Winter is coming. My least favourite season (apart from Christmas) because of the cold weather. My sister, Debbie, and I are some of those people who are always bundled up in multiple layers, when more ‘normal’ people are content with long-sleeved t-shirt. We feel the cold. There’s a name for us: friolero.
Friolero (Spanish): having a special sensitivity to cold. Being friolero doesn’t imply criticism. It’s like being left-handed or lactose intolerant: just a fact about you. The word is affectionate, some of one’s favourite people might be especially friolero – and therefore in special need of blankets and hugs.
From The Book of Life
So, my sister Debbie has eight ways to stay warm if you are friolero like us. I have added a bonus tip at the end!
I realise that the UK isn’t anywhere near the coldest country on this planet. In some places I hear your tears can freeze on your face. But nevertheless, when October comes around, my thoughts turn to thermals. This isn’t a post about Hygge, which sounds lovely by the way, it’s about keeping warm when you don’t have great circulation.
Over the last few years I have learned that spending a bit more money on things like keeping warm is well worth it. I am miserable when I’m cold and as a friend said recently, ‘I hate misery.’ And generally, things you spend money on last longer and work better (this goes for camping gear too).
So this is my list of ways to keep warm during the darker season:
I have had many pairs of slippers over the years and these are the only ones that have actually kept my feet warm. If you have got properly cold by sitting in a freezing church or getting wet on a walk, warm your feet by the fire or on a hottie beforehand, otherwise the slippers will just keep the cold in.
These are excellent, I’ve got two. A Genki haramaki is a kind-of boob-tube with magical powers. It covers your abdomen and keeps you toasty warm – filling any possible gaps between your top and your bottoms. I also wear mine for Pilates – it’s long enough to cover your tummy and your bum. Lots more comfy than a thermal vest. It comes in lots of colours too.
A hot water bottle
I work from home and my hottie is my go-to accessory for feet or tummy! I made this cover for a competition (I didn’t win). It’s a bit big for the bottle, but that means I can fit my feet inside it.
Thermal leggings or tights
Mine are from Go Outdoors. There were some super-thick fleecy ones which looked amazing, but were over £50. And since I’m not planning to climb any mountains just at he moment, I thought the £6.99 version would be fine. They are soft on the inside and look like normal black leggings on the outside. You can also wear these under your jeans when it gets very cold.
Mittens and a hat/headband
My scientist friend tells me that mittens keep your hands warmer than gloves with fingers. He explained why, but I forget the details. In any case – it is true – even if it means you have to take them off to do most things. I knitted these, as you can probably tell. Knitting isn’t my strong point, but I got a massive ball of wool in a charity shop last year and it was perfect for a matching set. I found this patterns on Pinterest and found that after some trial and a lot of error, I could just about manage this headband. Last winter I made the mittens with a pattern from Martha Stewart, and even though they were the warmest gloves I’ve ever had, they were a bit too small and I had to bend my fingers over a bit when I wore them – ha! So I have just pulled them apart and re-knitted them with a couple of more stitches in the length and now they fit. So I am planning to have warm ears and fingers again this winter.
I was given one of the pretty recycled wool ones from the National Trust as a present, but I’ve also got one I bought at a market in Hackney, one I knitted myself (not very well) and another that my grandma crocheted for my mum. I sit with mine on my lap, around my shoulders, on my bed, and have been known to take one in the car when I’m a passenger on a winter road trip.
A thermal mug
These are amazing – they keep your drink hot and will not spill. I take mine out to the park when I’m pushing nieces and nephew on the swings and for longer trips in the car. Be careful, though, boiling water will stay boiling hot in the mug. If I’m making tea I leave the lid off for a bit before I go, because I don’t like burned lips.
I got some from the pound shop which I hazard a guess are not real sheepskin and they are toasty, but these real sheepskin ones look brilliant.
So do you have any genius ways to stay warm? We’d love to hear them, please leave us a comment!
ONE MORE WAY TO KEEP WARM
Last year, my friend suggested I get an electric blanket. Genius. But just a single one for my side of the bed. I hadn’t considered one before because Ryan gets really hot.
I have this single one with extra heat at the feet from Dreamland. It’s life-changing. Seriously.
Have a great, cosy winter.
*The links in this post may be affiliate links, where I may get a tiny amount of money for recommending the products, should you go on to purchase. This doesn’t affect the price you pay, or my opinion of the products.