MULLED WINE! Yeah! A brief mention of Pimms Winter (brandy cup, to you and me) is all it took to remind me of clutching a polystyrene cup gingerly with gloved hands and trying not to burn my tongue on the spicy yet STICKY warmth of the comforting viscous liquid, surreptiously sticking yr nose into the cup so the steam warms up your freezing schnozz (I am not the only person to do this??) – awww, marvellous! And that’s just outside mulled wine from rip-off patrons outside ice-rinks – parties with mulled wine are ALSO brilliant, the spicy FIZZ sitting in a huge pot and making your flat smell fancy, yum! And “they” do always say hot drinks cool you down! So why not make the best of it? Pimms no1 cup, BEGONE with your “mint” and your “ice”, I’ll take the cloves.

So there you have it,  MULLED WINE – the new drink for all seasons!! Your esteemed author might try some tonight, whilse praising the lord for every single faint breeze that dares to sigh itself through my SE14 window. And perhaps, I’ll think of Santa Claus, and remind myself of the days in winter when I huddled underneath four jumpers, a blanket and a wooly scarf wrapped round my head to keep the hint in. I think I know where I was going wrong. NOT ENOUGH MULLED WINE!

(PS – is “taking the cloves” a bit like “taking the veil”, in culinary terms?)