Friday Five: Winter Madness Edition

RevGal Sally gives us this Friday Five, and frankly, it came just in time:

Candlemass is past, and Christmas is well and truly over, here in the UK February looks set to be its usual grey and cold self. Signs of spring are yet to emerge; if like me you long for them perhaps you need ways to get through these long dark days. So lets share a few tips for a cold and rainy/ snowy day....

1. Exercise, what do you do if you can't face getting out into the cold and damp?
If the temperature is above 30 degrees, I bundle up and just deal with the cold in order to run in some sunlight. A mile or so in, I've warmed up, and I'm glad to be out there. I knew winter was getting to me this week, though, because I was downright snarly as I zipped up my vest and headed out the door! (If it's colder than 30, I head to the gym. And either way, I do a little morning yoga in the brightest room in the house.)

2. Food; time to comfort eat, or time to prepare your body for the coming spring/summer?
Both? I'm not sure this is an either/or question for me, as my taste buds lean towards pretty healthy food. Spicy food is particularly nice this time of year-- Indian has been sounding great this week.

3. Brainpower; do you like me need to stave off depression, if so how do you do it?
Merciful heavens, yes. Honestly, the best answer to this is also the answer to question 1-- I spend as much time as I can bear (truly despising the cold) outside. Exercise makes a world of difference to me in the winter. Without it, I would nap more days than not!

4. How about a story that lifts your spirits, is there a book or film that you return to to stave off the gloom?
For me, it's music that's most likely to lift my spirits. I've been on a Motown kick lately, but singing and bopping around to anything cheers me up and calms me down.

5. Looking forward, do you have a favourite spring flower/ is there something that says spring is here more than anything else?
I cheer LOUDLY when the crocuses first pop their heads up. They're my favorite sign that the end is in sight.

Bonus; post a poem/ piece of music that points to the coming spring......

Nothing is so beautiful as Spring--
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush's eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, the brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth's sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. -- Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid's child, thy choice and worth the winning.
-Gerard Manley Hopkins


  1. 'tis good to have a sunny, happy place in the house to exercise or uhm... nap like the kitty was doing! hee hee

  2. o, the hopkins! glory!

    I used to be able to walk in the cold. at this point, it seems impossible to get out the door. Not sure what has changed. but you inspire me!


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins