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Bringing lighter moments to wintry days


A tongue-in-cheek look at bringing lighter moments to wintry days by the editor

January and February are thought to be dismal and grey, hey this is SW France and the sun still shines, some of the time at least!  That said, I know that many people are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  SAD is caused by a combination of darker days and poorer weather, limiting our access to natural daylight and sending our biological circadian rhythm off beat.  Never one to lay low, I have started using my SAD lamp which, happily, not only looks quite attractive but it really does make you feel like you are sitting in sunshine, helping to banish winter blues.  My Salsa rhythm, never mind the biological one, is definitely back!

That reminds me, now’s the time to join those local dance classes again!  Despite the fact that I was the tallest in the class and the only English-speaker, I tried my hand at Salsa last year.  It certainly tested my ability to understand French instructions but proved to be a lot of fun and yes, funny, especially when trying to put on a sultry sway with someone who was under my armpit!

My personal favourite is the French jive.  It’s a kind of choreographed series of hand-holds and steps that are performed with panache (not panaché, the shandy, although one might help), rather than an exhausting mix of kicks and twirls.  It’s a real French favourite and, once mastered, you can dance with anyone to virtually any kind of music.


The other is the classic waltz which suits traditional accordion music, unless it’s one of the modern accordionists playing Black Sabbath, in which case it’s straight back to the jive!  Clear the room and try some of the basic steps in last year’s Jan/Feb issue at

Then, of course, we have Valentine’s Day.  I think it’s great that romance isn’t dead and love to see the hearts and flowers in the shops.  It brings back happy memories of helium balloons on the ceiling (for weeks) and pink, heart-shaped food courses at dinner parties.  In those days men wouldn’t usually consider wearing pink shirts, but they did at my events.

I struck lucky once, my husband had left some curry on a favourite blue and white striped shirt by a well-known brand (polo player as a logo) and it wouldn’t come out, so I stuck it in bleach.  The blue turned a lovely shade of pink but the logo remained blue leaving him with a truly exclusive shirt.  I did the same with a pair of badly stained shoes for my son, the crocodile stayed green but the shoes turned yellow.  Go on, give it a try and develop your own colour range!




Going back to my SAD lamp, it’s on my desk but I didn’t mention the added bonus, if you can call it that.  I can work into the night and still think it’s daytime!  Hmm, maybe I am missing the point….

See you when spring is nearly here.

Bringing lighter moments to wintry days

First published in the Jan/Feb 2020 issue of The Local Buzz

Images: Shutterstock