Recently I performed at Winter Festival’s ‘Pecha Kucha’. A new night for them whereby speakers have the opportunity to ‘speak to’ 20 slides and have 20 seconds per slide. Sounds easy right. It wasn’t as they whizz by! I decided to call my talk “I hate Winter” much to their smiley faces (I’m sure there was a wobble in the voice when they heard this) but still I’m not a fan and am known for this fact. I thought I’d keep it real and write a letter to Winter laying all the facts out.
Its me Winter, it’s me. You know the one who swears and eats cake alot. The one who swears at you. A lot.
I can’t find my bloody gloves Winter I’ve looked. I’ve looked under my bed. The same bloody place I’ve looked for that sodding radiator. You know, that shiny beacon of light us Brits swear allegiance to, that no one around here seems to have discovered yet. Unless you live in Lake Hayes Estate. And I don’t.
Excuse me if you need a translator. The northern hemisphere Winter doesn’t understand me either.
We met a long time ago, about 36 years in fact. The scorching days of English summers were over (stop laughing in the audience it’s my memory) The scorching days of summer were over and my dad bundled me into 16 layers of wool and we made snowmen. (He was called George and he was 7 feet tall) Then my sister threw me in said snowman and those woolly layers took on a while new concept. I had cold wet underwear for hours. But you wouldn’t understand that winter because you’ve probably got waterproof underwear.
I’ve thought long and hard about my letter to you and I’m writing down some things to get them off my chest and make peace in front of all these nice people.
1) You get right into that bit of your back that is permanently uncovered no matter how much you pull down your shirt or wear the vests that your mum tells you to wear. Yes mum, you were right, vests rule. Not the sexiest of looks but my backs slightly warmer, until you winter come along and blast right in there.
2)You make me want to eat cake with everything, even at times during the night when the fire’s gone out to keep warm. cake good. Big bum bad
c) I’m still traumatised by said snowman incident and can’t look at wool in the same way anymore.
4) It’s Winter and for me it should be Christmas. So the fact that I get cold and don’t get presents at the end of the day is ridiculous.
BUT I’m here to tell you, you haven’t won. I have found a new love for you. Why?
You make me want to run in the evenings when its too dark for everyone to see my cake-laiden bottom. To shoot through the streets while it isn’t too hot.
You make me gasp at your blue sky days that make the people of grey-sky Manchester jealous. (Ohhh you all thought I was Irish)
The hot chocolate, the pies, the mulled wine hangover that we’ve all had once (yes even you Winter- try and explain that to your boss)
The fires in bars, the thick jumpers, the big socks, the cuddling up to someone and then shoving your cold hands up their back (you know that bit that vests don’t reach). Funny isn’t it. Try it, do it to Summer. you’ll laugh, she won’t.
The random things people say in cafes “I’m freezing”, “I’ve lost a glove” “I’m going to activate my nuts tonight” (I’m not joking.)
I love you for your honesty, your saying IM HERE and then dumping that glorious white stuff to make the snow bunnies happy. For being a true season and not one that sits on the fence (yes Spring I’m looking at you)
Hit me with it Winter, I’m ready for you, I have my big girl pants on, my crock pot at the ready, the sodding radiator and gloves have disappeared but I haven’t and you haven’t and for this Winter I thank you. I thank you.
After an amazing response (people secretly feel the same) I asked for their take on Dear Winter and the response was awesome. Here’s some of yours……
I love you and spend all of Summer waiting for you to arrive…. when I’m lucky I get to go across the world and visit you twice in one year
Although your icy embrace often makes me long for my old mistress Summer, I do adore how the brisk mornings make me feel alive. How magical icicles look in the glistening sunlight. The contentment of staring at an open fire whilst holding a warm mug of joy…all things that would be absent without you. Dont go changin’ buddy.
You hold a wondrous beauty. Irrespective of making our days weirdly short and our roads/pavements treacherous, we can forgive you as you present us with mulled wine, hot apple cider and polar bears and let’s be honest polar bears are cool. The lush green vegetation gives way to a wintry landscape, and the scenery feels that little more charismatic.
You piss me off when I slip on the pavement, can’t feel my toes, and suffer horrendous power bills. However you provide amazing landscape shots, heaps of visitors loving life, the opportunity to wear layers of merino and ugg boots, an excuse to draw the curtains and light the fire and the welcoming of a new season. The change of season is amazing! And everyday is getting longer already
You’re pink and pale and i don’t know quite how to take you sometimes but you’re absolutely beautiful
Thank you so much!