Winter is Coming

Or, as far as I’m concerned, it’s already here. The sun is keeping office hours, rising just before I go in to work and departing abruptly half an hour before I do. It’s dark. It’s cold. Not all that cold, objectively – so far it barely scrapes freezing, even at night – but for a warm-weather girl like myself it’s bad enough. Except for a brief excursion to Iceland last January and some time in Germany in February I haven’t really had to deal with winter in several years, and I expect it’ll be a rough slog. There’s a big difference between spending some playtime in a winter wonderland and having to drag yourself out of a warm bed to trek to work in darkness and sleet, just like the day before, and the day before that. Ugh. I am so not looking forward to this.

I’m not caving in just yet though. Winter’s going to have to work harder than this to break me down. I’m stocking up on hats and scarves and mittens. I’m discovering – or rediscovering – tried-and-true winter coping mechanisms, like furry boots, extra-strength moisturizer, and hot toddies. The dutch oven I got for my birthday is quickly becoming my kitchen MVP as I fill it almost every weekend with assorted soups, stews, and braises. Take that, winter!

And there are some compensations. Ireland has winter, but it also has Christmas. I adore Christmas, and the lack of festive atmosphere my last two Decembers in Guinea hit me hard. But in Dublin the lights are up, the carols are playing, and everything smells like cinnamon. I love it. I’d love it more if Starbucks had peppermint mochas instead of those silly orange ones, but I suppose living abroad, even in Ireland, requires some sacrifices.

EDIT 12/10/13: Starbucks DOES have peppermint mochas, they just weren’t advertising them. Yay! Christmas win!