As most of you know by now, I hate winter. I endure it because, well, there's no other choice, but in the world of wishes and dreams, I'd be the sort of creature that hibernates until spring. Alternatively, I would have the time, freedom and money to spend my winters somewhere that it isn't - winter, that is. But wishes and dreams are what these will remain, and so I have to resort to my fall back position and endure.
This winter has been/is being proper cold! Quite a shock to the system after a few years where wet and windy have been the overriding features of our flatland Januaries. We've been having sub zero temperatures overnight for a couple of weeks now and it's not been much over freezing during the day. This means a few things (some of the time) that I do like:
Sunshine! Yes, beautiful, cloudless blue skies with lots of glowy golden light! I also like the fact that even when it's cloudy, Dutch skies nearly always have a lightness to them and I never feel oppressed by the weight and density of the cloud cover the way I used to in England. The flatness has its own beauty in the cold weather. The endless horizons have a kind of mystical quality and in the evening light when the haze starts to rise, it is magical.
|The rooftops of Leiden|
Ice! When the ponds and ditches freeze over, it isn't long before we see the Dutch doing what they are born to do, and that's skating. I can't skate myself, but I love watching the way the Dutch relish and enjoy the ice. Whole families get their skates on and go out to play, even tiny toddlers, and of course the dogs go too. It is a wonderful sight, a real celebration of winter at its best.
Last weekend, we went for a walk in and around Willemstad with my daughter and her man. The ice skaters were out in force, the sun was shining and it was a truly beautiful winter's day. If that is what the real cold brings, then it will do for me. I cannot wait for winter to pass, but this at least I can appreciate. I hope the sun is shining wherever you are!