Episode 19. It's Looking A Bit Black Over Bill's Mother's.

Another great Midlands saying that cheers me up. It means the sky is dark over Bill’s Mother’s house.
There’s a debate about who Bill is. Some believe it's William Shakespeare. And as his mother, Mary Arden, lived in Stratford, south east of Wolverhampton, this expression is therefore used when storms come from this direction.
I’ve never coped very well with winter. In the past the though of winter depressed me. Of late I’ve changed my tune.
I still think people who are desperate for it to snow, are a bit saft. Why do you want to welcome weather which impedes everything you do? It’s not like getting snowed in is much fun, cut off from essential services, like we are here in Wales, especially when you haven’t been shopping. Then it’s just a major pain in the arse.
If I can’t get to work I lose pay. To walk in from where I live is OK, but the walking back in pitch black, with ice under foot, along the side of a river, is only asking for trouble.
That aside, I no longer give myself permission to believe the whole of the winter season will depress me. Although working in retail, leading up to Christmas, has its challenges.
On the bright side it does mean there’s loads of overtime so hopefully all my money won't come flying out of my bank account.
I'm not buying any more Christmas cards. I usually buy charity ones but as only a small percentage of the money ever goes to the charity, I’ll be making a donation instead. Family and close friends can have one of my home-made delights. After all it’s better to give than receive. Very true in this case.
Gifts are easy. My lot prefer to get cash. Job done. Not going to argue with that, it's another thing less to get traumatised about.
The real downer for me is the dark to light ratio forever increasing. Well not forever, only til 21st December, then we see the light again. The longer periods of dark used to make me feel like my life was smaller. Not any longer though. Seven more hours of darkness means I can use the time to get all my brightly coloured yarns out and make lovely things. I enjoy textile based crafts, so I’ll be busy creating joyous blankets, fabulous hats and jazzy mittens. I love using things I’ve made. It’s a good feeling. I still wear a fantastic cardigan I made for myself when I was pregnant with my 3rd child. She is 26 this year.
Photography is another of my passions. Winter, although stark and unforgiving, is incredibly beautiful. So I want to take up this interest again. I love to put images and words together. It’s an art and one I love. Going out to take photographs also means I go to places I normally wouldn’t and I get to enjoy being outdoors.
A bit of winter introspection, over a nice bottle of red wine, is good to help me see where I have skills gaps. It’s a great time to hibernate and learn something new, or brush up old skills with a good online course.
Writing poetry is something I find easier in the winter. Perhaps it’s all that introspection. As the darkness closes around me, like insulation, creative decisions are made more easily.
I enjoy my new optimistic way of seeing things. I am, in general, more or less always happy. Making conscious decisions to find positives in life certainly beats how I used to be.
I’m rather pleased it’s winter I’ve got a lot to pack in before Spring comes. So I don't care how black the sky over Bill's Mother's is.  I've got plenty to keep me cheerful. 
How do you get through the darker days? Please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you reading this blog.

© Gilian Cullis  28/11/2018


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