Monday, 8 December 2014

Let it snow, Let it snow...or not.

Here in southern Italy, Christmas trees are up, balconies are loaded with fairly lights and supermarkets are filled with mountains of Panettoni. Like, literally. I almost got lost among the stacks of this festive Italian treat the other day. Although let's face it, I wouldn't have had too many problems with eating my way out of there. Anyway, what I'm trying to say, is that Italians really do get into the Christmas spirit. Christmas time in southern Italy is fun. However, at this time of year two things begin to bother me. These things are as follows:

1. Lack of mince pies and Christmas cake.
2. The fact that, for the best part of December, it's still around 18-20 degrees outside.

For my fellow British expats out there, I don't even need to explain the first one. A mug of hot tea and a mince pie or four whilst curled up on the sofa watching silly Christmas films on TV? There isn't a lot that can beat that. Let's focus more on number 2. For me, as a born and bred Brit, Christmas for me is cold. Christmas is woolly hats and scarves, frost on the ground and, of course, being incredibly grateful to finally escape said cold temperatures to curl up with a mug of hot tea and mince pie(s) and watch silly Christmas films on TV. Here, that doesn't happen. I'm desperately trying to recreate the cosy, wrapped up feeling by wearing a scarf and winter coat, but all that does is result in me getting very sweaty indeed. Even the Italians who, when mid-November arrives, usually automatically change from winter to summer garments, despite the fact that it may still be 25 degrees and sunny outside, are still in fairly light jackets.

Now, there have been murmurings (actually, more like loud proclamations to anyone who will listen, accompanied by exaggerated hand gestures- they are Italians after all) that January and February will be 'unbearably cold'. Now, what Italians consider to be unbearably cold is usually about 5 or 6 degrees C, which for a British person is described as being 'a little bit nippy but not too bad', yet who knows. Really, I shouldn't be complaining because I might be tempting fate. We could be buried under a mountain of snow come Valentines day. However, at least then I'll be able to wrap up, and then 'unwrap' and get my cosy, snuggly, winter feeling; with a mug of hot coffee and milk, a wedge of panettone and some silly Italian films on TV. That'll do I suppose.

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