Last swim?

September 18th and we swam at lunchtime, and yes it was cold, look at those clouds. They swallowed up the sunshine as soon as we entered the water.Image Image You could paint this picture with just greys!

Is this the end of summer? My wellies are out. The heating is on. The winter duvet is on. I’ve made my first crumble: plum and apple with amaretti in the topping which kept it light. Baked Dorset apple cake, and got half a sack of potatoes in for the winter.

I’ve also made Hugh Fearnley’s mushroom risoniotto, very easy, comforting and not too creamy. While I was stirring the mix I watched Julie and Julia again and resolved again to cook more varied food. But in the winter I want stodge, some food ballast to take me through these next few months. Much as I love fruit and salads, it’s nursery food I crave in winter. And I stick to my old faves. Macaroni cheese, leeks and bacon appears often. Fish pie. Hefty soups with spicy beans and sausage. And I would love more puddings. With custard.

IMG_2901I bought this book for 20p at my local library and while I don’t think I suffer from full blown SAD, I want as many tools as possible to combat the almost inevitable loss of energy and motivation and joie de vivre I feel in the the darker seasons. I’ve not read it all but light boxes are recommended in the first chapter. Mmm, nah, not yet, for now I think go with the flow and follow nature’s direction. Sleep when it’s dark, accept the few extra pounds that accumulate, cook, read, meet friends and family and eat together. Make fires, walk a lot when it’s fine. Walk wrapped up warm when it’s not. Nothing radical.

I have learned to put a few events in place over the winter to prevent me becoming a hermit. Some trips to the cinema or theatre. A trip  to see Helen in Holland perhaps?

Winter tv is often good but I have the attention span of a gnat, and come to things late.  I watched Luther and loved it from behind the sofa cushions. I saw the first two episodes of Game of Thrones and although it was rather bloody and graphjc I really enjoyed it. There’s Strictly waiting in the wings of course. And this year I have got in to the Great British Bake Off, several years after everyone else. Another plan I have is to try some bread-making … watch this space. I may need blue contact lenses for the full effect. Photos to follow, depending on results.

But this evening the sun is shining. All good.  P1000244

One of the things we learned on the Camino was to ask for help when we needed it, so those of you who read this blog: how do you cope with the winter blues?

Suggestions please.

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