Most of you know that my family and I have been away on holidays. One of the lovely things about going away for a while is the anticipation of coming home, and all the things you will do once back in your own space. After three weeks in Asia we were all ready for home, in a ‘home is where the heart is’ type way. Not in a ‘get me out of here’ type scenario. On the flight back I was dreaming of all the things I could do when I got home, framed by the knowledge that winter had well and truly arrived in Melbourne.
I basked in the loveliness of thoughts of home; my own bed, my electric blanket on three, a perfectly made cup of tea out of my own mug, with just the right amount of milk (real milk – not UHT which is all you can get in Vietnam). A bad case of food poisoning that hit hours after getting home meant that enjoying all those anticipated things would have to wait.
Now that I am well and (almost) up to date with the post-holiday washing onslaught, the anticipation of homey things to do has been made more acute by the delay caused by illness. So I’m sharing my “Could Do” list. A list of things you might like to do – no pressure, c/- The Simple Things mag.
I posted a while back about The Simple Things’ wonderful ‘Could Do’ list. This month in The Simple Things their Could Do list suggests all sorts of summery activities like ‘swim outdoors in cold water’, or ‘feel wet grass between your toes’. I really love the whimsical feel to these suggestions, but let’s face it, I’m not going anywhere outdoors without shoes in our winter temps at the moment.
So I thought I’d put together a nice wintery Could Do list. Doing some of these things made me feel good about the cold and even better about home; hopefully it will do the same for you.
❈ Enjoy a cheese fondue (preferably by an open fire). If you don’t have a fondue set, you can make it in a saucepan, transfer it to a lovely bowl and gather round family and friends to enjoy this indulgent treat. Use crusty bread, olives, pickled gherkins and onions, or cubes of salami for dipping.
❈ Throw on a wooly jumper and get lost in the woods. Enjoy the smell of wet grass and marvel at the sight of your breath in the air. Follow up with a Devonshire tea. There is nothing quite liked a well-earned cuppa with a fresh-made scone.
❈ Get up early and watch the rising sun melt the frost on the grass. A truly simple, but life-affirming pleasure.
❈ Make some mulled wine, rug up in and enjoy a glass by an outdoor winter fire.
❈ Throw off the black – wear something colourful. Winter brings out the black and grey clothes, Melburnians in particular, are known for it. All it takes is a bright coloured scarf to break the mould and winter doesn’t seem so bleak any more.
❈ Spend those cold weekends or evenings learning a new creative skill. I’ve just signed up to a free trial of Creative Bug – an online creative community that offers projects, online tutorials and ‘how to’ sessions for anything arts and craft related. I’m excited about discovering something new.
❈ Bake bread from scratch. I follow this wonderful and easy recipe for ‘no knead’ bread. If I can manage it, surely you can too.
❈ Go for a wintery dusk beach walk, watch the light change as the sun retires for the day.
Almost as soon as we were home from our trip, our day to day life started encroaching on the final day of holidays; my head started to spin when I thought about grocery shopping, sport commitments and after school activities, work commitments… But we are in charge of how we counter all of the craziness of our daily lives. And I say ‘our’ because I know that we are no different from everyone else, running from one thing to the next.
It’s so easy to get stuck in the hum drum of life, but making the effort to do something ordinary, but out of the ordinary, has helped make my life a little bit sweeter.