December 7, 2018, by Jem

Be Wise, Be Warm – An Ingenious Guide to Winter Living

We have become insipid and spiritless in our approach to surviving Winter. This nation appears to be content with the dreary same old, same old survival formula of a scarf, a beanie, mittens, and a thick coat. The drive to dream up creative methods of maximising comfort has been snowed under by complacency. Want more.

I see it as my duty to reinstate artfulness in the nation’s manner of living during the year’s cruellest season. Look yonder and discover invaluable Wintry wisdom.

The aforementioned formula is missing one vital woollen ingredient: a pair of long Johns. It is a sad truth that the torso is much favoured when it comes to the allocation of cladding and layers, with this upper bodily region selfishly enjoying the triple embrace of a shirt, a jumper, and a coat.

Long Johns ensure that the torso’s counterpart (the legs etc.) will not feel neglected, by upgrading the area from a one-layer Larry to a two-layer champ. Some complain that this undergarment is a superfluous and ugly item that provokes the wearer to overheat indoors and feel faint.

The illustration above presents a solution to the naysayers’ qualms. I have found that removing multiple layers when entering a building prevents me from feeling nauseous due to excessive temperatures. Moreover, adopting the stance depicted serves to parry any hostile glances or looks of disturbance cast by civilians.

I find it very telling of our generation that we expect our Winter garments to do the heavy lifting when it comes to providing warmth. Have we become so listless, so dependent on the autonomous, as to entirely shun our duties within this relationship between man and wool?

We owe it to our clothing to provide warmth for it to hold. For heat-retaining items to function they must first have heat to retain. We must therefore be athletic in our movements. Be bold, be nimble, be spritely, for only then may our scarves, mittens, and long Johns give the heat-insulation performance of a life-time.

The urban environment we are so fortunate to have within convenient proximity presents all manner of opportunities for Winter survival. Heat-theft is one ingenious strategy I have developed. High street shops and shopping centres often have powerful heating units installed above their entrances.

On the harshest of days, do not feel ashamed to linger in these entrances and indulge in the heady wafts of heat that crowd there. In order to deter any suspicion, squint towards the aisles from your hotspot as if searching for some particular item and maintain this ruse until your marrow remembers what it is to feel warmth. If security is sharp and your loitering is detected, migrate to the neighbouring business and enjoy their cosy climate instead.

Nottingham has been named the City of Caves. In the thick of a blizzard last year, I assessed that it was reasonable to duck into one such landform on Castle Boulevard where I outwaited the snowstorm in the company of critters, strange echoes, and a pint of milk. I have every faith that my time in that cave will forever remain one of the best months of my life.

There is a final strategy that I am somewhat reluctant to release into the public domain as it has been kept a family secret for quite some time. Know that in publishing this private wisdom a certain bravery is required – a legendary courage, in fact, as, from the skies, my ancestors will undoubtedly pour scorn upon me for publishing a Braithwaite secret.

Stuff ‘em, I say. It is unethical to withhold knowledge from those it could aid. For centuries, we Braithwaites have filled our coat pockets with hot mince pies. Not only does this delete the necessity of mittens – our hands are amongst a batch of boiling fancies within a pocket – but regularly nibbling the steaming delights ensures that our hearts are warm too.

Heed all that has been written here and this Winter you will be invulnerable.

Posted in Jem