Most people find winter depressing, but I am usually at my most annoyingly preppy, challenged and invigorated. For me, even with all the frost, freezing fog and snow, winter has to be my favourite season. For a start off, I don’t need to constantly apply factor 50 resulting in me looking like a grease monkey. I can run outside without melting, and I have a huge collection of hats and gloves that I love to wear which have now been shipped ahead of my arrival in Glasgow. I find winter the most mysterious season; if ever I start to think to complain about the cold, I imagine I am Mary Lennox viewing the misty English countryside for the first time after living in India. I even found some charm in the Russian countryside with all the colourfully painted wooden houses along the road during my daily scrunch in the snow.
But I love winter especially because of the events, celebrations and time spent coming together, even with the interference of the TV. The first event of the season I love is Remembrance Day, as a child, I enjoyed it for rather self-centred reasons because it is a week before my birthday. But now I understand the concept of sacrifice, I am proud that the British people honour the courageous people that served and still serve in the armed forces. Last year I attended a service on the Plymouth Sound when I went to visit my family. It was a clear blue sky and once the canon sounded, the air resonated with admiration and dignity and the sound of baby crying. I don’t have any children of my own yet, but I have nieces and nephews; only now I truly comprehend how selfless their deeds were.
Also around the time of my birthday, there is Children in Need. As a teenager I fasted twice in an attempt to raise funds. If I could only tell you some of the nick names I earned as child for the amount of food I ate, but it is not particularly ladylike. All I can say is I must have been very hyperactive. The first year I tried to fast I did not succeed at nil-by-mouth. I thought some dextrose tablets would suppress my hunger, until my mother told me it actually speeds up metabolism. My birthday was a hit and miss affair, it’s very close to Christmas and I often had to put up with the excuse that if I waited until Christmas my presents would be combined and bigger. But as a child, you seethe believing it to be a big con. But I remember a couple of birthday parties. As a child of the 80’s, that usually meant cheese cubes with pineapple, which is fine until some bright boy starts poking everyone with them. As an adult Christmas is about giving, I now have four nieces and nephews and I am an honorary auntie to a few more. I enjoy seeing them excited and I don’t mind telling a few lies to perpetuate the myth of Father Christmas. Spending time with them is a good excuse to do all the things I haven’t done in twenty-five years. Thankfully in spite of my reputation for eating, I am still small and I haven’t broken any of the slides and trampolines in the play zones. Although a rediscovery of Pantomime which I thought would be fun, was pretty naff, even with Christopher Biggins in it.
Now New Year generally signifies a new start, I often don’t know which country I will be living in, for better or worse, it’s another experience to be had. I work on contracts and usually around the time of my birthday I start to send off applications. A few years ago I whittled down my choices to Siberia, Saudi Arabia and Sardinia. I can’t say what made me choose Sardinia, it is about as lively as any of the other choices I could have made, but I made some good friends and I spent a few wonderful weekends in Corsica. This time around I had the choice of Kuwait, Turin and Glasgow, but to be honest, once I knew I had a contract in Glasgow, other choices paled in comparison. Maybe Turin will be on the cards next time, it is the twin city of Glasgow, so there must be some cultural similarities. I can’t reveal much, except to say that I managed to snag my dream job, albeit temporarily. I have worked in the city before and I love Glasgow. OK, it would be fair to say that it has depressed areas where I wouldn’t walk around at night, but anyone who fails to see what a great city it is, really must be the most pessimistic scrooge. It has some of the best independent theatres, and there are always events and happenings in the city. I have a full routine there in amongst all the Tango, classical music, open mic nights and Bikram yoga. I am rarely at home for anything other than sleeping and certainly not for watching TV.