Winter warmers with a difference

Brrrr. Winter. We’ve never been the best of friends.

If you haven’t got a holiday to warmer climes planned, then you’re likely hanging out at home and waiting for spring to come.

And if, like the Kerrigans, your home is your castle, you might be at Bunnings every weekend or dreaming of being on MasterChef and testing your cooking chops in the kitchen.

Of course, if you’re going to the footy you’ll need to brave the cold, but you can always keep warm by jumping to your feet to cheer a goal. Otherwise, snuggle up at home with your significant other and think about making some babies (or just making zzzz’s) until the warm weather returns.

For anyone who feels like a change of scene, I’ve been carefully researching a few hobbies to try out when the thermometer drops.

Who said navel-gazing leads to nothing?

Let’s start with something you can do indoors! Some hobbies require you to learn new skills, or  a bit of natural talent, and some can leave you out of pocket. Luckily this isn’t one of them. Frugal flannel-wearing types rejoice! You will excel at this hobby.

Aussie man Graham Barker has become world-famous(ish) for picking out his belly fluff and storing it in jars since 1984. So if you have thirty odd years spare, a serious bout of ennui and a smattering of ambition to make the record books, what’s stopping you?

Graham dug out just 22.1 grams of belly button fluff, so you´re in with a chance if you have a particularly large umbilicus.

Take that you rascally scamp!

If you prefer something more physical (and potentially violent), take up your sword and learn to jab and joust with a Swordcraft crew.

Inspired by Game of Thrones? Why not join a group to practice outside and lunge and thrust to your heart’s content. If the thrill of battle doesn’t get the blood flowing in winter, nothing will. Plus we all know that secretly, half the Jon Snow wannabees just want to wear a hauberk and a cuirass to impress the ladies.

A word of warning though, be careful of wayward small children, pets and cyclists who may assume you know what you´re doing.

Out and about for a spot of owling

This one’s a hoot for those with a spare perch and no interest in looking ‘cool’. Simply squat somewhere elevated and stare aimlessly ahead. More points if you don Harry Potter glasses and remain steadfastly solemn. Reflect and meditate, and gems of wisdom will undoubtedly ensue.

Outside or inside, owling is easy to do but might cost you some rungs on the social ladder. Still, better owling than mulleting I guess.

I’d love to start a koala-ing craze. Hugging a tree all day, snacking on eucalyptus and being cute and cuddly sounds pretty good. You might not be any wiser, but endless hugs during chilly months can’t do any harm to one’s happiness.

Carve up the slopes

If you can’t beat winter, join it! There’s nothing stopping you from hitting the powder if you live close to the NSW or Victorian snowfields. It’s a great way to get the heart pumping and enjoy the novelty of snow for a short spell.

Winter sports have never really been overly popular, yet we’ve managed to achieve notable success internationally in slalom skiing, bobsledding and aerial freestyle. Stars like snowboarders Torah Bright and Dale Begg fly the flag for Australia.

With a teensy bit of luck you too can top the competition simply by doing a Bradbury and sticking it out.

No more singing in the shower

Although it started in Brissie, pub choirs are a huge hit. It seems everyone loves belting out a good Cold Chisel classic.

They’ve already warbled their way through a few of my favourites, Better Be Home Soon, Catch My Disease and Throw Your Arms Around Me.

With a drink in one hand and your other fist pumping the air while you try to hit the notes and keep the harmony, enjoy singing with strangers and friends alike. I’ll be there when Sunsets by Powderfinger is on the setlist.

So there you have it, a short roundup of a few things to try this winter. But we’d like to know if we’re missing something – what are you up to this winter?


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