The Winter months in England can be the most uninspiring, depressing time of year. Christmas is over, the weather is crap, and the days are long and dark.
In a county where the main attraction is The Outdoors, it feels like there is literally nothing to do. It rarely ever snows here in Cornwall (apologies for the misleading picture), and walks in the woods become nearly impossible unless you have a pair of thigh-high wellies, or don’t mind wading through a two-feet-deep swamp of mud, rain and horse poo.
What on Earth does one do, you may ask, when the nearest shopping centre is an hour and a half away and Winter insists on preventing all fun?
Here are some ideas:
- Have a TV/Movie marathon
Grab some blankets, a loved one or some friends, and a ridiculous quantity of snacks, get Netflix on and enjoy a wonderfully slobby day. My personal recommendations include: Lilyhammer, The Killing, Breaking Bad and House of Cards.
- Take a long bath
Make yourself a long drink or cocktail, crack on some relaxing tunes and lay back in a tub full of bubbles for as long as you like. Take it one step further and make it a spa day (just add funny-looking face masks, nail polish and moisturiser).
- Try out some Pinterest recipes
Write a list of ingredients for some recipes you’ve been meaning to test out, get to the shops, and spend the rest of the day baking, mixing and tasting to your heart’s content. Here are my favourites.
- Join a club or gym
Gyms are expensive, but joining a club/class/course might not be, depending on what it is. There’s the obvious dance or yoga classes you could try, but why not check out what your local college has to offer? Many of them host evening and weekend courses for things from jewellery making to electronics design!
- Cook a meal for family or friends
Impress them with one of those Pinterest recipes you’ve been practising, and then pull out the board games. My personal favourite is Cards Against Humanity, but this may not be suitable if your mum’s there. Or it might be hilarious, as we discovered one evening at N’s mum’s house…
- Go ice-skating
Even in isolated Cornwall there’s an ice-skating rink! Sure, it’s half way up a mountain made of clay and will cost you an arm and a leg to get in, but at least we have one!
- Learn a new skill
There’s a tonne of websites that host free online courses for lots of different subjects from programming to economics to guitar (check out coursera.org). As well as that, don’t forget to check out YouTube for video tutorials on basically anything.
- Get creative
Grab your sketch book and try your hand at still life drawing, or set up a space in the kitchen to practice your painting techniques. As mentioned above, you can find loads of tutorials on YouTube.
- Read a book
Everyone’s always telling you that you should read that book, and this could be the perfect opportunity to start. Go one step further and join a book club, either locally or online.
- Do some DIY
Give a room in your house a whole new look (using Pinterest for inspiration, obviously), starting out with a fresh lick of paint or some wallpaper. Look at the furniture in your room; could you re-upholster/paint/customise it?
- Go swimming
Your local community pool probably doesn’t charge that much for an hour long session, and it’s definitely more fun than going for a jog in the freezing cold rain! Go with a friend and challenge each other.
- Plan for Summer
The best way to get through stuff is to have something to look forward to when it’s over (exam technique anyone?). Write a list of things you want to do in the summer and start planning to make them happen.