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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Thursday, 30 November 2006

A Winter Meme for Jefferson Davis

I was tagged by Jefferson Davis for this meme.
Ipanema, I will do yours shortly too.

For now, I'll tag Anna Hood, Atyllah the Hen, Jason Evans, Sage, Wilf's World (Addy), BluJewel & Rockdog (but up to you all!)

Five Things I Love & Hate About Winter, Winter Holidays & the like:
1) A January Dusk: I love strolling along the pavements on a January dusk in London. In the last 3 years (except this one), I stayed in South Kensington and could get to my flat either on the Gloucester or Cromwell roads.
I still remember that pleasant feeling of thinning crowds and melting laughter, as diners walked to restaurants and people returned from the trains. You felt you could saunter forever into the darkness, catching faces but staying happily mollycoddled from a fleeing inner peace.
There's something special about a January dusk in London, there is. The cold air breathes a temperature that's just right for exhilaration and not at all punishing on the senses.
2) A Dress-Up: I love dressing up. Winter coats. Leather jackets and my favourite black leather gloves. I have extra pairs as I tend to drop gloves and casually lose them at unexpected moments. It's a 4-to-1 chance that if I'm lucky, someone tends to come running up afterwards, panting heavily. Yes, I'm a brisk walker even while ferrying a piping hot coffee. I often take long winter walks along the shopping and bookshop streets when in London (from Marble Arch to Leceister Square in the West End via a tempting Charing Cross road) and Melbourne (the famous Elizabeth & antiquarian Flinder streets).
3) Port: A glass of port and a good book. My favourite time in the evenings. I find winter most conducive for reading novels, psychological thrillers and some good crime. I also like memoirs, a touch of heavy history and poring over art books. I blame Hatchards - London's oldest bookshop - in Piccadilly for introducing me to this delicious sin. It's their extravagant displays that stay fatal to my wallet.
Still, everything seems to fit in with the comforting sober mood. A glass of port? No, my friends, the truth is 2 glasses of port, at least.
4) The Entertainment: I like the social activity of going to the theatre or cinema, more so in the winter than at any other time of the year. Watching a performance always makes a winter mood appear more surreal afterwards. I also enjoy stopping over for dinner with friends and choosing a good wine. I love red wine that compliments my winters very well and having a rich chicken piece or cheese to go with it. Right or wrong, that little menu is sadly, habitual now.
I would enjoy drinks in the evenings too, most days.
5) Writing: I write very well in winter more than I would at any time of the year. My senses stay constantly alert in the cold and I love that blissful feeling of achievement afterwards.
Perhaps not hate but Dislike
1) A Scary Memory: Once on a night in London on Cromwell Road, when I crossed the direction of an oncoming wind and made a sudden swerve to turn around. I don't know why I did that actually.
Though wrapped up to the nines but feeling strangely chilled to the bone, I almost froze there and then. Can't explain. I shivered violently but tried to hide it from the crowd. I could hardly stand. I braved a few steps up the nearest building to hold on to a wall.
I managed to make my way to a shop I knew and the concerned owner offered me a warm corner and a hot drink. It helped somewhat but I remembered feeling colder then I normally would, as I proceeded to gingerly trod the rest of the way back to my flat. I had to measure my footsteps slowly and carefully. Never forgot that experience.
2) Stripping: Taking off all my winter gear in a department store's tiny dressing rooms when I go shopping afterwards. And often, there's a queue. Think handbag, gloves, shawl, boots, coat, turtleneck top...oh my God, what a bother! A sales assistant in Melbourne once told me that she felt the same irritation herself and could completely empathise with me. That made me feel a whole lot better.
3) The exploitation of the festive season until the entire Christmas episode turns me into a numb block of ice.
4) Christmas made-for-tv movies that suddenly spring to life during the winter holidays and many of which are often very silly.
5) The slippery slush (only applies to England and my time spent in Rome that commands filthy slush) on pavements and cobblestoned streets. Of course, of course. All highly-dangerous for someone as clumsy as me.