Seasonal changes at home

5 April 2013
I've been very ill with a virus the past 36 hours. I wrote this blog the other day but couldn't get up to post it. I'll be back as soon as I can be.


It's changing here. The warm days are cooling slightly and at night we take advantage of flannel sheets, fluffy doonas and homemade quilts. The bed is always the first to signify the change of seasons, followed fairly closely by the slippers, food and our clothing. I find the older I get, the less I like the extremes of temperatures. There was a time when I worked much further north and didn't feel any adverse effects. There was I time I loved the coldness of snow and those climates that seem to be shrouded in mist for days at a time. Now I love cool but not cold temperatures, although I am looking forward to establishing a yearly winter trip to visit my sister Tricia, who lives in the Blue Mountains at Blackheath. It's wood fire country. We have hot tea instead of cold drinks and there life is mostly lived indoors during winter.

Back here in the sub-tropics, we're looking forward to a milder winter. It's still warm enough to grow vegetables but it is cold at night. Sometimes it goes down to 3 - 5C but luckily we never get frosts. If it were up to me, we'd be sitting beside a wood burning stove in the evenings. Unfortunately, Hanno hates wood fires so I have to make do with extra layers of clothing and my slippers. Do I whinge about that every year? 

I think my favourite aspect of ordinary life during the colder months is the food. All those soups, stews, porridge, hot scones and bread, and being in the warmth of the kitchen, cooking. I love cooking winter food. It fills a need in me to nurture my family and fill their bellies with nourishing hot food that will keep them going in the cold weather. Chopping vegetables and adding meat, chicken, lentils, beans, or barley to a hearty stock or a simple broth never fails to satisfy my soul. I love the smell of those rich foods wafting through my home. It's like a lifeblood running through us; it keeps us alive. 

A close second to the foods are winter crafts. I knit all year long but in winter I'm like a possessed woman, clicking away madly to create more woolly warmth for my family. It seems like important work to me. I love sitting with my knitting on a cold and wet Sunday afternoon, watching something like Vera, Time Team or The Sopranos on TV and if I can smell vegetable and barley soup cooking slowly on the stove then, you won't find a women more content than me.

What do you love about your current season?