Despite the mild weather of late the threat of winter draws closer and the shortening of days reminds us that we shall shortly have to spend more time indoors drawing the curtains earlier in the evenings.
Most of us dread the dark chilly times, so here are a few ideas to brighten up your life.
Bring a splash of colour into your home by buying a new picture to hang on the wall or a window ornament to catch the light. Buy some flowers to add freshness and fragrance to your living room and while you are at it buy some for a friend. Sharing is uplifting.
Add a new scarf, belt or colourful pair of socks to your winter wardrobe and maybe while you are in the chemists pick up a new lipstick or nail varnish. It does not have to be expensive and the pleasure of experimenting with new makeup is not just a teenage activity – maybe not so much for men.
Or treat yourself to something for the garden. Plant some winter flowering pansies or buy a small statue or garden ornament. Take a trip round the garden centre and enjoy planning for the spring.
How about picking up the telephone and ringing an old friend for a chat and to catch up on the news. Make time for family and friends that you may have neglected in the busy summer. We all like a good gossip.
When was the last time you danced around the kitchen? Dig out some of your CDs or tapes or even records and play the music that inspired you. Sing along if you want to; pretend you are auditioning for X Factor. You could even dress up for a concert of your own making.
Go to your store cupboard and fridge and create a new recipe with what you find there. Remember “Ready, Steady, Cook” and the competition to make a meal out of limited ingredients? And if it’s worth eating perhaps you could lay the table with your best crockery and even invite friends to “Come Dine” with you.
Dig out that old knitting or needlework or go and buy yourself some new equipment to start a new hobby or craft. Try beadwork or embroidery. Or you could start Scrapbooking which has been revived recently. Find the old family photos and memorabilia and make a record of your family history. You could do this for your children or grandchildren and this will bring pleasure to all of you.
Before our lives became filled with technology, we used to write letters to express our thoughts and generally reflect on our lives in tranquil seclusion, in time we had set aside for the purpose. Why not write to a friend or relative and then you may well receive something in the post other than brown envelopes. As John Donne wrote: ‘Sir, more than kisses, letters mingle souls/For thus friends absent speak.’
Have a laugh by listening to a comedy programme on the radio. Radio 4 and 4extra will have plenty to listen to or if you have a computer you can look up old favourites on YouTube and while away hours watching and laughing.
Keep a diary of all the things that make you happy. You will be surprised how much there is once you get into a positive frame of mind.
And finally on a long cold dark night treat yourself to a long soak in a bubble bath and pamper yourself with those potions and lotions that make you smell lovely.
Please do share your ideas with us so we can help others brighten up their winter evenings – we’d love to hear from you.