With the promise of fresh starts, holiday breaks and cheap champagne behind us, January is mostly just very cold. Like, record-breakingly cold. So cold, in fact, that the prospect of doing anything other than planting yourself firmly on your couch, emerging from a mountain of blankets only to order take out and stow away the leftovers, is horrible. You're probably getting cold just thinking about it.
So, instead of contemplating the post-shower scramble to clothe yourself in fuzzy socks as quickly as possible, think about something else! Recalling fond memories, for example, has been shown to make you feel warmer. Listening to Pet Sounds on repeat may not be another scientifically demonstrated alternative, but it probably couldn't hurt. Nor could basking in literature set in hot, tropical climates, or during the lull of summer. To arm yourself with an extra blast of warmth this winter, read what these classic authors had to say about sunny, happy days:
"Summer is the time for squabbles. In winter, we must protect one another, keep each other warm, share our strengths." -- George R.R. Martin
"I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days -- three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain." -- John Keats, Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne
"Give me the splendid, silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling." -- Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
"Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside; candles at four o'clock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without." -- Thomas de Quincey
"She loved the roughness of the dry mountain grass under her palms, the smell of the thyme into which she crushed her face, the fingering of the wind in her hair and through her cotton blouse, and the creak of the larches as they swayed to it." -- Edith Wharton, Summer
"Dandelion wine. The words were summer on the tongue. The wine was summer in a bottle. It was all the warm afternoons and the cloudless skies, stoppered tight; to be opened, said the label, on a January day with snow falling fast." -- Ray Bradbury
"Summertime, oh, summertime, pattern of life indelible, the fade-proof lake, the woods unshatterable, the pasture with the sweetfern and the juniper forever and ever..." -- E.B. White, "Once More to the Lake"
"The sun burst upon the crowded city in clear and radiant glory. Through costly-coloured glass and paper-mended window, through cathedral dome and rotten crevice, it shed its equal ray." -- Charles Dickens
"I believe in some blending of hope and sunshine sweetening the worst lots." -- Charlotte Brontë, Villette
“Music brings a warm glow to my vision, thawing mind and muscle from their endless wintering." -- Haruki Murakami, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
"I believe we should all behave quite differently if we lived in a warm, sunny climate all the time." -- Noël Coward, Brief Encounters
"Who doth ambition shun
And loves to live i' th' sun,
Seeking the food he eats
And pleased with what he gets,
Come hither, come hither, come hither.
Here shall he see
But winter and rough weather."
-- William Shakespeare, As You Like It
"Ah, in those earliest days of love how naturally the kisses spring into life! So closely, in their profusion, do they crowd together that lovers would find it as hard to count the kisses exchanged in an hour as to count the flowers in a meadow in May." -- Marcel Proust, Swann's Way