I’m going soft this winter.
I’ve been unpacking winter clothes today, as the temperatures slowly but steadily drop. it struck me as I was doing so that I don’t remember ever before putting away quite so many summer clothes completely unworn.
I really do feel cheated out of a summer this year. After a promising start in March, it rained most of April and May. At the end of May we bought a patio set and it then rained every day for the next two months – we haven’t used it. We had just enough good weather in August to prevent us heading south for a week on holiday just to see some sun, and now the Indian summer we so longed for hasn’t materialised: for all that September has been pleasant enough, it’s also brought with it some torrential rainstorms that are more akin to November weather.
Good weather now is bonus time, not a right, and I’m keenly aware of it. The default setting for the next six months is cold, rain and snow, though hopefully we also have some crisp, clear days ahead of us.
It has definitely put me in a jaundiced mood. This is the first year that I’ve not enjoyed the reappearance of my winter clothing, which is unusual as deep down, I really prefer winter fabrics. I love cashmere and velvet, suede and butter-soft leather, moleskin and scratchy tweed. But this year I feel really quite mournful as I fold up my floral linens and thin cotton cardis and insert them into under-bed storage bags, ready to hibernate until next May or June.
To cheer myself up, I’ve decided that this winter, I’ll be wearing ‘tender’ colours – shades of cream and rose pink, soft yellows and eau de nils rather than my usual black, navy and charcoal. My bottom half – jeans, cords or Craghopper Kiwis – will, of necessity, have to be dark, but I only depress myself by wearing dark colours on my top half as well.
We have also decided to try to heat the place more, as when I was cleaning recently, I found mildew on the bookcases at the far end of our living room – a legacy of the endless rain this summer. A stone house has to breathe, and the cure for this is to crank up the woodburner this winter, which – coupled with almost every room freshly decorated – is doing quite a lot to lift my spirits.