We have just experienced the longest, warmest summer for umpteen years, yet we complain about a few drops of rain. What do we expect? After all, the the pundits of the retail world tell us it’s ‘mid-winter’. I always assumed June to be ‘mid-winter’ but, with climate change and all that jazz, this appears not to be the case any more.
So, what do you do in mid-winter? Do you rush out to those sales, only to find, had you waited, that dress you bought last week is now half the price you paid? Do you dash out, in inclement weather, to mid-winter Christmas dinners where the mulled wine makes up, in part, for the stodgy yorkshire puds sagging beside the roast beef. (Why is it that nobody these days can make yorkshire puds like grandma?) If you are more adventuresome, or mad, do you strip naked to take part in a frivolous mid-winter swim to prove something – but I’m not sure if I know what this ‘something’ is.
Not many really appreciate the beauty of winter. Dressed appropriately, there’s nothing like a brisk walk beside the sea on a stormy day, savouring the drama of nature. I’ve been on many such walks on the wild side. Where the violence of the Tasman Sea, trapped inside the narrow entrance of the Manukau Heads, dashes its fury against the breakwater, sending plumes of foam high in the air where the wind takes over, tearing them into shreds of lace, before lashing them against my face. Rogue waves send globs of ginger seaweed swirling around my ankles and rolls of far-off thunder, coming ever closer, follow my homeward footsteps, beneath an archway of skeletal trees, to where an open fire awaits. I’m rather glad there were no mid-winter sales in those days, otherwise I’d have missed this unique experience.