So I write about Seasonal Affective disorder at work, I know exactly what it is, but I needed my good friend Jade to actually see the signs. I’ve had one of those weeks where I’ve been in an odd mood, I suppose you could describe it as ‘fucking sick of winter.’ I was loving it, I get to go hunting, light the fire, go skiing, drink lots of red, hot chocolates are fun and yet we’ve reached a point where I don’t really want to take Robbie (the horse) hunting because it’s too wet for him and I’ve not been lighting the fire to save wood for when it gets seriously cold. I’ve also been rubbish at self-tanning lately so I’m also finally a natural colour which I don’t enjoy (poor little old me).
Where has this left me? Well I have socialised and shared wine for once, but being the strong friend usually means that if I want to complain about anything remotely emotional I have to make it funny, which usually means I don’t get to the bottom of it. Luckily, I knew my old colleague Jade would be there to talk to on a particularly miserable Friday evening and she reminded me I got a bit like this last January (sorry to the other person who blamed it on January that I shot down). That’s all I needed, someone to listen and remind me that it’s normal to feel like this every now and then.
I sat on the sofa a tiny bit longer mulling over what she’d said and suddenly, the pathetic fire I’d lit that hadn’t got anywhere sprung to life. This isn’t a made up metaphor, the fire went from practically being out to roaring, it just found that little bit of breathing space it needed and took off…and I feel so much better already.
I feel embarrassed even writing about emotional stuff, so you should know that it’s a big deal for me sharing that I’m not always 100% bubbling over with exuberance, sometimes I get sad too. Perhaps I’m over sharing, but there is a point to all of this. One thing that came hand in hand with this winter grim patch was difficulty sleeping, only one or two nights but I can’t stand not sleeping well. My remedy? A hot toddy, sent me to sleep like a dream.
My Hot Toddy recipe:
- Squeeze out two fresh lemons into a cup
- Add two generous teaspoons of honey
- Then a generous glug of whisky, my favourite is Haig Club
- Top up with hot water from the kettle
- Et voila – sleep in a cup!
Why I love Haig Club…
My first experience of whisky is stuck firmly in my mind. I was probably around 12 years old, at the Fitzwilliam Hunt Point to Point with my Dad. A lot of the Point to Point racing features drinking, which now I’m a functional alcoholic is fantastic, but back then it was quite dull. When you’re small, you tend to be at beer belly height, you’re ignored, and you get the occasional slop of beer spilt on you. I remember Dad turning around to see if I was ok and saying “Here, try this,” with what looked like cold tea.
I have since learnt that when Dad says “Here, try this” it’s usually something I shouldn’t try, and probably the reason I have trust issues. My friend Edward was the recent victim to some chilli sauce named Vampire Slayer on the end of a cracker, nearly killed him, Dad I mean, from laughing. Anyway, it was whisky, I was young, I spat it out into my cream wool scarf and decided I’d never drink whisky ever, ever again.
I gradually got into Jack Daniels when I was 17 and if I had too much Prosecco at The Wine Bar a few years later, it would occasionally lead to a Whisky Sour. Then, one fine morning at the airport a beautiful lady offered me some Haig Club from what looked charmingly like an aftershave bottle and I thought why the hell not it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. The aftertaste was sensational, DIVine, so I bought one of the pretty bottles and it’s been my go to whisky ever since. I truly am a sucker to good marketing.
So there you have it wine fans, some serious whining, and some whisky.
The photography is taken from Helmut Newton’s book – I’m a big fan.