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  • Writer's pictureAnn

Exploring my ABCs of Winter: From A to Z

It’s that time of year already! We are well into Winter now and it's almost the end of 2023. I want to make the most of the 'Twixtmas and remembering some of the highs and lows of this year,

And reflect on the positive and negatives of this Winter.

Amsterdam I always enjoy a city break here with its famously scenic canals, rich history and iconic cultural scene. Autumn was the loveliest time with a bonus visit to the Van Gogh Museum and to the shop of one of my fav knitting designers - Stephen and Penelope.

Burnham Market. At the beginning of February I had a super short break along the North Norfolk coast staying in Burnham Overy Staithe. There are great winter walks along the coastline and its flat which suits me.

Clarins I've recently gone back to Clarins after doing the full circle of the skin care products on the market for mature skin. The family owned French laboratories use 95% natural and plant based ingredients and just smell soothing. French girls are taught by their mothers that taking care of their skin is a pleasure, not a before-bed chore!

Drinking tea I always enjoys tea, having had an online tea shop with my daughter. Tea is known to contain beneficial compounds, such as antioxidants, that boost your overall health. I reach for chai at this time of year, and to keep up my fluid intake I'm now loving blackberry and apple, both from Brew Tea Co.

Exploring Normandy over the New Year with a stay in Honfleur to start 2024.

Feature some great content on my Instagram account. I’d like to snap some really seasonal stuff.

Gingerbread baking. For as much as I love baking, I’ve never been satisfied with my gingerbread men, but I can bake a mean sticky gingerbread cake.

Hot Chocolate (and hot beverages in general) perfect especially while relaxing at home at this quiet time of the year. And as much milky Chai as I can get.

Ice cream mixed with left over Christmas pudding and refrozen, a ready-made dessert for January.

January. I always feel this is the month to plan for the year ahead, holidays, knitting and crotchet projects, all with the thrill of a new diary to write up and fill.

Kindness. Generosity in others and humankind seems to come out more during the holidays and it can be inspiring to see. I just wish the troubled countries of the world would show kindness to each other.

Lighting candles and spending time being as cosy and as introverted as possible.

Movies. I am a sucker for a good holiday movie. I have so many holiday favourites, not limited to: Elf, Love Actually, The Holiday, The Grinch (the old animated one), A Muppet’s Christmas Carol and Meet Me in St Louis.

Nights in. Life gets busy, so for me, one of the best things about winter is the increased acceptability of getting to be housebound.

Open fires and the cosy woody smell coupled with gentle waves of warmth. I gravitate to anyone who has one. But this candle is the next best thing, St Eval - Embers.

Planning places to visit next year. I’ve a sort of special birthday next year so that will be somewhere special. It could be a road trip down the west coast of Ireland, Scottish island hopping, or taking Hurtigruten along the Norwegian coast and I’m really missing being in France.

Quiet mornings and frosty country walks.

Ringing in the New Year somewhere different this year, French style.

School. This year I qualified as an exam invigilator, and have enjoyed being back in a school and in the presence of young people taking important exams that will shape their future.

Trains Yorkshire has several  steam railways. One of our family favs is the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway. We have been on this train with dinosaurs and more recently The Polar Express.

Utilise some new skills. I’d love to finish knitting a blanket and make my own patchwork quilt.

Velvet. I normally don’t see this worn any other time of the year but Winter. I’ve added velvet jeans to my wardrobe this winter.

Watching films. From Harry Potter film marathons, to Christmas classics, it’s a great time of year to curl up and watch something.

Xmas lists. Our Xmas list gets smaller as we get older….and we find out things we really want can’t be bought.

Yuletide cheer. Everyone seems more friendly around Christmas!

Zzzzz…Winter is the best time to catch up on some snooze underneath a cosy duvet.

What’s on your list for the Winter?

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