Katherine Watson celebrates the season with a few pastoral peregrinations. Warning: the following article contains strong language.
November and December have taken on a shiny significance in recent years, boosted by the increasing theatricality of Halloween in October (clowns anyone?), leading to a month of autumnal hygge (the famous Danish word for cozy-comfy-rucking-up-theleaves-and-eating-cake), ears ringing with the theme tune from Strictly.
This then tumbles into four weeks of Christmassy gemütlichkeit (hygge in German), winter weekend walks with a tartan-clad pooch and a general sense of gezelligheid (Dutch for gemütlichkeit).
So let’s celebrate all things outdoorsy this winter and create our own vocabulary of loveliness to compete with the sophistication of our neighbours. As the Victorians pretty much invented Christmas, it seems fitting to revive some of their wonderful old words that will fit the bill nicely.
You could get together with your chuckaboos (close friends) and explore some lovely winter walks in Greater Manchester and beyond. Rivington Pike and Werneth Low offer fabulous views, or for something a bit closer, try walks in Worsley village or at the vast Etherow Country Park in Stockport. You might choose to batty-fang said chuckaboos (thrash them thoroughly) at a festive game of winter tennis in one of our local parks. Getting your daddles (hands) dirty is a must – plant lots of pots of winter pansies and violas and put them somewhere visible from the house – a no-brainer for a gigglemug (perpetually smiling face). If you’ve got the morbs (temporary melancholy) though, a visit to Tatton Park for the Christmas lantern parade (on 25 November) will find you nanty narking (enjoying yourself) in no time.
Finally, in this season of partying, there’s nothing better than inviting some whooper ups (rowdy singers) over for a sing-song around a decorated tree in the garden (or festive window box). Keep the maffiking private, though – you don’t want any collie shingles with the mutton shunters (one perambulation too far?).