My friend and I have a theory that the month of November is rigged to be totally shit. Nothing good ever happens in November (apart from my mum’s birthday, sorry mum). It is by far my least favourite month of the year, followed by jittery January and, controversially, Awful August. Notorious November is just bollocks.
I don’t know what it is. Perhaps November was cursed by witches who didn’t like the model picked for the Truck Farmers 2000 BC* Naked Calendar they’d all already pre-ordered, so cursed November in a fit of rage. Perhaps it’s because it’s nearly Christmas but not quite, so we’re all sitting on the edges of our seats waiting to deepthroat three metres of tinsel but we can’t (unless you hate Christmas in which case, you probably love November). Maybe it’s because November is 56,000 days long** as opposed to the general 30 or 31.
It also just so happens that this November has been supremely cold… so, I decided to share with you all the ways in which you can survive the Worst Month Of The Year 000 BC – Present*** to prevent becoming a human ice zombie – which I’m halfway to becoming so it may be too late for me, but hopefully not for you.
*This may not be accurate.
**This, also, may not be accurate.
Eating whatever combination of shit + shit* you like. Which you can do anytime, but particularly during November.
So – this is not technically sound or healthy advice, okay? I’m sure that when I’m diabolically famous, the soulless husk that is Perez Hilton will rip this article out of the vault where he keeps all his celebrity secrets to shame me (followed by a sextape, a picture of me eating goats cheese with my hands and my Year 8 school photo).
However, as we’re not quite at that stage – and I’m terrible at planning for Perez Hilton-related personal downfalls anyway – I’m going to proceed nonetheless.
It’s gotten to that point of year where it’s kind of acceptable now to snowball downhill at an alarming rate. By which I mean, grow yourself a winter skin layer for protection (classically positioned around the midriff). Personally, I have thrown all kinds of toxic products down my throat in the pursuit of my survival skin layer – combinations so odious they cannot be processed by mere mortals. I’d try and write down some of the things I’ve had here, but you physically wouldn’t be able to read them.
Layer Starburst in-between two pieces of bread with Nutella, if you want to. Make a hearty stew full of Swedish meatballs and mop it up with bread that’s 350% butter-based, if you must. Wash your hourly Mr. Kipling Gingerbread Whirl down with a shot of eggnog and a single tear, if you feel the need. Treat yourself, and stick two fingers up to November – it’s necessary.**
*Not actual shit.
**I would like to clarify here that I am genuinely all for self-care and, would thus suggest not doing the above if eating shit* (see first asterisk) makes you depressed. That entirely defeats the point of this article, which is to defeat the curse of November. So do what you need to do for your happiness – but if that involves eating ice cream drowning in a pint of golden syrup, then go for it and cut yourself a little slack (mwah mwah).
I am horrible at dressing for summer. I do not like flowery pastels and sweepy skirts and painful sandals that lacerate your feet into several, bitesize chunks. I am far more drawn to big, chunky knits that envelope your entire body and make you look like the Grim Reaper’s grandma.
More and more often, I am donning these garments to work to cover as much of my person as possible, so that my colleagues do not see the ice that bands my eyelashes together. If you must pick only one antisocial winter garment, go for a ridiculously long, thick, wide (*sexy music begins*) scarf (*sexy music intensifies*). I have a scarf so long, it can wrap around my body thrice if needs must (*sexy music intensifies into infinity*) though more often I wrap it around the bottom of my face so nobody can hear the tiny, November-inspired screaming omitting from my lips.
If you are peasant poor, perhaps you can invest in an Innocent smoothie around this time of year, which I believe comes with a tiny woollen hat… Buy 10 and you have yourself tiny woollen finger caps. You’re welcome.
Adopting voluntary twitches/spasms is a fantastic way to make your body burn like fire. If you have ever watched Eurovision, you’ll notice that the best acts are those who are constantly moving around on stage while singing, which is why Eurovision dance music is always hot shit*.
Here is somewhere to start if you’re not used to making your body work. In particularly icy conditions, sway your hips from side to side in constant, rhythmic fashion. Slow gyrate, side to side. Slow gyrate, side to side… to side to side**. This keeps me warm around the midriff and makes me look really cool, too!
You could also go for a classic eye twitch, but be mindful to maintain this either behind your hands or when in private, lest you make eye contact with a stranger and they believe you’re plotting their death. It’s unfortunate, but now a simple eye twitch is taboo in this society – commonly perceived to be the mark of a madman. Much like balaclavas are now perceived to be the exclusive possession of burglars, which is a fucking shame, because I used to own a little red balaclava as a kid and NOTHING in the world was warmer. Goddamn you, fashion CEOs of the crime sector.
(An excellent display of voluntary body movements you could adopt, in the pursuit of warmth.)
*This is an indisputable fact.
**After much thought, I decided an interlude for sexy music wasn’t appropriate here, because that would imply gyrating is as sexy as a really large scarf. Which it’s not.
Yes, warm winter woollens porn is a niche I’m looking into patenting.
There are two types of music that are “most warm”, in my opinion. (Much warm, very celsius, wow.) That would be metal and Nat King Cole.
Why? Nat King Cole’s goddamn fine Christmas album is serious “hot fiyah” – thanks to Nat King Cole’s goddamn fine voice. Metal, alternatively, makes me rage, which in turn makes me warm, which in turn melts the ice around me so completely, the world fast-forwards to spring and flowers bloom*.
I spend my morning commute flitting between Mastodon’s “The Last Baron” and “I Saw Three Ships”, and there’s no in-between.
All of the candles.
I am sad to report that all of the candles are missing in the North, but happy to report that’s because they’re all in my house. Candles are one of your most crucial tools for washing away the despicable odour that November so often carries, and they also contain TINY FIRES that warm you up an equally tiny fraction. And, they look pretty.
Take extra special care not to talk about your candles as if they are your children, which I am regretfully beginning to do*… meet Ernest, he’s about six months old and already has great dreams about being a top expeditionist.
*I’m kidding. I feel it’s important I clarify that sometimes.
Hug everybody and everything you love. Hug your dog. Hug your best friend. Hug your second best friend. Hug your other friends. Hug your dog. Hug your books. Hug your partner. Hug your desk. Hug your candles (not lit). Hug your mum. Hug your dad. Hug your dog. Hug your expansive thimble collection. Hug your knees. Hug your bus driver. Hug your curtains. Hug your framed picture of Louis Theroux. Hug parked cars. Run out of the way of moving ones, to hug a dog on the other side of the road.
Hug everything. Bodily warmth is the best defence against November’s icy wrath.
And last but not least… 300-hour long hot showers.
If there is anything you can now acceptably indulge in, it’s 300-hour long hot showers. It’s pretty impossible not to indulge in this, in fact, as once you enter a blissfully warm, heavenly shower, leaving it seems like a death sentence. So just stay there for as long as you like. It’s also a great place to start practicing your Nat King Cole covers, for drunken family Christmas karaoke.