OPINION: Do Not Mourn Summer, It’s Rubbish Anyway
By Grace Cook on September 27, 2012 in Society
As we bid farewell to a summer without sunshine, I for one am unbelievably excited about the forthcoming winter season. Admittedly, the summer of 2012 brought much joy in the form of Elizabeth’s diamond jubilee and the Olympics, and for once the entire nation embraced the union jack and all things British. However, the thought of summer is enough to bring me out in a sweat (non-sunshine related) for a number of reasons.
Firstly, my English-rose complexion wilts under a slight ray from the sun. On my last beach holiday I fell asleep on a sun lounger and woke up with third degree burns. On a similar note, during that one week of immense heat Newcastle enjoyed in spring, I somehow managed to burn through factor 30. Clearly, I’m not cut out for summer.
Secondly, I’m crap at having a summer wardrobe; my legs are always clad in 40 denier tights come rain or shine, which means dressing for infrequent hot weather is incredibly difficult. Thirdly, I don’t understand why the majority of men in Newcastle think a slight hint of sun is an excuse to walk around the city topless wearing cuffed jeans and flossies, and the sight of them is enough to put me off summer for life.
Winter, on the other hand, brings me immense joy. A total sucker for traditions, Christmas is my favourite time of the year, and the thought of purchasing new Christmas pyjamas to go to bed early and wait for Santa arriving makes me warm and toasty inside. Every year, I eat a Terry’s Chocolate Orange for my breakfast on Christmas morning, I always watch a film starring Hugh Grant and I always want the most roast potatoes on my plate.
Christmas films are among some of the greatest ever made (Home Alone, It’s A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street – I could go on), and I happen to count songs from The Muppet’s Christmas Carol as some of my all-time favourites. Always full of festive cheer, it officially becomes winter when Asda starts stocking selection boxes and M&S’ shelves are packed full of tartan tins of shortbread.
And of course, Christmas officially arrives in Newcastle with the arrival of the Fenwick Christmas window. Bringing joy to children and adults alike on Northumberland Street, there is nothing more festive than having your nosed pressed to the glass, enjoying a puppet scene from Santa’s grotto. As is having a trot about the continental Christmas market at Monument, keeping toastie with a warm glass of mulled wine and a mince pie, and afterwards attending Tyneside Cinema for their annual screenings of cult classic Christmas films, like the aforementioned It’s A Wonderful Life.
Winter also happens to be the season that the ballet and the opera comes to town, with Swan Lake coming to Sunderland and The Nutcracker showing at the Mill Volvo in November. And I’ve already booked my tickets for The Sage’s screening of The Snowman, accompanied by the Northern Sinfonia orchestra and for the Baltic’s Christmas afternoon tea party. And, for those not so festively inclined, the gig schedule also picks up once September arrives, and this winter Newcastle will play host to the XX, the Black Keys and an acoustic set from Patrick Wolf, in addition to local bands Little Comets and Maximo Park.
In short, Newcastle is playing host to so many great events that you would have to be really miserable to not find something to get excited about this winter. Even Scrooge had a change of heart and embraced the festive celebrations! But if you need a little help getting in the spirit, some words of wisdom from one Buddy the elf might help: “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear”. Consider that an order.
- OPINION: Christmas Is Brilliant, Get Over Yourselves