I am sitting our lounge in front of the fire; the flatties have mentioned something about it’s being ‘too warm’ in here but I have had—wearing yoga pants, two long-sleeved shirts, a pink fur-lined hoodie, and pink fur-lined slipper boots—to disabuse them of the notion that there can ever be such a thing as ‘too warm.’ One of them came back with experiences involving being too warm in both Mexico and Singapore, but I didn’t really pay attention because I was busy daydreaming about a time when I might again not have to wear multiple layers of clothes inside a building. Winter’s here, definitely, absolutely, unavoidably, and all I can think about it bundling up and hunkering down.
This is my fourth Wellington winter. They’re all the same, I guess: too wet and too windy and too long and too much. Winters everywhere always are, I guess, and I know I should be used to it by now, but I’ve fallen right back into complaining twenty-four hours a day about how cold I am and being unable to talk about nothing else other than electric blankets and merino sweaters and double-glazing and thick blankets and mugs of hot soup. My Facebook status updates are concerned with no other topic, and it’s only June; it’s months and months to go before my skin goes back to its real color and we transition from day tonight via the smooth mellow of evening.
Everyone hibernates this time of year, I guess, everyone puts on an extra insulating kilo or two. I’ve been super social the last couple of months, booking out a minimum of two weekends in advance, but all of a sudden the clouds have dropped down and the hail has pattered against the window and all I can think about is trying to stay warm and cosy and comfortable. I don’t want anything new or difficult or strange, I just want to wrap myself up and sink down into the flannel sheets amongst the hot water bottles, listening and watching and reading all my old loves, my sure and certain distractions. The friends are so friendly and the parties are so fun, but I find myself sighing, a little, as I look up the bus schedule and pull on my gloves. I think of tea and bickies and pajamas in the middle of salsa dancing. Even my mind and heart are shrinking down, shivering, under my huddled shoulders and above my pulled-up knees, staying out from under the weather and closing in from the outside. I put another log on the fire and sip my tea, regulating my internal temperature, trying to stay warm.