Winter – the Final Frontier…….

OMG I have just realised how long it has been since I last wrote in this blog. Not since August last year. The past months have been totally taken up with getting into our new house, doing renovations, unpacking, and just getting all the everyday bits and pieces sorted. Then we had Christmas with all the attached brou-haha and now we are half way through January. (How’s that? Three and a half months in three lines.) Soon be summer and then Christmas once more. Shudder…….

 Now, winter is well entrenched and strangely, even M and I are already suffering from a lack of ‘outside’.  There is little incentive to go for a drive and a relaxing lunch when everything is grey, the roads are icy and the temperatures are below freezing. The same goes for a walk around the lake. It is bleak and quite beautiful in a stark, almost minimalist fashion, but just not appealing enough for someone who does not consider ‘walking for walking’s sake’, a priority.

"Our Lake"
“Our Lake”

It is fascinating, though.  Winter here, because of the preponderance of deciduous trees, offers a whole new view of previously secret places. Suddenly, the stately home up the road and down a long drive can be seen in all its glory. The shape of the lake that, in summer,  is completely hidden by the lush foliage of beech and birch, can now be truly appreciated.  Everywhere is now open to prying eyes, allowing  passers-by to snoop, to re-assess the gardens up the street and to check out a neighbour’s new extension or pool. What fun!

The novelty is short-lived, however. An all-pervasive grey continues to shroud the country-side, its effect compounded  by the clouds of vapour and smoke  curling out of heating vents and chimneys on every side. The odd blue-sky day is short-lived, ephemeral, its passing barely noted except as a momentary relief from the Pantone-like colour swatch depicting shades of grey that is now our daily expectation. The sun has no warmth, unless experienced through the glass of a conservatory and even then, it is a weak imitation of the real thing.

The Seagulls Playing on the Ice.
The Seagulls Playing on the Ice.

And…..the up-side? Well, we have a crash-hot  heating system. The fact that I need it set at a sky-rocket temperature compared with everyone else is a minor glitch, and I don’t care.  Lack of out-door excursions means LACK OF CALORIES. I have decided there is no finer way to conduct a diet than to avoid all restaurant and cafe eating.  I have time and a greater inclination to blog – not a bad thing at all as I am a great believer in ‘doing’ as a means of doing, if you see what I mean. A case of ‘don’t want to do’ – ‘improve’ – ‘love to do’.  I would love to take this opportunity to do heaps of cooking, too, baking in particular, but after the Christmas fiasco of food, food and yet more food, I am quite easily resisting the temptation.  I still have a pack of fresh cranberries in the freezer  though, that I bought before the holidays  to try a new  cake recipe I found on Pinterest. Can they still be called fresh, though?  Oh well, never mind. Maybe after I have lost a couple more kilos……

Finally, there are books, thanks to various second hand shops that support charities around the neighbourhood and the excellent Waterstones. Books on composting of course,  and – just published, the final book in the Robert Jordan (RIP)series “The Wheel of Time”.  Bliss – I cannot wait to start it, but of course, starting means finishing and that is not a happy thought and then, I realize that I have taken pleasure from these books for over 20 years now. A big chunk of my life.

A Wintry Blue Sky
Wintry blue sky.