I’m not really a cold weather kind of gal. Oh don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of it, the thought of wrapping up in layers to go for a long country walk on a crisp autumn day or a bracing stroll along a blustery sea front. By the end of summer I’m ready for thick jumpers and woolly scarves, I’ve had enough of trying to work out if it’s warm enough for shorts or not (come on, this is Britain, the answer’s usually not) and if I so much as smell another barbecue I think I’ll scream. But when faced with reality? Well, I’d rather curl up on the sofa with the heating on and a cup of hot chocolate in my hands.
Which I think is why a few weeks ago there was a black cloud hovering over me. I tried to ignore it, I really did, but in the end all I could do was give in to the intense compulsion to hibernate. I refused to leave the house unless absolutely necessary (work, school run, that kind of thing) and did as little as possible in the house. Overwhelmingly, I felt low in spirit and in energy but for no tangible reason.
Then I read this article. And a thousand watt lightbulb pinged on right in my face.
I won’t claim to have been depressed, not even close. Gradually the cloud lightened and dissipated, until by the end of the week it was gone, the last remnants blown away by a family bike ride on the common. But I don’t think it was coincidence that as the season changed, so did my mood.
So I’ll try to embrace the chilly mornings and the ever-darkening evenings and I’ll make the most of not having to shave my legs on such a regular basis (tmi?). I’ll make comforting bowls of soup and bake with apples and cinnamon. I’ll kick up the fallen leaves, watch my breath condense and catch the first snowflakes on my tongue. I’ll take the girls trick-or-treating, to a firework display and Santa’s grotto. We’ll carve pumpkins, make Christmas puddings and open advent calendars. But secretly a part of me will be yearning for blue skies, spring buds and longer days. So if you, like me, feel unaccountably sad at this time of year, you have my sympathy.