Lashings of sleet and snow, late this year, herald winter in Canada. I have to push myself to leave the house, but when I do, the wind braces and the snow is sparkling, if as they say, you're dressed for it.
What are your favourite cold weather comforts? If they don't involve triple-digit clicks on designer sample sites, I will try them.
This winter's short list:
Every Little Step
I rented this terrific doc on the casting of the revival of A Chorus Line, one of my all-time favourite shows. Warning: "I Hope I Get It" and the uh, bouncy "Dance Ten, Looks Three" will program your brain to auto-repeat. And five, six seven, eight!
Lindt Fleur de Sel
Chocolate bar with nuggets of fleur de sel. Powerless. Whatever they want to charge for it, I don't care.
Hanro Wool and Silk Warmwear
The gentlest luxurious layer; Hanro's wool and sillk blend cami vanishes under clothes and caresses me in an all-important extra layer. To see more styles, visit Underwear Options. Warmwear is also made in pure silk; the wool/silk blend lends extra snuggliness.
Thai silk shawl
Silk is both warm and ligfht; a Thai silk shawl tucks into a pocket or handbag and a snag or pen mark is not a heart-stopper. And the colours are luscious. Buy the shawl (not scarf) size to get enough insulation and drape.
About $10-$15 plus shipping for the 29" x 65" shawl size from various sellers such as arawanna77 on eBay, or in import stores.
The dependable comforts of cashmere
The life support system for those in chilly climes. I will patiently wait for Eric Bompard's winter sale, usually the start of the second week of January, to order this ultra-fine maxi mariniere sweater, €225 right now.
I just want them, that's all: 70% cashmere, 30% silk fingerless gloves, also from EB, €58. If these are sold out, next year I'll order them in September.
A good read
I deeply enjoyed A Short History of Women, by Kate Walbert, which the New York Times named one of the best books of 2009: "wickedly smart and wrenching". It's not a straightforward story, more like dipping into a remarkable family's unsentimental scrapbook, maintained for four generations.
Is there anything more divine for sleep than a lofty down duvet? Permabaffle box goosedown comforter from LL Bean, from $189; international shipping.
L'Oreal's Everpure line contains no colour-stripping sulfates, and the moisture conditioner delivers fast, minty penetrating conditioning and shine. About $7 at drugstores.
An accessory pick-up
Some days it's so unremittingly gray, you have to fight back. A cheeky accessory like this Bottega Veneta sterling and fuscia lizard skin ring would make me smile every time I look down. $450 from Net-a-porter.
Here, you cannot wear hose, regular ones, and survive unless you are carried on a palanquin, heated. J. Crew's nylon-wool blend tights are machine washable and come in good colours for only $26.50 which is peanuts when you can't feel your toes in regular stockings.
35 Rhums (35 Shots of Rum)
Claire Denis' subtle, elliptical meditation about what composes a family, the salvation of work and the intricacies of intimacy, set in a banlieue of Paris.
A terrific cast, including the mesmerizing neighbours and tentative lovers, Mati Diop and Grégoire Colin. Slow to give up its stories, absolutely sure in its emotions, I found this film impossible to shake off. (French with English subtitles, released on DVD.)
The thermometer slides into negatives (in Celsius) as the holidays approach. My vintage fur will hold up for another year and so, I hope, will our car. We got the H1N1 shots, new snow tires, and everyone's well. Wishing the same for you.