Britain is missing out on one of the joys of winter

Carefree moments are rare things – especially in the middle of winter. That’s why I don’t get why more Brits aren’t keen to embrace the cold, and enjoy the past-times winter can offer.

A CRISP, winter morning has a special quality to it. There is something wonderful about walking outside to see grass covered in frost and your breath in the air.

These kind of moments are pretty rare in the UK, with winter characterised more by rain than by chilly weather.

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Plastic may be fantastic but only a real Christmas tree will cut it

Christmas is coming — and it’s time for the annual tree panic. If an  artificial tree just won’t cut it, then you might want to join the growing numbers  “choosing and cutting” their own Christmas tree. I visited a farm  to get the whole festive experience. South Wales Evening Post, Wednesday, December 7, 2011. 

I HAVE really fond memories of my childhood trips to get our Christmas tree.

My dad would take my sister, my brother and I out in our estate car, armed with an axe and some twine, and we’d travel up a snow-covered country road to find somewhere where an evergreen would be growing. The outing usually culminated — after a big argument over which tree to choose — with my dad strapping a less-than-perfect-but-still-beautiful tree to the top of the car, and packing us all home where mum would serve hot chocolate.

​If this sounds unlikely to you — a bit too Hallmark-card perfect — it might not surprise you to find out that I grew up in Canada.

Not just Canada, but northern British Columbia, where trees outnumber people by about 82 million to one, give or take, and there’s always a white Christmas. It has meant that, for me, the fake Christmas trees you buy in the supermarket just won’t cut it.

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