If there's one thing that being holed up during a Canberra winter has taught me is that it could be worse. I'm a fan of winter, always have been. I'm a fan of Canberra too. Have been for a long time now.
Sure, we're landlocked, and I'm aching to spend some time on the beach, sand between my toes and the afternoon sun on my back, but there's plenty to do here. We just have to think a little more broadly.
Here are some reasons to love Canberra during winter. Or even just some reasons to love winter. I couldn't think of a better city to be spending this season in.
Wine and dine
We've all had to teach ourselves how to cook again. Or brush up on some skills. We've had time to experiment with the slow cooker and tinker with one-pot meals that we can put in the oven while we pour a bath or head out for a walk. Lamb shanks are our new best friend.
And wine masterclasses via Zoom. It's been way too easy to spend a night with winemakers such as Nick Spencer or Chris Carpenter. In their loungerooms. In their tracksuit pants. Having the time to learn stuff you'd never pick up just asking for a class at the bar somewhere.
And the best part? We've had time to think about supporting local producers. Time to think about it, but time to actually do it too.
When you've spent most of the day in your house is there anything better than heading out for some fresh air? Even if it's just a walk around the block, or something further afield, discovering some of Canberra's secret walks.
We've been blessed with this lockdown weather, let's be grateful for that.
Sure these past couple of weeks have been shrouded in morning fog, but the afternoons have been fabulous. And we've all felt better for it. We need to do more of it, more regularly, even when it's not the only escape.
You can rug up
Lockdown has been good for this, hasn't it? Spending days in comfy, warm clothes. Elastic waist bands. Our office was warm. Too warm. Apparently most offices are set to the preferred temperature of the men in the office. Women like their working space to be a little cooler. Here I can keep it as chilly as I want. You can always put on more layers.
It used to pain me to have to strip down to bare arms in the middle of winter in the office. I'm done with that.
I miss sport
Is there anything better than a sideline on a Saturday on a fresh winter's day? Nope. I've missed that more than I thought I would. I haven't missed playing sport and have decided to have a season off. Having a whole weekend has been fantastic. But I've missed watching the kids play, or popping around the corner to watch a local rugby game. Probably more so than I've missed heading up to watch the Raiders or the Brumbies in the big show.
When you're not allowed to go out, it's given you a better appreciation of being in. We've all nested a little, haven't we? Filled our homes with cushions and throws and comfort. There's a lot to be achieved from your couch. Whether it be a work project or that trashy novel you've been meaning to knock over. No one needs to know where your productive base is located.
No one needs to know if you've slept in a little either. Mornings that are dark and, even better, if it's raining and the noise on the roof lulls you back to sleep. What reason is there to get up anyway if you can't do the washing, or mow the lawn.
Or get up and put something in the slow cooker and go back to bed with a book. Just make that Zoom meeting. Waist up.
Season of promise
There'll be an end to all of this. We have to believe that. Just as winter gives way to spring, all this business has to pass.
We need to appreciate what this has brought us, be grateful for all the positives that have come from it, closer relationships, a better understanding of what's essential in our lives.
There will be sunshine again. Believe in that.