Cool stuff to do for Winter Fun

<img src="winter fun.jpg" alt="Winter fun" width="300" height="241">

WINTER FUN – cool (not cold) stuff to do in winter

Loads of load shedding can dishearten even the most positive individual. I love winter, I really do. But during suicide hour for mothers (when you are tired from work, dinner has to be prepared, the dog walked, the laundry taken off the line, older children given homework support and littlies bathed,) one does NOT need another challenge. Of course mothers are the most creative people on earth (move over Picasso) but sudden darkness and half-baked macaroni-cheese wobbling in the cold oven, are not conducive to Happy Hour on the home front. Of course one copes creatively with whatever life brings one. Do we have a choice? Mothers in particular don’t; not really.

Past Perfect

It doesn’t do to be romantic about the past. Life was better in some ways but infinitely worse in others. But when the electricity goes off, it is not the dark and the cold, but the silence that I am conscious of. Millions of television sets produce an unholy noise. Human voices are suddenly heard, and instead of the ready-made focal point in the room (I am convinced people watch so much rubbish on TV because we no longer have fires to focus on while we share stories), people turn to each other and talk. So stock up on candles and solar lamps, wood for fires or gas for cookers and heaters. Winter is the ideal time to re-connect with crafts from the past, each other, entertainment that costs nothing, communal slow cooking and nature.

5 family fun things to do in winter

  1. Learn to knit – warm socks and scarves and jerseys and blankets (If you have enough for yourself, give them to the homeless and the poor) There is something immensely healing about creating something rather than merely being a consumer.
  2. Teach your children to dance – the foxtrot and the waltz, the salsa and the tango and the jive. It keeps you fit, warm and laughing, is cheaper than the gym, and huge fun.
  3. Make your own bread – if you have the space, build an outside oven. First the pizza goes in, then the loaves, and there is still enough heat for the ‘potjie’ (cheap meat cuts are more flavourful) and or the bean soup. Don’t waste the heat; invite neighbours to bring their casseroles too. Flat breads of every description are the staple of most African countries. Learn to cook them and you won’t even need an oven. Making bread is my occupational therapy, and it is so much better for us than shop bread with all its shelf life preservatives and bleach and suchlike additives.
  4. Walk – In South Africa we are lucky to have open veld, the sea or mountains within reach. Sunny winter days are ideal for ramblings in nature. Take a picnic in a rucksack, a bottle of water and head for the hills or the beach. All that fresh air will energise you.
  5. Talk – Believe it or not, there is an old fashioned therapy that used to keep families together: They communicated regularly. Indoor living in winter lends itself to this strange ancient ritual.

IT DOESN’T SOUND LIKE ANYTHING MUCH, BUT YOU WILL BE AMAZED: TRY IT!

 Author:  Suenel Bruwer Holloway

Suenel lives in the country and does a lot of laundry, walks dogs, gardens and cooks. She also writes. She will opine on any topic, so contact her on florabundu@lando.co.za if you want an opinion piece and are brave enough.