Winter is coming. Right now I am sitting inside my cosy little house listening to my Mum rattle around the kitchen making pumpkin soup for dinner while the rain plinks gently on our roof. The sun has deserted the sky even earlier tonight and the rain clouds are obscuring the winter stars. Our home has been filled with the scent of baking for much of the afternoon, and the chocolate chip cookie I snuck in before dinner was just as warming as the red knitted socks on my feet.
Yes, winter is coming and this year I am determined to enjoy the cold season. Winter, to be honest, is not my favourite season of the year, and I am so grateful that I live in Brisbane where the winter season doesn’t last for too long and isn’t overly nasty. Conversely though, I love to travel during winter; Melbourne with its driving icy rain and cold that seeps into your bones is my favourite place to spirit away to for a few weeks in the depths of winter. This year I will be tucking myself up cosily with my boy and a book, going running in preparation for the Gold Coast Half Marathon (by the way check me out here – super weird/super exciting to be nominated alongside some of my favourites), and making lots of cookies to fuel my writing and running.
Winter is coming, and in preparation for this season (like my preparation for autumn) I am giving myself a little list of things to fill my winter days and nights.
- Cosy post-run breakfasts like Quinoa Porridge with Roasted Strawberry and Rhubarb Compote, Banana Bread Quinoa Flake Bake, or a slice of Zucchini, Hazelnut and Cranberry Bread.
- Trying to make a gluten-free version of this Hazelnut and Orange Olive Oil Cake or this beautifully photographed Meyer Lemon Pudding with Blueberries
- Perhaps a Spiced Hot Dark Chocolate (it’s healthy -shh!) to chase away the cold while Chris and I watch ‘Cupcake Wars’ and ‘The Colbert Report’ – or a Frangelico Hazelnut Coffee on a Saturday night…
- His and Hers dinner a la Sophie Dahl – Shepherds Pie with Champ (two ways) – reminiscent of my Mum’s famous Shepherd’s Pie.
- A bowl (or two) of: Chunky Vegetarian Chili; Millet and Pumpkin Winter Salad; or Squash, Chickpea, and Red Lentil Stew.
- Going ice-skating at a local rink with some friends – Chris and I are both sure that we are going to break our legs in the attempt…
- Winter morning walks with Mum and Molly on my cross-training days. Nothing like starting the day walking through the frost-crisped grass watching our breath form clouds in front of our faces while Molly trots along happily in front of us.
- The Gold Coast Half Marathon is only a few weeks away now, and I know that this year I won’t meet my time goal but I am determined to just cross the finish line with a smile on my face.
- Make use of the heated swimming pool only minutes away from my house and work on improving my lung capacity while staying warm!
- Printing out photos and decorating the walls of my room – it’s only been six years since we extended the house…
- Hosting a Winter Solstice dinner for my friends. I am not a ‘Christmas in July’ person, but an observance of the season is always fun (and an excuse to make apple pie).
- Set up a beautiful writing space to help me get through my fifteen-thousand word thesis next semester (I might need some cute organising stationery to help)
- I still haven’t finished (or actually started, really) my scarf but this cute knitted owl blanket might have to go on my ‘When I Get Crafty’ list.
- S-l-o-w-l-y digesting Cheryl Strayed’s ‘Tiny Beautiful Things’ - I could speed through it, but I want to soak in each section and absorb the wisdom of her words. Every post makes me question my reaction to life and I need time to digest the emotions and conclusions.
- My Mum and I cried and smiled while reading Angelina Jolie’s Op-Ed for The New York Times ‘My Medical Choice’. A brave choice, a beautiful woman, and an inspiration to all of us to take charge of our health and our bodies. You are the caretaker of this vessel and it will carry you through your life if you nourish it and care for it correctly.
- Still enjoying ‘A Clash of Kings‘ (A Song of Ice and Fire book two) and about to start Kate Atkinson’s ‘Life After Life‘. Winter is the perfect season for curling up with a book, and a blanket (and my boy) – then again what season isn’t perfect for curling up with a book?
Tell me dear readers, what are you most looking forward to this coming cold season? What gets you through the dark nights and chilly mornings?
Northern Hemisphere sweethearts, what are you most looking forward to this summer? Make me jealous of your warm days….