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Puns about winter are snow joke

We can already hear the collective groans as winter fast approaches. For many of us, it’s hard to look past the cold mornings, the early sunsets and the constant search for that missing odd sock. But, as self-proclaimed winter devotees, we thought we would take this opportunity to show you how much more our favourite season has to offer! Although the sunshine may sometimes seem patchy, we strongly believe that with a sunny disposition, some creative ideas, fun activities and toasted marshmallows, the winter months can be just as enjoyable.  So what does winter mean to us? Winter is a time for total indulgence, satisfying our inner glutton. Be it a second helping of sticky date pudding, finally reading that book from cover to cover or an extra-long cuddle with your favourite furry friend; winter can be a wonderland full of joy, warmth and happiness.
 
One of our favourite ways to enjoy the winter months is by snuggling in and watching a movie. The smell of popcorn in the air, the first crunch into a choc-top or even the roar of the MGM lion, are often enough to remind us of this favourite pastime. Watching a movie can provide us comfort, allow us to release a spectrum of emotions, think, analyse and question, and inspire. Whether it’s an old classic, a family favourite, or a recently released film; movies are a great way to pass the time, learn and explore new things, or even just have an entertaining night out.
 
In this technological age, film and television are little more than a click away, but sometimes it’s the whole experience of seeing a movie that is equally enjoyable as the content itself. Putting on comfy clothes and hopping under the doona, sitting in front of the big screen to watch a mindless chick flick, or organising a social event are all ways we can easily indulge. In addition to your DVD collection, or a session at your local cinema, between July 30 and August 16, Melbourne will host the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF). 
 
As frequenters of the MIFF, we know it can be a place to adorn your best critic hat, and it lets you explore local and international filmmaking without the Hollywood glamour. There is almost certainly something on show to tickle everyone’s fancy, and it’s the perfect opportunity to discover new genres, concepts and artistry; all out of the winter cold. For more information check out:  http://miff.com.au/
 
Coinciding with this time of year is also fierce footy fever. Again, whether you like to soak up the atmosphere at a game, barrack from in front of the television or share a footy barbeque with friends, it’s not hard to ignite rivalries and passion about the game.
 
For some of us, supporting a team was instilled in us in childhood, and holds with it fond memories and family ties. The recollections of having our faces painted, meeting your favourite player or seeing your chaperoning adult turn red while passionately cheering, is enough to get you excited. For others, it is a rite of passage when moving to a footy mad location like Melbourne, or something we pretend to enjoy to keep the loved ones around us happy.  As we pull out our warm scarves, footy-coloured beanies and jumpers, we can bask in the entertainment, sense of pride and community, and the chance to reminisce that footy can provide. Obviously, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, and we’re sure if you don’t get excited by the game, it can seem somewhat hard to escape. This shouldn’t  discourage you though, football isn’t the only thing we think of as winter approaches, and between our warm woollies, indulgent foods and fun activities there is always something to tickle your fancy.
 
There’s no better way to warm yourself from the inside out than with some delicious and hearty winter treats. The colder weather allows us to revisit our favourite comfort foods; letting wonderfully rich flavours delight our senses. Winter cooking can be as varied and colourful as your imagination will allow! Please read on in this edition for some tantalising winter recipes. We’re not expecting you to be Australia’s next Masterchef, but a little love in the kitchen goes a long way. 
 
For us, another way to enjoy the cooler weather is by filling our favourite mug with a steaming hot drink. To satisfy the sweet tooths, there are an array of hot chocolate recipes on the internet and served up at local cafes, and for the caffeine fiends, the number of types of coffee we have at our fingertips virtually exceeds the number of days of winter. For many of us however, it’s hard to go past a good cup of tea. Although we tend to drink tea all year round, there is something so delectable about wrapping your hands around a fresh English Breakfast, Chai or number. The added beauty of tea is the potential health benefits that come along with it. The aptly named website ‘Crazy for Tea’ (http://www.crazyfortea.com) explores the positive effects tea can have on digestion,   relaxation and the quality of your sleep. The website’s author expresses that tea “is the second most consumed drink in the world (after water) because it has many medicinal qualities.” It is contended that tea can assist in strengthening the immune system and fighting disease, can give you more energy, promote healthier skin, slow down the ageing process, enhance mental clarity and even reduce blood pressure.
 
Although tea consumption has been around for thousands of years across countries and cultures, we have witnessed a recent resurgence in its trend and popularity. Coinciding with this, companies have harnessed the ancient benefits of tea and produced some modern twists on these classics. The following are available at T2 stores (http://www.t2tea.com/ ) right around the country and our some of our favourites:
 
Relax – “Enjoy when the day is done, and in the evening to promote a good night's sleep.”
 
Tummy Tea – “The perfect digestive to be served after any meal”
 
Nighty Night – “Enjoy to unwind when the day's work is done, in the afternoon or evening to soothe and calm. Serve after dinner for a digestive nightcap.”
 
It’s safe to say that we are the minority. A quick survey of the ADAVIC office has proven this time and time again; people simply love the warmer weather. But, we hope that this light-hearted look at winter can show you that it’s not all doom and gloom; and perhaps mean that you’ll be able to see the colder weather with a new ray of light. Nevertheless, for all you summer lovers, rest assured that our next heat wave is just around the corner.
 
By Kate and Terri
ADAVIC Volunteers 
(Added 16 July 2015)

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