Winter was picturesque, and the lyrics to our favourite Christmas songs fit our situation like a snow-encrusted glove, year after year as we clipped holly (the kind with the berries, my mum said it bought good luck) in the woods, bundled in huge winter duffle coats with our scarves strapped across our chests like harnesses. I never knew anything other than a white Christmas.
Naively assuming that most places in England benefited from the same weather, when I moved to Hampshire it was disappointing to say the least to discover that Winter was largely a soggy affair; and whilst it was true that this meant less time slipping on black ice or ruining my suede boots in the slush and sleet, it also meant my white Winter wonderlands were no more. The beauty of my childhood, those white, fondant blankets of perfection were lost.
In 2001, two bundles of Siberian happiness bounced into our lives, with a new perspective on the closing season of the year. After what seemed like a million (unsolicited) husky and sledge comments, we finally did it. We bought a rig. No snow needed. We headed to the forest, hooked up the boys and gingerly learned to mush.
With the heartbreaking loss of our white wolf, Casanova, to cancer this year it wouldn't be fair of us to expect Excalibur to pull either of us alone this Winter; but Our Little Adventurer can ride, and this weekend was his first time.
Tiny bodies get cold and grumpy very easily in December air, and so we headed out to our favourite supermarket at the bottom of the hill to gather hot chocolatey supplies and baking ingredients that would put warmth and happiness into our little boys' bellies. We had to ask for the BIG bar of chocolate...it seems everyone has the same idea at this time of year!
Debuts should be memorable, and magical...especially Winter ones.