the difference a coat can make
As a child, I hated winter. I hated staying indoors and wearing shoes and the wind howling through (not around, not over, not outside, through) my bedroom windows. And then I went to Stellenbosch and hated it even more. Our dorm rooms, with their small windows and age-old walls, seemed designed as refrigerators. I remember looking out at the snow-dusted peaks from my little desk, wrapped in all my clothes and my duvet. I walked to class in the rain and shivered through lectures in wet socks and shoulders.
Until one day, drenched and desperate, I ducked into a small shop and bought a coat.
And then a jacket.
And then a pair of thick, fur-lined boots.
And to top it all off, an umbrella.
The streets of Stellenbosch transformed into something romantic and European, a movie in which I was the coated star (complete with The National - England as soundtrack). I walked to class even when I could drive, sipping a cappuccino and crossing puddles confidently in my burgundy boots. One day it snowed on Stellenbosch peak; we skipped class and ran all the way up; I stretched out my hands and caught the fragile flakes. I fell in love.
"There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing", British mountaineer Alfred Wainwright had said. And if I gained nothing else for my university tuition fees, I learnt this. Winter is a beautiful season: real, raw, soft and gray. A season for texture. A year ago I married my best friend beneath a different sky of winter peaks, and it was magnificent. Our tables were covered in deep red pomegranates, burnt orange citrus, green-grey olive leaves. We danced around a fire and ate spicy root cake for dessert, and somehow winter added to the day's depth.
It's been a cold couple of weeks and there will be more cold weeks to come. Buy a coat, a quilt, a cappuccino, a cat. If you're wrapped in your couch with no intention to leave, shop conveniently with our winter range: https://xhibit.africa/collections/winter-warmth. If you're budget is sparse, invest in candles. But decide to participate in this season, to not sit on the sidelines until the summer months come, to make the most out of here and now. That's the difference a coat can make.