The sun came out briefly when I was outside the other afternoon. I was stupid enough to say out loud that perhaps we'd turned a corner.
We were about a week past the winter solstice afterall.
People laughed out loud, and I quickly recognised the error of my ways. Anyone who's lived in Canberra long enough knows that the most wintery of winter is yet to come.
September catches us out every year, those late frosts, the wind.
So perhaps July, midwinter, is time to hunker down, find those things that will take us through till spring, those things that will fill us with optimism and hope.
Here's what's getting me through.
Nothing like a thriller to get you through some long days. Especially when you don't have to think very much, even more so when the read is actually rollicking good fun, even more so when it's co-written by one of your favourite authors - James Patterson - and Bill Clinton. Yes, Bill Clinton!! Former US president, perhaps out to right all the wrongs in his real-life presidency by twisting some tales into fiction.
The President's Daughter (Century, $32.99) tells the story of Matt Keating, former Navy Seal and one-term president, whose daughter is kidnapped while she's out hiking. Is it revenge for an earlier bungled raid in Afghanistan or are there more sinister things at play?
There are some great insights, you'd think from Clinton, and Patterson's touch results in his usual great reads. You'll forget all about winter while losing yourself in this one.
It might say a lot about me that my favourite pair of shoes are my Merry People gumboots.
Founder Danielle Holloway grew up on a farm in Victoria's South Gippsland and when she moved to Melbourne, she struggled to find a durable and comfortable pair of boots that would withstand the commute and be comfortable enough to wear casually. She hit the jackpot with these ones. My Bobbi boots are made from 100 per cent rubber with a squishy 4mm thick neoprene lining, there's even a version with enhanced traction on the sole. My yellow pair bring joy to my soul every time I wear them. And comfy as. Available in calf length and kids sizes. And what? They've got trench coats now? merrypeople.com
If you're looking for something to fill the gap after the end of Bridgerton, episode six, wink wink ... then look no further than Netflix's Sex/Life.
The streaming service's blurb describes it thus: "A woman's daring sexual past collides with her married-with-kids present when the bad-boy ex she can't stop fantasising about crashes back into her life."
We all have that bad-boy ex, the one we think about in private moments (well I hope you do, I certainly don't) ... but imagine him back in your life.
Anyways, Billie, the heroine of this series, frustrated by the waning passion in her marriage, starts journaling about her wild erotic exploits (ooh, there's an idea).
Put the kids to bed and tune in. I dare you.
Or eat, or plant, I guess.
I look at my little vege patch and ponder how I could put it to better use in these cold months. I've got some scraggly spring onions which I pull up as I need, and my spinach, planted months ago, still seems to sprout new leaves. There's garlic in there somewhere. Little green shoots are showing. Can I eat those shoots, kind of like a garlic chive?
My friends at The Little Patch Vege Co. sent me a very helpful email the other day. Apparently there's plenty I could be planting this time of year: more seedlings of leafy greens, such as mizuna, spinach, pak choi, mustard leaves, even coriander that won't bolt to seed in cooler conditions.
It's got me thinking about what I want to be eating come spring.
If there's one thing that reminds you winter will pass, it's something green poking out of the soil.