We're hovering at around 7 degrees C, and it's not nice at all. If I don't get up and do something every half hour or so my fingers get so cold they feel like they can snap off. Sometimes I clean the apartment with a Swiffer it's taken over the yoga mat as the exercise equipment of choice because all that to and fro movements warms up the muscles in the shoulder nicely. Sometimes I feel guilty about using Swiffer and swiffer-like products, because well, after it electrostatically attracts all that dust and dog hairs we have to throw it away, but then I justify to myself that at least I am not holding a cold wet cloth and faffing around with detergents and chemicals, and if I cut down on kitchen paper and loo paper usage it evens out somewhat. Perhaps so, maybe.
I am supposed to be revising, or at least reading, in this case a Margaret Fraser mediaeval thriller translated into French. A storybook contains thousands of ready made sentences with lots of conjugations and new words, at least that's how I rationalise it, instead of copying verbs. Or otherwise finish the bindings on a set of placemats before CNY, and if possible make some hairbands for C when we visit London next week (that'll have to wait until March, actually). Instead, I play wordgames and read blogs, and gawp at videos of ministers b*nking their 'personal' frieds and salacious pictures of Edison Chen and various starlets having s** - all I could think of was, gee when we first got our digital camera that's what we used to do too, husband and I, but paranoid him always made me delete them afterwards.
All this coldness too has been making me more peckish than ever. Up till last week the snack of choice was sugar-glazed nuts which we make ourselves since it's so difficult to find sweet roasted nuts in the supermarkets. Sugar and ground up green tea was a good combination, sugar and curry powder also worked, but sugar and lemon peel was not so great. Then we took a bus to the Chapelle / Montmartre area last Saturday and discovered lots of Indian groceries. Alamak, they have Baba's curry pastes, high grade basmati rice and a smacking selection of vacuum-sealed snacks such as the murukku above. The murukku was great, so much fresher than what I could get back home. Next up, bhel puri flavoured munchies, I can't wait.
In between, we are coping with the weather by eating lots of clementines. Mother nature knows the winters bring sniffles and colds and clementines are just the thing, especially the 'soucculent' ones from a little-bit-faraway Spain.
For dinners we have beefstews made with miso, kimchi soups, and lots of pureed soups of pumpkins, parsnips, topinambours and whatever root vegetables are cheapest and freshest. For the weekends, hotpots. Next week, for the first time in my life, we will have hotpot for CNY reunion dinner. We'll put a whole chicken into the stockpot to make a super soup and then we'll dunk in scallops and whatever yummy seafood and meat we will find in the market.