Life

I Don’t Remember The Song Asking For a White Spring?

So, last week I was unable to post which may have blown my resolution but, the horrible migraine I suffered from Sunday to Wednesday comes first. Health always comes first. I could barely look out the windows or at any screen, never mind typing out and posting a blog piece. It’s a good job I was off all week. NOW, to my blog post.

Over here, in the moody-weathered United Kingdom we’ve experienced snow. Yes, we’ve had it before but, it hasn’t snowed like this for about eight-years. As you probably experienced in all of your shops products have been low, milk has disappeared from the shelves quicker than the road runner doing a lap and bread? Twice as fast as that. It’s panic buying at it’s best, and if that doesn’t tell you we are less experienced than America or Russia or any of the other places that experience deep snow regularly, I don’t know what will. We are used to thunder and lightning, the constant pitter-patter of rain and even 20 degree heat (hot for us) but, snow? It’s like when you have the family you see every now and again but, not all the time. It just isn’t always cold enough here. So thank you, beast from the east. Maybe the young ‘uns will now know what proper snow days are, where you can’t or won’t leave the house for anything other than sledging, walking the dog or getting necessities.

What is odd though- is that we are in the last few weeks of Winter now and it would have been awesome to experience this over Christmas instead! As the song goes…

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…”

It is the most random time to have a snow event in the UK. Although, the weather here never does make sense. When it’s Summer, we tend to experience loads of rain and when its Winter? Not snow, but rain and oddly enough sunshine. Is it constantly opposite day for the UK. Imagine a moody, hormonal teenager- yes? You never quite know what you will experience with them on the day. It is a bit like experiencing hormonal whiplash. That is what it is like with the weather here. We basically live in the climate of a hormonal teenager.

I did venture out in this weather myself. I had to. I made the three-mile walk in deep snow, with snow falling to get into my local town. It was cold and wet, but at least I got this weeks workout in. Even saw a guy running in it, on his way to work! Crazy, but that is what it is like to live over here. We don’t always know the meaning of dangerous. It’s more about getting on with stuff no matter what. Illness? Take a tablet. Floods? Put on your wellies. Snow? Layers and walking boots are your friend. Extremely hot sun? Suncream up, and cover up but don’t stop what you are doing. I guess the constant weather whiplash made us a country of resilient individuals who just get on with it.

I once heard a group of tourists complaining about the heavy rain and extremely windy weather stating they were heading back to the hotel because they couldn’t shop in this. Meanwhile our high streets were filled with Brits who were going about their day, braving the rain and hoping their brollies would hold out. What is the lesson here then?

Well, it’s about the resilience of UK residents. No matter the time, place or weather- we are a nation of people who just get on with stuff.

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Life

A Winter Survival Guide: Clothing

As promised, this is my Winter clothes survival guide. In the UK, we’ve had some snow and that spawned an idea to write this post. I hail from Derbyshire- more specifically a little ex-coal mining village called Grassmoor. Surrounded by hills, farms and more hills and not far from the peak district, here we are equipped for Winter weather all year round. Mainly because that same Winter gear comes in handy when it’s has rained and that is due to a lot of mud and puddling. Let’s begin.

Wellies and Walking Boots

Whether you own a pair of Hunters, Dunlops, Joules, Barbour, Trespass, Le Chameau, Aigle or any other types of wellies it’d be a good idea to find them out of the dark cupboard you’ve stored them in. That is unless you live in the countryside like I do, because we’ve always got them on. Ideally, everyone should own a good pair of wellies but if not, a pair of walking boots or shoes/boots with good grip will do in a pinch. While we may not get snow every year, it is always icy throughout December so if you’re accident prone or walking the dog invest in some good Winter shoes.

Hat, Gloves and Scarves

Hat and Gloves
Hat and Gloves

Every Christmas your nan gifts to you a new set of hat, gloves and scarves for the coming year. And every year, we cry in unison “I’ve still got last years!” Well, put them to good use. Around November times, the temperature tends to drop and as Winter begins to settle in, it is time to find out the gloves and eventually our hats and scarves. So, that annoyingly useful gift your grandparents buy for you every year, is in fact probably one of the best gifts you’ll get. Especially, if you are prone to losing them every year too. We know who we are…

Winter Coats

winter gear
My Winter Gear

I love a thick, fluffy-hooded coat. In fact, I’ve had a new one for Christmas this year seen as my four-year-old cold-weather coat has thinned and is falling to pieces- LITERALLY! I don’t know where one of my press studs buttons is, there are holes all over it and I now get soaked every time it rains. Of course, I do have other coats. I have my short, black, bought from an outdoor shop coat which I’ve had since secondary school. And my fancy orange fitted coat works well in Winter too if it is not raining or snowing. My point is if you don’t already have a good warm, waterproof coat for Winter then I suggest you buy one. It is cold. And I don’t have sympathy for those who moans it’s freezing but only walk around in their jackets and jumpers for protection.

LAYERS!!!

Leaving for work at 5am in the morning, it is FREEZING. So to keep warm, I layer up. Starting with a pair of tights, two pairs of socks and my work trousers. And closely followed by a long sleeve top, a T-Shirt and my Christmas jumper. This is just for inside the house. On top of that, I’ll have my hat and gloves on alongside my trust Winter coat. As my dad says…consistently ” you need to have a good base layer”. And maybe this is because we live in the countryside, it’s common sense or the runner in him- it is actually very good advice. So, layer up if you want to keep warm!

Doc Marts

It's that time of year again!! #docmart #liveinthem #comfy #shoes #docmartshoes

A post shared by Stephanie (@slwatson_10) on

Earlier I spoke about wellies and walking boots, quickly mentioning investing in a pair of shoes with good grip. Well the best footwear for Winter aside from wellies around here is a pair of Doc Martens especially if you need to venture into town on a particularly cold and wet day. Or if you decide to pop to the pub for a couple of pints. These shoes are both practical and stylish this time of year. And I know they can be expensive but, if you buy them they’ll last your years paying your money back in tenfold.

Onesies

onesie

Please don’t wear them outside. I know some people do. This suggestion is to keep warm in your house. Invest in a onesie. They are snug, warm and alright for lazing around in. And a benefit to you and your parents- the nagging about the heating will stop because you’ll already be warm. Plus, you can be any creature- real, mythical or festive you want so head on to Primark and invest.

Thick Socks

If you’ve got walking boots, wellies or Doc Martens then you already own a pair of thick socks. If not, you should invest in them otherwise you’ll be double socking all the time. The only reason I double sock for work is because I don’t think I’d be able to get my work shoes on… Also, they are amazing for keeping your toes warm. You see we have certain areas of our body that are sensitive to touch and one of these areas is the bottom of your feet. Others are the palms of your hand- near your wrist area and the back of your neck. So, if they are warm then your body also tends to warm up. The same goes for Summer when it is boiling and you need to cool down. Stick a flannel on the back of your neck or stick your hands in water and you’ll cool right down.

frost-2721870_960_720

*Extra Tip- Stick a pair of socks with those rubber bits on the soles over your shoes and it should stop you slipping all over the place.*

These are just a few suggestions for surviving the Winter weather, if it’s raining, snowing or just frosty. With these few tips, you can’t go wrong with keeping warm and safe. We’ve all got our own tips to survive Winter and it’d be interesting to see what everyone else does. So, please share your tips because odds are somebody will find it useful and adapt it to their own lives.

Stay Safe. Stay Warm. Stay Happy.

 

 

 

 

Life

Winter is Coming-(fangirling over the GoT reference)- As Are The Christmas Traditions!

Scratch that, Winter is here and in all its glory we’ve actually had a bit of snow before Christmas. The real question is- will it stay? Probably not! But the temperature has begun to drop, it’s getting icier and wetter out in the world. This means one thing, if you hadn’t already got the Winter gear out (like the runner I saw wearing a pair of shorts on his morning run) then it is officially time. I bet you are thinking this post will be about suiting and booting yourself for Winter and I will be writing one tomorrow about that. No! This post is going to be about Christmas traditions, more specifically my family ones plus, a few I’ve adapted whilst living away for University.

1. 12 Days Before Christmas? Time to Put Up The Tree

tree and bauble

In my house, this is always the case and dad has been pretty adamant about this tradition for as long as I remember. It is one of my favourite things about Christmas to decorate the house so, over the last couple years we had to adapt the day because I would be at University and wanted to put the tree up thus, last year it went up a week early because that was the weekend I could come back.

2. The Christmas Specials- Specifically Doctor Who

tardis

Every year we go to my grandparents house for Xmas and since I’ve been old enough to come back home especially as my brother can drive. I do. And always in time for Doctor Who. You see my family don’t like Doctor Who. :0. I know I mean how can you not like it? It’s Doctor Who! But they don’t. They all pull a face at it when I’ve got it on and so, it is just easier to come home and have my own little Christmas Tradition. Doctor Who and a hot chocolate? Yes please! I do like other specials though such as Downton Abbey- when it was on after my Uni mate introduced me to the show, Michael McIntyre’s Big Christmas Show- technically shown on Xmas Eve but still I watch it.

3. Christmas Songs

cartoon carolers

I’ve already created a blog post on my favourite Xmas songs and if you click this link you’ll find it. But, the week of Christmas the only songs playing on my iPod are Christmas related and that is the way I like it. It’s just my little build up towards Christmas.

4. Nan’s Christmas Tarts

mince pies

I actually wrote a blog post entitled this last year. Named ‘My Nan’s Christmas Tarts’ it attracted a bit of attention, sometimes creating a blog post to get views is all in the name. Every year, she bakes Christmas tarts- jam and lemon curd- I love the lemon curd ones, and mince pies. They are yummy. I don’t know if she’ll do any this year but, it feels a bit like a Christmas tradition so, maybe it is time for a young, red-head who loves a bit of baking to take up the mantle?

5. Prosecco…

glass of prosecco

While dad and grandad wonder up to the pub on Christmas Day, the girls- myself, mum and nan have a bottle of Prosecco between us to keep us going till Xmas dinner. John doesn’t drink, he is not a fan so he’ll be having some Shloer. We started this last year but, nan liked the idea so much she’s already bought the bottle ready. It’s been in the house since November. So, every year we will be having a glass of Prosecco to start our Christmas off right.

6. Little Christmas Tree Presents

Christmas Present- red spotty paper, green bow, present tag.

I realised this wasn’t a regular every house thing whilst at Secondary school when people didn’t know what the little Christmas tree presents were, and had never received any. At my nan’s we have a small gathering of presents near her dinner table and after the meal we open these presents. So whilst you all play with the gadgets of Christmas morning, in my house you get a second rush opening more presents. And these are things you’ll need for the year such as body sprays, lip balm, make-up, car air freshener, torches, bookmarks etc. This just means we are equipped with those few little bits and bobs that we’ve talked about needing in the year. It is quite handy actually and a tradition I’ll be carrying on in the future.

These are just a few of my own traditions. It is fun to think of how everyone’s Christmas is a little bit different but, equally magical. If you don’t have many traditions find something that you like. Make it your own. And one final thing: Happy Christmas Everyone.