The other day I walked into the pub I work at and there was a fire barely surviving in the grate. Despite its struggle at life it had filled the whole bar with that comforting warmth that can only come from a wood fire.
That experience made me think fondly of winter, even though I am a summer person through and through, and there have been a number of same-such winter experiences in the last week.
Some could be argued to be autumn experiences but to my mind autumn is merely the beginning of the slippery slope that leads inexorably into the depths of winter, from which I always fear I will never escape.
Part of the reason I dislike winter is that I hate being constricted by lots of clothes, however I do like snuggling.
On Sunday I came home with cold toes and so instead of folding back my large, heavy winter double-bed doona to expose my hidden single-bed doona which is dwarfed by a queen-sized bed, I crawled in amongst all the blankets in my winter pyjamas and snuggled in. The weight of such a heavy doona wasn’t oppressive – as I imagine it will be by mid-winter – because it had the joy of ‘first’. The first time this winter, the first time I’ve had trouble sleeping because of the cold.
In the same vein of snuggling: I’ve been able to break out my ‘boyfriend jumper.’ One of the benefits of a boyfriend is that when you are cold, he will* lend you his jumper – it is generally too big, wraps around you and smells like him, leaving you to feel like you’re wrapped up in a constant hug.
When I was in high school I decided I did not want to be dependent on a man (or boy) for such a pleasant experience and I bought myself an oversize black man’s woollen jumper from the op shop. My current ‘boyfriend jumper’ is actually mark II (I suspect my mother ‘disappeared’ mark I) and is a fabulously snuggly Calvin Klein op shop number.
Despite not smelling like the boy who loves you, it has all the other benefits with the added bonus of knowing that even if you and your current squeeze go different ways, you get to keep this jumper, with no difficult memories attached.
For me, most of the best parts of winter are the ones where I’m warm and dry. So when the weather cools down I begin to appreciate our large lounge room and kitchen windows which face North and East. I’m constantly weighing my hatred of clothes against my love of warmth. When I’m still rebelling against the idea of putting socks on as soon as I get up, the sun that streams in and heats the carpet creates a glorious spot to warm ones toes – if time permits and energy levels insist it is also a great place to position oneself for a sneaky 5min snooze on the floor. Although one must always be careful to position themselves so that when the sun moves** toes stay in the sun.
My last two winter firsts do not pertain to warmth.
The penultimate first is sitting by the aforementioned lounge room windows and watching rain fall endlessly on the town. I understand that it rains in summer but it does it differently in the winter.
The last first is the first time you smell that winter smell, for me it was whilst walking to work with my sister. I imagine the smell is a combination of temperature, autumn leaves and the amount of water around, but to me it just signifies that summer is over and winter is here to stay.
*If he doesn’t you need to reconsider the relationship
** I may have just given away how long my ‘5min’ snooze can last