Miscellany and detritus, from the writer of Is This Mutton?com

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Pros and Cons of Winter

I was at an event recently where someone gave a very impassioned defence for winter as the best season.

Personally, I find the general prospect of winter very depressing. How we ever get through January I do not know, with all the wretched resolutions, bad weather and penury after Christmas.

Since I became a gardener I've become attuned to the fluctuations in light and the rhythms of the different seasons. Once autumn is over, the garden becomes more or less dormant until the joyful emerging of spring bulbs.

But winter is not all bad. Our elders wisely timed Christmas for the depths of winter to give us a feasting holiday to look forward to. And there are very rare occasions when we have the combination of blue sky and crisp frost, or a winter wonderland (see photo!).

Here are my Pros and Cons: do you have any to add?

Winter: Pros
1) Occasional sunny and cold days which remind us of better weather to come
2) Christmas (a mixed blessing but for me, I love the carols, the decorations and tree, and choosing and giving presents).
3) Black opaque tights are "maintenance free" - no need for fake tan
4) Cosy long fires: bit of a cliche and pretty rare!
5) Sinking into plump togs of duvets without feeling hot
6) The Christmas Rose  (helleborus Niger)
7) Snowdrops. Officially a winter flower, but the heralds of spring as they're rapidly followed by crocus and cyclamen
8) Less pressure to be active outdoors. It's quite acceptable to curl up with a book on a rainy day.

Winter: Cons
1) Endless days of RAIN, sleet, heavy winds, cold
2) Britain's habitual unreadiness for bad weather: airports closed, leaves on the line, pot holes, etc
3) Difficulty of planning ahead because bad weather can disrupt plans
4) The need for carbs and stodgy food.....yet pressure to diet in January at entirely the wrong time of year
5) Colds and flu
6) Nightmarish public transport: peoples' coats gently steaming and smelling of dinner, and people coughing in close proximity
7) Christmas arriving too soon and certain songs too ubiquitous
8) Gales causing structural damage and bringing down trees
9) Not wanting to get up early because of dark mornings
10) Ice on roads and pavements. Treacherous


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