I’m nominating myself head cheerleader for winter. I decided it was too hard to finish articles on feminism or the future of the internet and so instead decided to monologue about other deadly important stuff. LIKE THE WEATHER.
People frequently harangue me for moaning about being ‘cold.’ ‘But Kat,’ they cry indignantly ‘you’re totes ENGLISH this is practically TROPICAL compared to what you must be used to!’
I resent this assumption that my maroon passport somehow means I’m blessed with an abnormally high threshold for cold. If you’re going to seriously consider stereotypes, might I remind you that I’m more likely to be equipped with an abnormally high threshold for discussing the weather. I shiver as much as the next person. Talking about the weather, however, I love. From the dramatic puffing and shivering induced small talk in lifts to telling the story for the 85th time about that time in Takapuna it ACTUALLY blew my friend’s hat clean off her noggin! Woah!
Besides dear friends, being English I’m also used to the warm embrace of central heating and double glazed windows. I’m from a land where going indoors actually provides respite for cold bones. Christmas shopping becomes a constant battle between sudden perspiration provoked by the hellish climate of stores and the icy air of the outdoors that practically freezes those sweat beads mid forehead. Glazing and heating are two concepts that somehow managed to slip through the Kiwi architectural era of indoor-outdoor flow. I’m slowly accepting the fact that through a New Zealand winter I’ll be living out the adage cold hands, warm heart. But let it also be known that I don’t mind this too much as a person who only has two phobias in life: fleece (my repulsion of this might be why I’m cold, just the sight of the fabric makes me physically recoil. Treat that, Freud) and being perceived a ‘sweaty’ person. The latter being why I don’t make eye contact at the gym.
I’m also accustomed to relative consistency of British weather fronts that will hang around for weeks, if not months. Just like any marriage of convenience, while the relationship between myself and my England is painfully mundane it is at least very predictable. This makes the day’s preparation nice and simple. In direct opposition we have my turbulent affair with Auckland. Here, my current morning ritual sees me yelling obscenities at the sky as my umbrella gets tangled in my bikini with the wind shoving me into the road as I fumble for my sunglasses to shield my eyes from the bright sun that is inexplicably blinding me through the rain that is spattering from the tornado just up the road.
Additionally I’m having to re-wire a few of my natural assumptions about the return of cold weather. There are no cheery Christmas lights to brighten the spirits that trudge home, wet of foot and cold of nose. Instead it’s nothing but a bleak few months before we all start relentlessly stripping off and complaining about the heat again. For me this is the real kicker, no light Christmas relief amongst the bitter shades of grey. But because I love New Zealand dearly in a rare bout of positivity I’ve decided to declare war on the winter blues. Why not make the most of the excuse to be indoors as much as possible before we all get the ‘I should be outside working furiously on my tan’ summer guilts:
An obvious one would to be read a book. But I suppose pages are just as easily squinted at through chic sunglasses in summer. An experience enhanced by the soothing sound of the ocean in your ears and sensation of sun on your face. So ADD generation, why not read some online fodder instead. I’m thoroughly enjoying my slutty tab foray through the internet’s well stocked magazine shelves while tucked up under my duvet, curtains drawn to avoid any kind of inappropriate sun-glare. I recommend www.theparisreview.com with their incredible archived interviews with literary greats, http://fivedials.com/fivedials a glittering gem of an online publication (you’re welcome) I’d also like to share my latest love interest: one Molly O’Brien, the protagonist of the blog http://missmollymary.tumblr.com/ and finally one that’s basically just showing off www.guernicamag.com. The world wide web eh. Who’d have thunk it. Watch loads of TV. Unabashedly and unashamedly. I’m not great with television series and used to simply select them as per quality of lesbian storyline/lady babe factor. This has meant watching the entirety of the latest Grey’s Anatomy season in a 3 day bender (two hot chicks got married, totally worth it). But luckily I’m surrounded by savvy kids who let me in on the good stuff. To name a few: Wilfred (Eliijah Wood befriends a man in a dog outfit) Parks and Recreation (skip straight to season 2, I would love to date Amy Poehler. Fact) and Bored to Death (Jason Schwartzman, Zach Galifianakis AND Ted Danson looking like a ken doll). So also applicable here is watching loads of movies. Get to the cinema, rent them. Go to the Film Festival. So far I’m checked into Norwegian Wood, The Future, La Dolce Vita, Arrietty and Submarine. Although I can’t officially recommend renting anymore as I now owe the highest fines ever acquired at my local DVD place. I actually have been invited to attend a ‘negotiation’ with the manager. Curious. Drink loads of whisky. Sure, you can do this in summer. But in winter it’s far more poetic, rain lashing etc. I invite you all to come and hang out in my conservatory (yep) and sip something peaty. The recent mad weather makes it feel like a woodsman’s log cabin lost at sea. Which you know, is probably exactly where one should be drinking whisky. Eat loads of roasts. Roast all the meat (and veggie stuff where applicable) you can before you are forced to start barbecuing everything in sight again and repeatedly discuss just how awesome asparagus is in New Zealand. In all sincerity, go to The Auckland museum. If you’re strapped for cash just ride the Link Bus 5 times in a row and watch all that sweet televised footage. It’s riveting stuff. But the evolution of the flightless bird should really be seen beyond the screen to be believed. Start a band. Why not? Basically everyone is doing it. Enjoy novelty umbrellas. Tea. Take pleasure in the warm comfort of tea, especially on a hangover. I love that in winter my alcohol abused body lusts after tea rather than the cold, sweet creamy goodness of frappucinos. I don’t miss hands freezing as I try desperately to hide the branding on the plastic cup and try claim it’s an organically farmed Kerikeri fruit smoothie. Ahem. Eat tamarillos in all available formats. From simply sliced and dusted with sugar to chutneys. They kick feijoa arse. Enjoy hiding in layers of clothing. Buy a neon ski jacket from the 1980s and wear it to splash in puddles. This piece of advice comes from first hand experience. It’s a magical way to regress to the innocence of childhood. Make a list of any friends in Europe rubbing their sun-filled days in your face. Dicks. Block them on facebook and form an imagery-based revenge plan for when our sun starts melting pavements again. Tell them you heard Beyonce was utter balls at Glastonbury and nonchalantly explain that digitization means you get musical perfection from your new ipod earphones anyway. So. Like, fuck off. I recently had a good chill out session after taking refuge from the rain in a library and ended up getting pretty involved with a Murder mystery book. Spooning is a great winter activity. Obviously make sure the selected object of your affection has said it’s OK. Or that they are a very deep sleeper. Get an iphone maybe? You can do that game where you slice birds or fling fruit or whatever while playing scrabble with somebody in Japan and texting your Mum. Neat. Go ice-skating. Enjoy wearing hats. Especially beanies. Pretend David Beckham hasn’t ruined the look of them forever. Indulge in hand warmers from $3 Japan. Gold. And then maybe get some perspective. It’s just weather after all.
Failing that, look me up. I’m always happy to chat about it. I’m on the Skypes and facebooks and the Tumblr. Word.