A Snow Story


It never really felt like Christmas unless it snowed. “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,” the radio crooned every December 1st without fail – the idea was so ingrained in the people’s heads that they were convinced Christmas wouldn’t arrive without it. Sure, it would turn to grit and slush a couple of days later, but for that first crisp, white morning, that first blanket of manna from heaven, only pure childish glee would surround the city.

Over the last couple of days of term school children would gaze out of the window at the grey skies, willing the temperature to drop, for the clouds to burst open and pelt airy flakes onto the eager earthlings below. Dreams of skis and sleds would slip and slide over the teacher’s maths lesson, colliding with the blackboard with a giggle and dissipating amongst the scrawled long division and multiplication. A collective sigh would echo around the room as the children turned back to their school books, scribbling half-heartedly, doodling a sprig of holly in the corner of the page.

Snowmen would pop up on street corners, merrily smoking cold pipes, frost bitten carrots stuck clumsily into their faces (and, often, lower bodies); once surly businessmen would slip and slide on their way to work, dodging snowballs thrown by giggling receptionists who hid behind snow peaked mounds on the common, chasing assistants with handfuls of the cold stuff to pack into clothing, all accompanied by shrieks of high pitched laughter. For those first couple of days happiness prevailed and all the troubles of the year were forgotten.


Winter Food: Shabu Shabu


All photography in this post brought to you by my iPhone & Instagram!

The flavour hung thickly in the air, flickering across my tongue and creeping down my lungs tantalisingly. I swallowed hungrily, saliva collecting in my mouth again almost instantly. The lid of the red pot was lifted and with a heavy sigh more fragrant steam was released, condensing against the cold windows of the conservatory. I stood against the sliding glass door, watching carefully as plates piled high with meat and vegetables were shuffled; I wondered whether the condensation would taste like the air and watched a single drop make its jagged way down the blinds, dropping to the floor and shattering like a liquid crystal.

Time moved in slow motion as my stomach rumbled in anticipation of the great feast ahead of us – was it ready yet? Could we eat now? How about now? Patience was not a virtue I possessed but could you blame me? It was shabu shabu season.


Dealing with Conflict: Kiwi Pavlova


Photo credit: David Mason.

We deal with conflict everywhere. Whether it’s at work, with our friends and family, or simply with a complete stranger, it just can’t be avoided, no matter how hard we try; stubbornness is a part of human nature.

I’m not a fan of conflict. I usually try to run away from it and am always the first to apologise in an argument, even if I’m not in the wrong, purely because I find the tension of disagreement deeply distressing. To be so anti-confrontational is not one of my best qualities and in these situations I usually find myself bottling everything up inside and then inexplicably bursting into tears of frustration and anger. This was my week.


Childhood in a Can: Drop Drink Review


Way back at the beginning of the Summer, I received a vaguely ominous email from a company I didn’t know asking me for my address so that they could send me a sample of their brand new drink. Normally this kind of communication would go straight into the bin but I’m a) far too trusting a person and b) they promised me that the drink would taste like pear drops.

Any of you who have grown up in the UK will know that pear drops are those beautiful little pink and yellow tear-drop shaped hard boiled candies (they’re supposed to look like pears but I’ve always thought they were more like tears… of joy), found in sweet shops all over the country (and M&S for those of you who were born in the 90s and beyond). They scream nostalgia, they break and rot your teeth, give you tongue ulcers and they’re simply the best sweets ever.

So I tentatively sent an email back to Drop Drinks and agreed to meet for a sample of their soda – one day my trusting nature is going to be the death of me.