Seven Lovely Things to Keep Me Warm

It’s been fluctuating outside lately. We had a rash of flurries and ice a few weeks ago, followed by a bit of a warm spell lately. And now it looks like it’s going back to cold. All this cold plays havoc with my internal temperature, so I thought I’d share a list of things I love in the winter.

1. Tea: Obviously, I ought to start with my favorite beverage. Whether it’s an infusion of my Gardener’s Herbal Blend (not technically “tea”) or a lovely cup of oolong, tea is my preferred warmer. I love nothing more than curling up at home with my hands wrapped around a steaming cup of tea. In the winter, I tend to gravitate towards richer teas: Assam black tea, Earl Grey, more-oxidized oolongs. And I can add a dash of milk to my black tea if I want something more substantial. After all, cold weather demands extra calories to keep warm.

2. My Cashmere Shawl: This is actually Boyfriend’s, not mine, but I think perhaps whoever gave it to him thought it was a scarf. It is in fact a lovely, large shawl that I can wrap around myself several times, or stretch out to cover my feet, when I’m curled up on the sofa with my tea (and, most likely a book or television program).

3. My Tweed Coat: Of course I would love nothing more than to curl up and hibernate most days in the winter, but I do have to leave the house occasionally. When I do, I wrap up in my vintage Harris tweed overcoat. Its only shortcoming is that it has only one button to stay closed and that fell off last week (It really was the most poetic ending to a bad day, actually. I almost had to laugh). But I can sew that back on if the temperatures start to dip more decisively below freezing again. My tweed coat is both warm and professional and when I wear it with my riding boots, I almost feel like I’m taking a stroll in the English countryside, perhaps about to shoot something feathered. Like a pheasant or a grouse. But instead, I’m often just hurrying in to work before the cold nips my face too much.

4. My Gloves: These are a new addition. They were a gift, and I have to give kudos to Boyfriend’s mother for finding the perfect pair of gloves for me. They have a vintage look to them (I even used them in the play I just closed) but they actually fit me. And the thumb and index finger have conductive pads so I can use my touch-screen phone while wearing them. I was never a wearer of gloves, likely because they never fit me well, but these are a daily addition to my wardrobe.

5. My Collection of Scarves: I have scarves for every occasion. In fact, when I was cast as an Isadora-Duncan-esque dancer last year, it was probably at least in part because of the scarf I wore to auditions. The producer said, before I’d even been cast, that the scarf was likely to become a character of its own. But in the winter, I lean towards cozy woolen scarves, in plaids with fringes, wrapped up around my neck to keep me warm.

6. Cozy Layers: I’m going to call this one thing because it’s often worn all together (which is different than “in the altogether,” which would be decidedly chillier). In the winter, I often emerge from my cocoon of shawls and blankets and tea cups to take an invigorating walk in the cold. It’s good for the circulation and I think the complexion (although I’ve never suffered for long from dry skin). But when I go for a walk, I don’t want to be encumbered by too much bulk, so I generally try to dress in warm layers and skip the full overcoat. I generally reach for my cozy oatmeal tweed cabled sweater, jeans with boots, a bright orange vest, and hat, glove, and scarf.

7. Cozy Crafting: Crochet is really made for cold weather. In the summer, I stick to lighter crafts, but when the temperature drops, it’s the perfect time to curl up with a shawl or blanket in progress and let the finished bulk cover my feet while I work.

I hope you enjoyed my list of cold weather essentials. Amongst what sorts of cozy things do you curl up when the temperature drops?