Kicking Winter’s Ass


Go to it and then park up in the comfort zone layby…

A Jan day of snow 2011 001

So, yes, I know I’ve been banging on about getting out of the comfort zone a fair bit lately. But I haven’t abandoned it completely. We all need some comforts, some down time and relaxation. And, here in the northern hemisphere, probably more now than at other times of year.

A Jan day of snow 2011 008


Here in the Hebrides, we had a couple of bad storms in January with gale force winds gusting around 100mph. We lost roof tiles––all repaired now–– and we’ve had a few power cuts. But that sort of goes with the territory and we have a full power-cut survival kit to hand every year at this time.  I don’t even really mind the cold, or the bad weather particularly––as long as we don’t have to drive anywhere when it’s all ice and snow on the roads. I do hate the shortness of the daylight hours. However, the days are beginning to lengthen and there are already bulbs coming up in the garden.

A Jan day of snow 2011 015

And this time of year isn’t all bad. It can be a time of fresh starts, of bracing walks, warm firesides, and hearty soups. And after all, all our days are precious and are there to be savoured–– even if it isn’t always easy to remember that.


Below are my five tips for getting the best out of this time of year, and for parking up for a bit of a break in the comfort zone lay-by.

  1. Get outdoors for a time on most days. Dress for the weather and just go for it. I’ve managed to get a walk every day this month except one – when the weather was extreme and I wasn’t feeling so good. Even if you’re at work, try to get out for even a short time during your lunch break. 

    looking down the croft, across the loch to Trotternish ridge

  2. Get reading. When the weather is truly atrocious and you’ve nowhere else to be––curl up on the sofa or on top of the bed with a nice soft blanket and escape into a good book.

    image via
    image via
  3. Eat well. I do try to buy local and in season produce whenever possible, but at this time of year I make exceptions. Freshly squeezed orange juice at breakfast time and a mid-morning tangerine bring a bit of the sunny Mediterranean to the kitchen, blueberries and grapes from South America and asparagus from Egypt also add some much needed colour and variety to the winter diet. But I also enjoy excellent Scottish root vegetables and kale and other greens––all local and in season. Now is the best time here for hearty vegetable soups and rhubarb (early forced) or apple crumbles.

    image © Andrey Stasotin via
    image © Andrey Stasotin via
  4. Pamper yourself. A hot bubble bath by scented candlelight is a weekly treat for me. The candles came in handy when my scheduled bath time coincided with a recent powercut.

    image © Marilyn barbone via
    image © Marilyn barbone via
  5. Spring clean. Yes, you read that right. Why wait till Spring to get tidying? You’ll have better things to do then. Instead use this time of enforced indoorness to have a bit of a clearout and a declutter. And it can be a very therapeutic thing to get rid of no longer useful or beautiful stuff. So, put on some favourite music and get stuck into those cupboards and drawers.

    image © moomsabuy via
    image © moomsabuy via

How do you feel about this time of year? And, if you’re in the southern hemisphere what is it like for you?

4 thoughts on “Kicking Winter’s Ass

  1. So many brilliant ideas here, Anne. I love the walking and the reading and the eating and then somewhere just before the end there’s the sound of giant record scratch. Yes. I know the cleaning part is necessary too. It’s just not quite as fun. Fun when it’s done, yep, and probably feels better finishing this task than any of the other suggestions, it just requires a lot of extra oomph.
    And at the moment, my oomph has long ago left the room. It’s probably gone for a walk or is deeply embedded in a pampering bubble bath. I must find my oomph.
    Maybe after a nap …

    • You nap as long as you like. I know for normal people suggestion 5 is probably ridiculous. I’m a bit of a sad sack – okay I’m downright weird – I like tidying. I find it calming and soothing. I don’t mean I like cleaning – let’s be clear – scrubbing the loo, anything that involves lugging a hoover around and horror of horrors cleaning the oven – I HATE!! But give me a drawer or a cupboard to sort out, then I’m happy as a happy thing.

      As always, thanks Shelley. I’m learning a lot from you. From now on when doing a list of tips – I will try very hard to avoid a ‘scratchy record’ moment.

      And for you and the rest of the normal folks – an alternative number 5 – sit on sofa, put on nice music, lie back and drift away…. 🙂

  2. Lovely photos. I love the way everything looks fresh and clean and pretty in the snow. I’ve started sewing and doing crafts to pass the long winter days and nights when the weather is bad and of course reading. The days are getting longer and it’s not dark here not until after 5 pm.

    • Thanks, Anne. Yes, it’s definitely good to have winter ‘projects’. And yes, days are lengthening. As always, thanks so much for visiting and commenting. It means a lot.

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