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Published on July 26th, 2016 | by admin

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SURVIVING THE BLEAK MIDWINTER

Namibian winters are the worst deceivers. After all, they’re not really that cold. But somehow they feel cold. You can be muttering about how damn freezing it is when actually the temperature outside is well above zero and will probably reach a more than pleasant 25 degrees later. But still we need a season to moan about. So a mild, very dry winter will have to do. In the northern hemisphere they can genuinely complain of ‘seasonal affective disorder’ because the few hours of daylight can lead to Vitamin D deficiency – literal and mental gloominess abounds. But here, it’s sunny and bright almost every day – giving us no chance to grumble apocalyptically about wind chill factors and the ‘nights drawing in’. If only the doctor would accept the Winter Blues as a good enough reason to get booked off for a few days. Instead, we have to opt for pretending that a mild common cold is actually a particularly vicious brand of the influenza virus to earn our sick leave. The NBC’s weather report has never been so depressing. Not only does Jennifer Moetie fail to forecast a deluge of Biblical proportions that will solve the water crisis overnight, she just brings news of an approaching cold front from the Cape and a livestock warning for the south. God bless this beautiful country indeed. Time then to check if the electric blanket still works and grab the old water bottle from the back of the cupboard while putting aside some cash for the Winter Knights campaign. And once you’re wearing an outsize beanie and in danger of smothering yourself with several blankets you may ponder the various websites listing ways to beat the Winter Blues. Or if you are too busy searching for the remote somewhere amid all the mountains of extra bedding, here’s a quick cheat sheet:

1. Exercise – Now normally, of course, you would be off to the gym every morning. Nothing like a vigorous workout to banish the Winter Blues. But why be so unnecessarily energetic? There are other ways of getting an endorphin rush, you know. Laughing for a start. So once you find the remote just cue up Comedy Central. I can recommend John Oliver, the Daily or the Nightly Show, and Jimmy Fallon. If you don’t have DSTV, you can always try the Parliamentary Report – which is known to raise a wry smile every now and again. Otherwise, dark chocolate will do. This may involve a tiresome trip to the shop, though. See if you can send the kids. Alternatively, practise the age-old exercise of raising a glass to your lips – preferably containing something alcoholic that says 100 degrees proof on the label.

2. Have The Right Diet – Supposedly this is all about eating more fruit and veg and boosting your immune system. But all that sounds like too much effort. Instead, buy in some ready meals and make sure your microwave is working. After three months you’ll look like a particularly corpulent unenlightened Buddha – but hey, you can always work it off when summer comes or use the rolls of fat for hiding some midnight snacks.

3. Personal Hygiene – Winter is usually the season for embracing your own body odours. Unfortunately your nearest and dearest may have to do some of this ‘embracing’ as well. But you know it isn’t that bad. After all, who really wants to change their underwear on a regular basis? Rather stay in the same clothes for days – if possible on the same spot on the bed. Toilet trips may also become a schlepp – after all it is a bit chilly. Consider investing in a bedpan. And the ultimate spin-off from all this malodorous indolence? Fewer showers,  lower water bills, and a real chance of achieving Windhoek’s 40 percent water saving target. So go on, you know it makes sense.

4. Intimacy – Supposedly cuddles help to warm you up. Going the full monty can make you even hotter and produce the required endorphin overload – but let’s not overdo things. The ‘quickie’ would still seem to be the most advisable form of sexual congress. And there really aren’t that many options when you’re struggling to move under multiple layers of duvets, blankets and eiderdowns. This option could of course be undermined by No. 3, but what are ‘friends with benefits’ if they don’t bring the deodorant.

5. Take Up A New Hobby – Like studying climate change science from the comfort of your own bed or deciding to catch up on Game of Thrones six seasons in. Apparently, it’ll take your mind off the cold – tho’ personally I wouldn’t choose a series with catchphrase – Winter is Coming – or a main character called Jon Snow. For a slightly more strenuous option try taking up karaoke. Apparently, belting out ‘Let it Go’ can work wonders until you remember it’s from a film called ‘Frozen’.

6. Adopt a New Fashion – As longs as this involves covering your straggly, unkempt hair in an old Man Utd beanie (Ferguson era) 24/7 you should be okay. For a slightly trendier option try wearing a Leicester City bucket hat – not as warm but definitely a better look. The main thing here is to get your layers and timings right. There’s nothing worse than being caught in a fleeced jacket with a stuck zipper in the midday heat. As for footwear, wearing Uggs inside and outside will get you through the worst of winter. Just remember to ‘febreze’ them in August.


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