Well, the winter continues relentlessly and the start of all of my Pilates classes is characterised with everyone saying how fed up and COLD they are right now. To a certain extent, this is part of being British. We grumble and moan about the cold, the heat, the rain, the leaves on the line. If you took the weather away from us as a conversational pivot we’d possibly flail about aimlessly until we settled upon “shall I put the kettle on?”.
However, there is something different about this grumbling. Everyone is utterly fed up of being cold. Most of my clients are noticing their aches and pains are flaring up and everyone feels scrunched up and tense because of huddling shoulders up to ears in defence against the biting wind.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) will certainly have a few more sufferers within this gloom. It’s the greyness that has the overriding effect…sunny and cold is a delight, brisk and life affirming as you see your breath cloudy and floating into the brightness and all colours are heightened and happy. But gloomy grey like a bad tempered headmaster sitting on your head constantly for 5 months is bound to take its toll.
British people are like lizards, when the sun shines we instantly want to feel it on our skin and allow the warmth to seep into our bones. When I lived in Japan I remember a brightly sunny vaguely warm day in spring brought all of us gaijins onto our balconies in t-shirts and shorts, hungrily stripping off as far as was decent in order to feel the sun draping its warmth over as much skin as possible, in a celebratory mood, while our Japanese neighbours looked on in bemusement..it was a mild spring day but certainly not summer yet.
Sunshine is never taken for granted by us Brits, at any moment it might scuttle away (and you certainly can’t plan a picnic more than 4 hours in advance) so we race out to soak it up while we can, even if this means being slightly chilly while we try and tan our legs.
Having just been in Sri Lanka the most striking difference you notice between beautifully hot countries and the UK is the vibrant colours, the abundance of colour everywhere, in clothing, buildings, woven into the fabric of life, into the mood even? I wonder if there is a link between your mood and the warmth, the colour that surrounds you.
Certainly in Sri Lanka and in my travels in Thailand I have always wanted to embrace the spirit and colour and buy bright fabric and clothes with opulent orange, pops of pink, turquoise, emerald greens …only to find when they come home they seem slightly garish and incongruous set against the tempered greys and browns of home.
But I think now we need a shot of warmth and uplift that colour can bring seeing as this winter ain’t going nowhere for a couple of weeks.
I’m starting with a coral necklace today, and perhaps coral nail varnish too. A sweep of golden bronzey blusher to highlight the last of my fading tan and uplift my anaemic skin, and some bright blue jeans to make my legs look jaunty.
I’m also heading to b&q to buy some “palm springs” teal/turquoise paint, to give one wall in our home and my studio a sun-soaked feel of Sri Lanka …even the name of the paint makes me feel warmer.
I saw the sun this morning and it made my heart leap…turns out it was just passing and didn’t stop for tea. But it is still up there somewhere, this is reassuring.
So, if you’re feeling drab, cold, tense and fed up as a lot of us seem to be right now, maybe have a think about the colours you’re surrounding yourself with. Commit to bringing a bit if brightness into your life while we wait for spring to finally arrive.
Until the next time…have a lovely Easter!