A lake in winter is always a peculiar thing, except when frozen over. Sadly, we were too late this time, but the mood there was just too fine to be left unpictured.
My favourite river has frozen over, partly.
I thought it would never come. I got myself into some kind of Yuletide spirit at last yesterday evening and finished three of four presents that had to be ready until Christmas Eve and went to bed thinking that at least I was in the right mood now, even if my fairytale town wasn’t.
I had an exam today, so I woke up quite early this morning. It was still dark outside, but though the gaps of my curtains I saw something waft down the street outside, something white…
The last two pictures are from my campus, isn’t it beautiful?
It really is. And here are some tips on how to stay warm, happy and cuddly on a dark winter’s night.
Clothing. One of the most basic (and that’s why it comes first) things you can do about being cold is of course to dress conciously. As often, the key is layering. I especially recommend wool or cotton tights, simple longsleeves over which you can wear your favourite T-shirts or cutsews, wristwarmers, legwarmers or gaiters, thick woolen socks, bloomers or cute shorts and additional hoodies or jumpers. This of course leaves out JSKs, onepieces, skirts and normal trousers, but I didn’t want mention the obvious neccessarily. In accessoires, the obvious – and here I can’t really avoid it – are scarves, fingerless gloves and all kinds of hats. Such things are often found in cute designs and even if you don’t find something to suite your taste they are easily decorated with bows, buttons and some lace.
Bathing (or hot showering if you don’t have a bathtub). One of my favourite ways to drive out the cold! Just make sure the water is hot enough (but not too hot) and you’ve got the heating on as well. I’d recommend chocolate or spice bath additives for winter especially. Something with orange might be nice, too. Combinable with other warming things, too, such as…
Tea. Any hot beverage will do (and you can also offer it to upset people), but spice tea such as chai is perfect. The spices don’t only add a certain autumnal or wintery feel to it but also will awaken your spirits a little bit (by stimulating your circuit). During the winter time most shops also offer some kind of mulled claret aroma tea or something cider-y.
Baking. If you don’t have heating in the kitchen just like us here in the little white house at the edge of the world it’s the perfect excuse to try a new walnut bread or cinnamon bisquit recipe. The heat that seeps out of the oven during the baking process will keep you warm and you’ve got something to nibble at afterwards.
Reading. One of my favourite activities during the coldest season is snuggling up in bed or my armchair with a blanket and reading out loud to the Scoundrel (and every other friend who happens to stop by). Reading out has become rather underestimated during the last eighty years, due to the high availability of other entertainment and media. As for the stories, we made it through the first Eddie Dickens book last year (read by Scoundrel) and The Exiles just recently and are thinking about the next book at the moment. I’d suggest nothing too serious, children’s books with a twist for grown-up readers (look for Neil Gaiman, Philipp Ardagh and Hillary McKay, for instance, the latter two being the authors of the aforementioned works) and children’s classics ( such as Anne of Green Gables, Huckleberry Finn or the ever-surreal Alice in Wonderland) are my favourites for reading out.
Cleaning. Another activity that I have found surprisingly sensible and quite handy. We’re talking the full program here, swab the decks (also known as floors) to dinnerplates, do the dishes, srcrub every corner of your home until it shines. It’s exercise and doing chores and avoiding additional heating all at once!
On heating: Growing up in very green households makes me want to avoid heating as much as possible. But I’m a very, very girlish one when it comes to the temperature of the bathroom, and I’m even using the heating on a low level in my bedroom during the day. Just make sure to let in enough fresh air once in a while! I usually have my window tilted when I sleep (and consequently the heating shut down) as I’m under covers and blankets and have a very high sleeping temperature anyways. The other occasional airing is done at best when you just come home from the colder outsides and aren’t wont to the warmth that a heated room provides anymore. This is the moment when I tear my windows wide open to let in the fresh air, and I shut them again when I’m acclimatised again
Oh, something that I forgot: Cuddle someone, even if it’s “just” you favourite teddy bear.
P.S.: Happy Winter ILD!
A whole week of not posting! That’s rather rare with me, isn’t it? University wanted most of my time, but now there’s only one more presentation and I’m done for 2011. The picture above was taken on my way to lunch break from uni, by the way, and I had to put it in in this size, to show you all the splendor.
Due to this week’s schedule I’m a little late with my weekly feature. I had to take the photos today as I left in a hurry and returned when it was already dark when I wore this outfit on several occasions. But the alliteration stays, so that’s okay.
This is an outfit I actually wore twice this week (and today), the first time to the fan meet-up with Steampunk author Gail Carriger of Parasol Protectorate fame (more about this great book series in a post of its own) on Tuesday and a second one for the book fair convention yesterday.
- blouse: once-upon-a-time H&M
- bodice: probably some LARP shop
- trousers: Takko, altered by me
- shoes: cropped-off Undercover steel toes
- coat: Pimkie (changed buttons)
- scarf: handed down
- fingerless gloves (unseen): local shepherd
- watch pendant: Promod
- bell earring/ acorn stud: self-made/ Accessorize
- hair clips: H&M
This is pretty much the city look I wrote about in my last post, and I love it. It’s quite influenced by my time in Frankfurt, but picturesque and playful enough for Marburg, too. When I wear something like this I feel like nothing in the world can stop me. I feel savvy, good-looking (rather than pretty), strong, I’ll-get-my-will-and-you-know-it like. I guess the biggest part of this awesome feeling comes from trousers and coat, the trousers make my legs appear quite long (and I’ve been assured that my back looks quite good in them, too) – just like my Savate sports trousers -, and the coat has something rather professional about it, as if it were a little (and more practical) sibling to the expensive woolen coats all the business people in my old city wear (I wear my coats open most of the time, I guess I just like the dramatic effect of them swinging).
I also think that this last part will become a regular part of the Sartorial Saturday, it’s just such an interesting thing how different outfits can make us feel like different persons, or parts of our personalities, at least.
When I was wandering trough the upper town about two weeks ago I couldn’t resist and went into the comic shop. Said comic shop is on the mezzanine of one of the old houses up there, pretty small and stuffed to the brim with things wonderful and whimsical. And just as I thought I wouldn’t find anything today and wanted to leave, a small, nearly quadratic book catched my eye. It was Mouse Guard: Winter 1152. The sign next to the book said that it was the second volume and I’m someone who craves for continuity, so I inquired if there was a first one, too.
And so I ended up with Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 and my heart filled with love for David Petersen’s creation and creatures. The adventures of Saxon, Rand, Sadie, Kenzie and especially Lieam, the little red mouse don’t need so much words, they are heartwarming without any explanation.
Plus, here’s the official site. And right after my birthday I’m going to get Winter 1152.
The little grey fellow that’s scampering between the pages and that fits so awfully well for Mouse Guard once belonged to my grandmother when she was dancing in the theatre in the Pied Piper of Hamelin in a ballet.
I promised you some more photos of my fairy tale town covered with snow.
Well, it’s not that much of the town but more of my way to university in photos and snow, but it’s fairytale like anyway.
The path at the riverside is a little bit difficult to walk at the moment, completely covered with a solid hard layer of snow, especially when wearing trainers instead of combat boots (but lacing up would take hours!).
The bridge across the River Lahn again. When spring has come again I’ll take some pictures from upon the bridge itself, the view is just lovely.
The botanical gardens are a quite weird place at night, especially when tucked in that white blanket. I made a snow angel down at one of the trees and then tiptoed around the old green house that was still lightened.
Well, I had to show at least one picture from town… I love the old doorways in the upper part (we are living exactly at the edge between upper and lower, and the doorways are old here, too.).