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  • That winter mantle some shrug on and off at leisure.

    I used to love it as a child. I found the chill exhilarating. Would lean out of my window each morning to suck in the cold air till my teeth ached. I could play in the snow for hours, till my gloves stiffened and my nose was red, impervious to touch or smell.

    There was nothing better than coming indoors, changing into dry clothes and glue-ing the soles of my feet to the radiator to get warm. Hot cocoa or milk thickened with honey would slide down my raw throat, while my parents read me stories I can only remember in a drowsy haze even now. Chestnuts burning through my woolen gloves. Skating competitions with my friends - who can stop fastest before they hit the barrier? Igloos and tunnels. Skiing in the moonlight. Dancing in ski boots in isolated mountain chalets. So many fond memories.

    But the magic of winter has long gone for me. For many years now I've been aware that I suffer in the winter darkness. I long to retreat to my lair, to not see anyone, not wash, not dress, just hibernate. Motivating myself to get up, to move, to do something every day is a chore.

    So why am I being such a hypocrite, trying to sell the beauty of winter to my own children?
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