Look, I’m going to kick this off by admitting that I JUST CAN’T ICE SKATE. I’m like Bambi times a million. I can barely walk on carpet, so sticking me on blades on ice is never going to end well. I’ve made my peace with it.
But what the hell do you do in the winter if you can’t ice skate? That’s the only thing films and the internet say you can do in the gross time between Christmas and spring, right? Well, NO, that is incorrect. I’ve done some nice things recently that haven’t taken me anywhere near terrifying frozen water.
Meet some cute animals
Speaking of Bambi, I went to see some deer in the Twixmas period (henceforth: Deercember). This was at Knole Park, Kent’s last medieval deer park (to be honest I’m amazed there was ever more than one, but there you go). The deer roam around as they please, and generally they seem pretty docile (doe-cile), but one woman did get an antler in the eye or something. Just be nice and probably don’t touch them. I had to try extremely hard not to scream with hysterical joy the entire time I was there. Also at Knole Park is a big old country house. We had a poke around the grounds, but if we’d decided to go in it only would’ve been £7.60 for an adult – a bargain considering how ruddy expensive the world is these days.
Go for afternoon tea
My friend Rachel and I are the queens of luxe. We’re just good at being princesses and we can’t help it and don’t want to. So last Friday, we both went to the Waldorf at Covent Garden for an exceptionally delicious (exceptionally filling) afternoon tea. We got to choose our teas from a box, and I went for the elderflower and blossom (a predictable choice for me) and Rachel went for the chocolate nutty tea (‘the most interesting choice’ according to the waiter). We also had a bottle of prosecco – all Fridays should involve a bottle of prosecco if you ask me – which washed down the endless stream of food nicely. The tiny baby sandwiches were a highlight, as were the warm, fluffy scones (scone as in gone, not scone as in cone). I love clotted cream like you wouldn’t believe, and theirs really was very good. There was a harpist playing throughout the tea, and some amazing MASSIVE chandeliers to add to the ambience. I’d highly, highly recommend the Waldorf, or another favourite of mine is Blackbird Tea Rooms in Brighton (retro music and lovely mismatched china) and Kettner’s in Soho. I’m always on the lookout for new afternoon tea spots, so let me know your favourite in the comments!
Do some sorting out
I know this sounds boring as hell, but when the weather is bleak it’s a prime opportunity to get your life in order. I saw lots of people talking about the KonMari method of tidying on Twitter last year, and while I haven’t read the book yet (so please tell me if I’ve got it horrendously wrong) I like the idea in principle. As far as I can work out, the basic premise is that you should haul out all of one type of object (clothes, books, makeup, whatever) and sort it all in one go. You’re meant to get rid of anything that doesn’t ‘spark joy’ – probably a horrifying amount of the things I own that I swear I’ll wear/read/use one day fall into this category. This seems like a daunting task, and probably one that’ll take a whole weekend, but I’d love to give it a go sometime when I have no plans. For now, I’m going to do my monthly wardrobe raid and get rid of a few token panic purchases from 2007. I just love the idea of only being surrounded with things (and people) that spark joy. It also fits in very well with hygge, which is all about the moments that spark joy, in a way. Maybe this is the tangible version?
Look at some nice scenery
I love the light at this time of year. The weak winter sun, the pinkish clouds, the
watercolour skies. It’s all pretty and delicate. I know going for a wander in the countryside might not be everyone’s idea of fun when it’s freezing cold, but everything looks so nice it’s hard to care that your skin is turning grey in the biting wind. It snowed a bit this weekend (a tiny little flurry that only settled on the rooftops), so maybe that’s why everything was extra nice. These pictures were taken at Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, which is home to lots of birds. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE mallards, but the best thing about this place is just how gorgeous it is. There are hides around the reserve so you can watch the birds without disturbing them, but I was happy enough to watch the glassy water (because I’m a very sad individual) and the lilac sky.
So there we have it! I’m having a cracking winter so far. How about you? What are you doing to make these chilly days pass a little bit faster?