There we all were being slightly smug about the weather, complaining whenever it dared rained briefly or the wind got up. But however pessimistic you may be about the weather you had to admit that it was ‘mild’, in fact you could even push the boat out and say it was warm.
I can’t remember any other year where I’ve worn open sandals into October with a light top and cardigan. Well at least not in this country. My clothing choices are still governed by school terms, I wear sandals from May or June through to the school return in September. Old habits die hard. And of course one cannot ‘cast a clout ’til the month of May is out’. At least that’s the way I was told it but I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s refering to the may tree rather then the calendrical month. (By the way have you ever tried explaining what casting a clout is? If you have and you were succesful, please let me know because I wasn’t!)
Naturally these things aren’t meant to continue. The seasons march on relentlessly regardless of our own personal preferences. In fact winter this year does seem to be a distant memory, maybe it’s because we had such a fine summer after all or just because so much has happened in between. But it’s rolling round again.
This week there is a decided nip in the year and the days have been bleak. This is the threat of winter. A threat and not a promise of what is to come. I am not yet decided to be enthusiastic about ice and snow (which has become a far more frequent visitor locally these last few winters), I have a mortal (or morbid?) dread of falling on my behind which holds me back from enjoying the seasonal delights with as much reckless abandonment as some.
I am also a rather practical minded person. The threat of winter brings to mind all sorts of problems, for example: the logistics of transport and shopping in severe weather, the limited drying time available for the laundry and the profligate expense of heating. How can you get excited about the possibilities when you look at it that way? Oh yes, for me winter is a threat and not a promise. I don’t see cosy evenings by the fire but draughty evenings with pound signs mounting above every heating source.
Winter has other personal challenges. I feel the cold. If the mercury drops to where it did last year then I have little hope of keeping warm unless I am wearing at least five layers of clothes including thermals. (Now you start to see why laundry drying times become such a worry!) The result is that I look like a human snowball with stick arms and legs such as a child would draw protruding at odd angles. (That would be the first and only time that I have been able to risk describing myself as having stick like limbs but then everything is relative, isn’t it?)
There was a brief moment where blowing ‘smoke’ was fun and different in the darkening light (overgrown children that we are) but then my nose started dripping, my ears started tingling and I quickly lost interest.
I have dug out my knee high socks and am now having to set aside a couple of hours each day to take my socks (as in multiple pairs) on and off as well as bandaging my feet to avoid rub points in my boots.
I also dug out my winter coat from its neglected position deep within the coat rack and emptied out last winter’s debris from its pockets. Why is it there is always one glove left in the pockets? Just the one single lost looking glove, goodness knows where the other one went. Nor can I remember storing flapjacks in my pockets but the evidence rather suggests that I did at some point.
I may also be forced to dig out my slippers shortly as you can only wear flipflops for so long, there’s something about two pairs of socks that just makes it rather difficult.
Oh yes, winter is coming.