Winter woes

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Everyone I speak to, seems to have been seduced by the snow that is currently blanketing Britain. “London is simply stunning covered in snow,” commented one of my colleagues, while my cousin in East Anglia said that the snow covered landscape ceated a “real winter wonderland” that took her back to her childhood.

Yet while my friends and family might wax lyrical about experiencing a “proper winter replete with pretty powdery snow”, it’s not a sentiment I share. Sorry to be a snow grinch, but I just don’t see the attraction of a white Britain. What’s so great about shivering your butt off and spending an extra hour (if you’re lucky), trying to travel to work? About ‘skating’ down to the local shop to find shelves that look like armageddon has hit, as people ‘panic’ buy provisions? And about being unable to even escape the snow because Heathrow and other airports have cancelled (or at the very least delayed), shed loads of flights?

No, it’s safe to say that I haven’t been seduced by the recent snow which has only helped make January an even more miserable month. January sucks: everyone is broke from Christmas so people stay in, stuff their faces and then wonder why the waistbands of their trousers don’t fit. Or as the Scottish rock band Pilot put it back in 1975: “January, sick and tired, you’ve been hanging on me. You make me sad with your eyes, you’re telling me lies”.

February – the month of Chinese New Year, Shrove Tuesday and Valentine’s Day – is shorter, better, and thankfully just around the corner but in the meantime how to survive the rest of desolate January? Here are four tips that I thought I’d share with you, dear reader…

Layer up
The secret to staying warm is to layer up. Stock up on Uniqlo’s heat tech range of thermal legging and vests.  Glamorous they are not. What they are, is warm and thus an essential part of your January uniform. Then add a chunky cardigan and a down coat. Finally accessorise with every means (think hats, gloves and Ugg boots) at your disposal: it’s time to take dressing up to the max.

Stock up on DVDs
When the temperature plummets, chances are you’ll want to hibernate at home. On ‘white out’ weekends, hunker down with a good box set or two.  I ordered the fifth season of Mad Men off Amazon. Nights in, with the dashing Don Draper? Suddenly January doesn’t seem quite so bad…

Get active
During the winter months, most Brits (save for Kate Moss and fellow rail thin models) find themselves piling on the pounds. If you want to keep your body in shape, think about exercising at home – perhaps by following a keep fit DVD, or investing in an exercise bike. Curling up under your duvet might sound like a more attractive option on a chilly, snowy January day, but make the effort to exercise. Regular exercise wards off weight gain, boosts your body’s immune system and produces endorphins – all of which will help you beat the January blues!

Get out of town
Finally, if none of the above work, resolve – as I have – to never ever spend January in its entirety in the UK, again. For me, January 2012 and January 2011 weren’t half as depressing as January 2013 – and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out why. I was fortunate enough to spend part of January 2012 in Barbados and a fortnight in January 2011, visiting Vietnam – two destinations where you’ll find perfect beaches, turquoise waters and sunshine in spades. Make no mistake: I’ll be booking my January 2014 break – hello Hawaii? – before the BA sale ends tomorrow night. Sensible (sun seeking) types would do well to follow suit.


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