I try to resist it each year, but have to admit that at times I really do hate winter. It just doesn't come naturally to me to sit indoors while it is cold outside. Everything I like doing is outside - the allotment, gardens, camping, walking, sitting out and so on. I am generally happy as long as I can be outdoors comfortably. All winter I feel like a battery hen and by the start of February the cabin fever is reaching its peak.
So far this winter I have read the whole Twilight saga, watched umpteen films, scoured the internet for bargains, and generally trodden water in any way possible till the warmer season hits.
I do suspect that perhaps the hibernation every year recharges my creative batteries for the year ahead?
So it is an especially lovely bit of light relief when someone in the blogosphere remembers that I exist, and sends a lovely comment my way. After a particularly drab but stressful day (if that combination isn't too much of an oxymoron), the lovely mangocheeks at Allotment2Kitchen woke me out of my restless boredom with her lovely my favourite photo meme. We have blogged together through thick and thin, and I am in awe of someone who can create so many new recipes so often. A true talent and a fantastic inspiration.
And I instantly knew which one I would choose:
I may be cheating here by putting a photo of the girls rather than myself. It also may be cheating to put a photo on where they can't be recognised, in these days of internet paranoia. It's not even the best quality photo I have by a long stretch. And yet...
It sums up for me that warm, sunny, carefree childhood feeling. My little girls in a haze of sun, their fine hair shining like halos round their heads. Surrounded by lavender in our local area, our main claim to fame and the plant that connects me to the land here in so many ways. The loveliest thing about the photo is that it will always remind me of their complete childlike joy that day. Their fresh enthusiasm for every new experience that comes their way, their excitability when I take them places that I love. Their love for me, which I never feel I deserve, and their love of life. I hope I can give them a childhood that captures that feeling for them, and bottles it forever. In some ways, my girls feel like two halves of me anyway - they share my looks in totally different ways, they share different character traits. For me, it is like watching a ying and yang of different halves of yourself - if that isn't too selfish a way of looking at it.
I have never done this before, so I apologise if it is intrusive, but I would love to pass this sentiment on to just some of the bloggers that make the online world so colourful.
First and foremost, my amazing sister-in-law at Marble-Rose. I can't really describe how much inspiration and camaraderie I have got from her over the years. Her beautiful, talented and fun personality has brightened some of the darkest days we have had. I would love to see what photo she would choose.
Nic from Nipitinthebud has been a constant presence and inspiration, and yet I would be intrigued to find out more about her.
Kella from Kellasmusings would have been my next one, but she started it off, so I can't ask her to be involved.
Kilbournegrove provides me with so much inspiration and house/garden envy from Canada, and I would be intrigued to learn more.
From the Stanley Road allotment site, Alithefrog has a fantastic blog and puts my gardening efforts to shame!
The ScatteredGardener is another brilliant inspirational blogger from sunny South London, and I hope you won't mind me namechecking you here.
I would also love to pass this to Matron from Downontheallotment, who provides lots of ideas and brilliant competitions that I will enter one day when I have something worth entering!
I hope this brings a bit of cheer to someone during the long winter season.