then we discuss whether or not Beyond Retro is part of the evening and decide we can't be bothered to walk further down the road to find out.

6. I know shepherds aren't fond of it, but on the rare occasions I'm up in time to see it, I love a red sky in the morning.

7. Which leads me to: the winter sky against tree branches.

*I know it's not officially winter for another 3 days, but it's cold, dark and there are no leaves on the trees. It's not autumn anymore.

{All photos are mine.}


Tea Party Crasher said...

Beautifully put (and gorgeous photos, too!) A few of my favourite things about this time of year: 1) Watching Christmas decorations go up all over the city; 2) Department store holiday windows; 3) Red cups at Starbucks; and 4) Giant, cozy sweaters + leggings + boots = winter uniform.

If Jane said...

oh C, suchhhhh poetry!!! oh and i would say. at least for is february that gives everyone the blues...;)

Bombay Beauty said...

A lovely list! If only I could agree with you, I would be so much happier! For me -- winter is not good... BB

Juliet said...

I love winter, though not a huge fan of the beginnig of it. Here up north we get about three hours of light a day and it get's a bit depressive quite soon. But after Christmas and when the snow srrives it's just pure love.

juliet xxx

jane said...

What a wonderful list of all of the good things about winter. Your Cheshire Street tradition sounds like so much fun... and, you know, I"ve never been to Columbia Road. I should rectify this soon and I think the lure of some festive amaryllis might well get me there!
Beautiful photos - I keep coming back to gaze at that first picture of the view through the window... it has a real sense of cosiness about it, even though you can't see a bit of the inside of the room. I love it.

Anonymous said...

Must agree with you, January and February are the worst. I'd say that I quite like November and December (for many of the reasons you describe) but after that... oh my god. Must think of some survival strategy. Any idea?

Anonymous said...

WOW!! beautiful blog!

will you follow me at xxooxx

Ammu said...

Love the layering in winter - and the pleasure of English tea, so warm and soothing on a cold day... that said, it has been a very mild winter in London so far. And we have had a few bright and crisp days, so maybe that's why this winter isn't bringing on the gloom and doom of previous years.

Or maybe I am speaking too soon!

redmenace said...

As a redhead, I'm with ya. It's winter and those tights are totally hot!