29 Oct


I hate winter.  Well, I suppose that it is technically autumn, but in my mind they are one and the same, ie. equally distressing.  Here is why:

1) It gets dark really early.

This is a problem both on an aesthetic level and a danger one.  A dark and gloomy evening does not please my eyes in the same way a crisp and sunny morning does, especially as the former really lends itself to muggings/general attacks.  Also, I am forgetful and sometimes fail to remember to shut my horizontal blinds, meaning everyone can see into my bedroom, which faces directly onto the street.  There is a small acer tree in the way, but because it is autumn its leaves have fallen off, leaving an entirely unrestricted view.  So now everyone can see me sitting on my computer watching Miley Cyrus videos when I should be working.  Or worse, in my pants.

The man from down the road who doesn't throw anything away is probably watching me.

2) It is cold.

I don’t like being cold.  It is marginally better than being too hot (Crete, 2010) but that is a rare occurrence in England during the summer.  In fact, I am far more likely to be too hot in England in winter, as everyone goes mad and puts their heating on all day to combat the fact that it is cold.  This creates terrible dilemmas when getting dressed; do you put on the thick knitwear necessary to survive the walk into university, or shiver all the way there and not boil yourself in the inevitably overheated lecture theatre you are heading to? Something of a temperature Catch-22.

3) Everyone gets ill.

Due to my clinical phobia of vomiting, this is possibly my least favourite aspect of these dark times.  Not only is it bad enough that everyone starts coughing and sneezing in the small enclosed areas that they are forced to stay in because it is too cold to be outside, but also the news starts to channel its inner Daily Mail and report every single stomach bug outbreak in meticulous and hyperbolic detail.  This leads me to either refuse to leave my house, or to wash my hands so often that they look like dead lizards, neither of which is an asset towards leading a normal life.

4) Waking up in the dark.

Anyone who likes this needs to have a good, long think about what is wrong with them. Bonus hatred point: it being too cold to get out of bed/get out of the shower once you have managed to get out of bed.

In the interest of presenting a balanced argument, here are the things I like about this time of year:

1) The clothes.

A palate of rust red, beige, dark green, grey, navy and black is far more favourable to a ginger’s complexion than anything bright and summery.  Also, the clothes are, in general, both thicker and fully concealing, negating the need for fake tan to make my corpse-hued limbs acceptable.

2) The food.

Barbeques = food poisoning parties.  A winter stew cooked in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius for six hours = delicious and a safe bet. Also, no wasps.

Even by my poor maths skills, I can see that four is more than two, and thus, that autumn/winter are dreadful.  Now, excuse me while I go back to slitting my wrists over this remark from my new nemesis, Aijaz Ahmad, ‘Rare would be a literary theorist in Europe or the USA who does not command a couple of European languages besides his or her own…’.  I am doomed to the life of a secondary school teacher, dropping Spanish after AS level was a terrible mistake.

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