Black stockings, early winter magic and ‘oh seriously, its dark at four pm!’

‘Winter is on my head, But eternal Spring is in my heart.’  Victor Hugo

We can all agree that this has been the most freaky,  frigging year.  Take it from someone who has entering into her Third lockdown since February.  A brief moment of bliss every now and then, but by and large, this has been a spooky year and I for one, have had enough of the sucky, suck it up, stuck mode and even Christmas is at risk!

Actually let me rephrase that – I am almost at Christmas already, an entire month before the event.  What else is there to do, she wails, oh pray what else is there to do when work has dissipated along with tourism in general and every day is a little like … oh yesterday.

Go Christmas shopping.  Oh, hang on, that is not allowed for another three weeks, except for Wilko of course, so just to give close ones an inside – Christmas will be heavily reliant on Wilko.  And Chocolates, or any other foodstuff from stores still open.  Thank the Lord we can still buy wine, unlike the South African lockdown earlier this year that had me at bootlegging and possible arrest for the stuff.

This is the time when you get to seven pm and think, how will I make it to eight pm and not go to bed?  How many re-runs can you watch, I beg you.

I have done the English winters for over a decade, in London, but this never got to me so much as now.  Would make the most of the lights, restaurants, theatres and just walking till late so I didn’t know that the sun was going down so early.  The combination of lockdown and no light is a different, and worrying combination.

Is this an age thing – okay I know it’s a lockdown thing, which is great for blaming, but seriously, was once a time that eight was the magic hour for actually leaving the house to dine, party and stumble back in the wee hours of the morning.  Now, it seems, the bath and pj’s happen super early and there is no trace of make-up past seven thirty. Sad situation, she mumbles, bloody sad situation.  And it too shall pass.  I am really not one for looking forward to the latest rerun or building a puzzle at this stage.  This will happen in the retirement home one day.

I’m recording my life experiences by the season I shall be encased in black stockings. That is on a good day – some days the gym pant pull on for the muffin relaxation is standard stuff. And the colour is … merde!

Speaking of French, as we do, I have been known to prefer Paris in winter.  There is something huddly about it:  fewer tour groups who push their way into Galleries Lafayette and buy Louis Vuitton like sweeties, fewer outside everything and more intense light, still able to sit at sidewalk cafes under the heaters and walk for miles in the mist.  A good Pot au Feu in a local bistro, lights on the Avenues, but not this year. It will be next year.

In the lockdown, and the months prior, it is really interesting to see how different people react.  Many of my friends have literally locked themselves in their homes, doing home deliveries and I can appreciate that, if one feels this age is a risk thing.  I have also seen many, like me, that at least try to walk through London, along the river, up Hampstead Heath, in Richmond, anywhere just to get out for the sake of our physical and mental health.  Being locked up in a house in London, is not for me.  I am careful, but determined to remain curious.

One good little emotional love, is the yearly John Lewis Christmas advertisement, and I am still a fan.  Sharing kindness, and being aware of just being kind is what we all need right now.  I know I do. Tried to embed the video here but again, the woman is technically challenged – maybe this lockdown will be the time I don’t have to ask my children for help and work it out myself. That’s a plan.

Anyway, tomorrow will come … and the black stockings will be on, no more comfortable granny anything … and maybe it’s time to find the little skirt to go with them, like I used to. A red one.  Bont and paired with long black boots … now she is thinking … and then, without the trusty hair salon open, to let the hair go wild, like a Pre-Raphaelite, and put on the Barbour, check I have the face mask and go forth into the city. Sounds like a good plan.  Are you with me?