I've just been gardening. Even after all these years in Australia I just cannot get used to winter in the sub-tropics, and preparing for it brings it all to the forefront of my mind. There's no 'dead' time of the year here. Of course, we miss the excitement of snow, the tingle of real cold, the delights of an evening before a blazing fire and the ecstasy of Spring, but I still get a thrill out of knowing that the 'leggy' flowers I've slashed this-morning will bloom again for me in winter! I shouldn't really call it 'gardening' though; it's 'postage-stamping' because that's the size of our little patch. It's a wonderful sun-trap in winter though and we often sit out there in the sun when it gets chilly indoors. Australian houses are draughty in winter. They're designed to keep the air circulating in summer and so they're not ever really cosy. We have a staircase leading down into our lounge, too, so that's always a source of draughts. However, who's grumbling? Our winter season is June/July/August but chilly weather lingers on a month or so after that. Our winter is the same length as an English summer, and we all remember how short that is! (Sorry!) I hate winter clothes, though. I always feel ten years older when I'm rugged up! Now I'm off to 'season' my wardrobe, packing away the really summery clothes for a while. Very virtuous!