Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Here Comes Winter. Bring It ON!

It is officially the end of summer. The end of warm weather and playing outside all afternoon. The end of laundry drying in an hour (and there's barely any laundry anyway, a couple of shorts and the odd t-shirt). It is the start of the mud fest, both in and outside the house. It is the start of needing to find shoes, socks, jumpers, coats, hats, scarves and gloves and get them onto 2 small wriggly boys every single time we go outside. It is the start of Everest style piles of additional laundry which takes weeks to dry. It is the start of very dry chapped hands which no amount of hand cream can sort out. It is the start of indoor play, day in, day out.

I'm not pleased about winter.

It has arrived in a classically Bosnian style. On Friday we were frolicking around outside in shorts and t-shirts, temperatures were 30C (86F), way hotter than an English summer, and we thought about having a barbeque outside. Yesterday Sarajevo got snowed in, cutting off roads, electricity and phonelines. They had forecast the same for us, it has mercifully not appeared just yet, but it is cold enough for it. This sudden and dramatic fall in temperature is not unusual here. No wonder everyone gets sick.

Oh yes, winter has arrived.

But this year, we are ready for whatever winter wants to throw at us:

Winter tyres on the car? Check.

Snow Chains in the car? Check.

Emergency provisions - chocolate, crisps (I like to feed them healthy stuff), the odd packet of dried fruit in case we get caught in a snow storm and can't get out. Check.

Rugs, Blankets, extra jumpers and warm clothes in the back, again just in case we get caught in an unexpected blizzard? Check.

Radiators in the house all checked for faults? Check.

Municipality Heating on? Check - oh, yes, check, check, check - came on on Tuesday. I nearly cried with delight, we were going to be in for a chilly few days if they hadn't got it all sorted in time.

Plans for indoor activities? Check - although will probably only last for a week then we'll have to fly by the seat of our pants until we all get into the groove of indoor play. I'm still working out how I'm going to burn off the excess energy of two small boys in order to proceed with all the planned indoor activities, but I'm sure we'll work it out eventually.

Plans for outdoor activities? Check - the sledge is in the garage ready to go. Outdoor activities with snow not a problem, it is the piss awful filthy days when it is about 3C, raining, no sign of snow and noone in their right mind will think about venturing outside that are the problem.

Boots that are waterproof and can be worn in snow? Check - the obtaining of said boots deserves a post all of its own, but the end result is a check with two frazzled parents still in shock from the experience.

Summer Clothes packed away (bye bye small boy Crocs, I shall miss you, you are a lot easier than shoes, socks and boots). Check.

Winter Clothes unpacked? Check. How is it possible for the jumpers take up that much room in a cupboard?

Stockpiled Calpol/Calprufen? Check - not needed yet, but surely only a matter of time.

Extra brooms to give the boys to help brush up the mud bought into the house by boots and filthy muddy dog? Check.

Ok winter. Bring it on.

A HUGE thank you to those who identified the random fruit given to us by the dear old biddy down the road, for a quince it was. And we made jam. And the jam? It is GOOOOOOD. I'm so excited as I've never made jam before. Anyone else finding themselves with a bit of left over quince should try this recipe for quince jam which was incredibly easy (a necessity for me, I'm no cook) and produces amazing jam.

Also, the Best of British Parent Bloggers Carnival is up over at Family Friendly Working, so get a cup of tea and settle in for more tales from the parenting front line.


TheMadHouse said...

Sounds like you are prepared. It is sad packing away the summer clothes isnt it. I never pack away the boys crocs they were them in the house as slippers. We have wooden floors and socks slip! I have popped the boys gloves on finger knitted strings through their coats - he he he

Catharine Withenay said...

Blimey! I am so impressed by your organisation!

Would you like to come round to our house sometime and sort us out too? Thanks!

Muddling Along Mummy said...

Sounds like you're a lot more prepared for the onslaught of winter than we are

Glad they managed to turn on the municipal heating in time before you had to start burning the furniture!

nappy valley girl said...

You sound vey well prepared.

Here, the temperature is also rapidly dropping and I have no winter coat for Littleboy 1 or snowboots that fit. Snow is forecast this weekend, not for here but for the area we're going on holiday to next week (ostensibly to see the foliage - I hope it's not all snowed off).

Emma Louise said...

Wish I was so organized.. I need to pack up all our summer wardrobes and hunt out all the cardigans and woolly hats! Just seems like such s mission *sigh!

Mwa said...

That is strange, such a sudden onset of winter. I already have winter hands. They are horrible. And hand cream is indeed never enough and can't be applied often enough.

Nicola said...

Am facing just the same crisis in Chicago myself. Summer has instantly morphed into winter without due warning...and the worst is yet to come. Last year we had 5 months of subzero temps and frozen snow. Not the best combination of the elements to wear out 2 highly energetic offspring. We do have museums and the like to attend but they are very, even the boys are sick of the sight of them after the 10th outing in as many weekends. It is just so depressing. I am trying not to think about it. Must try to get a little more mentally prepared as you have done. Maybe it will help...

siobhan said...

I am currently awaiting the abrupt end of summer and the immediate onslaught of winter here. The seasons change here just as quickly, though perhaps not as dramatically, in Turkey.

What am I going to miss most? Eating in the garden. Can you imagine all the time I save on cleaning the floor of the mess made by a 3 year old and a 10 month old after every meal.

Do admire your organisation.

Metropolitan Mum said...

I usually have foreign-country-envy, as the grass is always greener on the other side, of course, and my hunger for a little adventure not easy to be satisfied. But this time: I don't envy you!!
I hope we'll have snow this winter, too. For a day or two that is :-)

Hot Cross Mum said...

Dear Brits In Bosnia, how do you fancy a stint as 'Brits In Ireland' as I could really do with some organisational assistance. I still have the boys heading outside in t-shirts and the occasional after-though cardigan to battle the Irish autumnal elements. oh, and an indoor play plan - I'll pay good money for that!

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

MH - got to be prepared. I wasn't last year and really suffered. I learnt my lesson!

CW - No! Sorting out one household has nearly killed me.

MAM - have to be. Winter appears from nowhere and then hits hard.

NVG - Do hope you manage to see the foliage and don't spend your holiday sludging about in slush with wet shoes. I learnt my lesson about winter the hard way last year.Was determined not to repeat the mistake!

EL - I know. It is such a shame to pack away all the lovely summer clothes.

Mwa - Took me by surprise. And it wa brutal. 30C to snow in under 5 days.

Nicola - I feel your pain. We should share stories of small boys in wet cold weather. I'll be thinking of you as my house is destroyed, again, by people playing rodeo giddyup...

Siobhan - Exactly. Life is so much easier in the summer!

MM - We'll have it, plenty of it. And then we'll laugh at the UK when they can't cope with a light sprinkling for 2 days!

HCM - Obstacle courses.

A Modern Mother said...

Glad to see you are prepared! Very organised. We don't even have gloves that fit.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you could all take on the North Pole with your provisions!

Hope you are all warm and toasty.

PS. There is an award for you at my blog. x

Potty Mummy said...

You know, I think I should print off that list and take it with me when we head off to Moscow. Alternatively would you mind just popping over and sorting it all out for us? It's just next door, isn't it...?

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

MM - gloves are proving to be a bit of a problem here too. Lost them already. And where is everyones hats? We had loads last year!

WofaM - Exactly. The problem is that the blizzards come from nowhere, and if you get stuck, you are really stuck. I have a tendency to pilfer the chocolate during the winter though, so we never have any left...

Potty - virtually neighbours. Sort of. By the way, cashmere cardigans at Zara for £50 and machine washable - keeping me very warm right now. Can highly recommend.