The dregs of summer are still holding on but don’t let it fool you; winter is coming. Black tights are back on trend, the tube is starting to smell of wet dog and ‘drinking to keep warm’ is soon to be the day drinking excuse of choice. Its not all bad, winter in London has a magic of its own. As a kiwi, December over here feels like a Richard Curtis film – drinking mulled wine in a Christmas Market by the Thames has the ability to stop time, all that is missing is a creepy as fuck Hugh Grant. But apart from the delightful few weeks of Christmas, winter in London can be long, dark and hard. #thatswhatshesaid
It seems to me that more people decide to move back to NZ during winter than any other time of the year. It gets to the point where you go to work in the dark, come home in the dark and you lose the will to live a little. With the cold, the rain and the fact that your family is on the other side of the world winter can be fucking hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Not if you do your #winterprep now.
Once it is the middle of November or January you will be too cold and seasonally depressed to do anything to kick yourself out of it, that’s why you are going to plan for it now. Right now, this week, go online and find all the fun things that are floating about this winter. It might be a play, a list of the best Christmas markets in London, where to drink mulled wine, a magical winter trip to Paris, ice skating in the moat of the Tower of London or re-enacting that scene from Bridget Jones (underwear and a Greek restaurant). Anything that you think could be fun and a little special.
It does not matter what your budget is, going off on a skiing holiday is not the only way to enjoy winter in Europe. The point is that you have planned it now, you have something to look forward to, and by the time it comes around on a cold Friday night and you are exhausted from work and your boots are soaked because of the rain you get up, go out and have fun anyway.
I would set your expectations that ‘Winter crisis time’ will be November, January and February. December as I said above is magical enough and you only really have to worry about not embarrassing yourself at the work Christmas party. It is those other dark months that will hurt. I beg you, do your #winterprep now so that you have a smile on your face and I still have friends in London come Spring.
What are my plans I hear you ask? This year I want to go to all the London Christmas markets. I ditched them last year because I was all cynical and didn’t want to face the crowds, but this year I want the magic. I am also on the hunt for some exhibitions or plays (if you book early you can get tickets for as low as £12), and I really want to go to one of the Waitangi day services and have the girls over for Valentines day. Also I want to learn calligraphy. Random, but still something I am planning for.
Seriously team, doing your #winterprep now is key. It will mean the difference between hating the next few months and having enough bright spots to get you through. Book something, anything, today and tweet me using the hashtag #winterprep. If you don’t, I will know and I will be very disappointed.