Surviving Winter ~ A Beautiful Wintertime Diary (continued)…

From my Winter Survival Guide suggestion to take a break and drink some festive tea:


It was the first weekend of November.  The air was crisp and cold, with a noticeable drop in temperature. I was waiting in the train station, all wrapped up in a cosy cardigan and a warm long winter coat. There was such a hustle and bustle around me, people coming and going, and waiting for trains. I actually felt too hot in all of my layers so I took my coat off and held it draped over my arm as I waited for my friend.

I stood outside the coffee shop in the city’s Central Station. It was so busy, and more so than usual, even for a Saturday – there was some kind of football game it seemed and so even more people were getting trains to go to the stadium to watch it.

I hadn’t seen my friend for just over a year. Well, just over 15 months actually. I know this because it’s the age of her baby boy, who I still haven’t met, and the last time I saw her she was very heavily pregnant and due to imminently pop out her baby! 🙂

And then all of a sudden, there she was, my slim, trim, beautiful and lovely friend who looked just like she did in her single days, and you wouldn’t know that she was a new young mother just by looking at her. No baby weight, which was impressive, not that that matters, it was just nice to see her doing well. We hugged and made our way into the coffee shop.

As I said in my Winter Survival Guide post that is linked to this (, I’m a chai tea latte kind of a girl, so guess what I got? 😉 My friend ordered a yummy hot chocolate with the works…cream, chocolate sprinkles, and a flake!

I smiled when I eventually noticed the reindeer motifs on our paper cups, as we sat down inside at one of the small tables for two next to the window. My friend wanted to ‘people watch’ and we had prime seats to do just that as fascinating characters passed this way and that in front of our window as they hurried to make their trains or to meet people. I smiled at the reindeer design, and also as we left the coffee shop around an hour later I noticed a picture above the door frame of a ‘mum, dad and baby’ reindeer in a winter scene. I smiled because I have seen a lot of deer recently, some in pictures, and other real live deer as I’ve journey on trains or buses to various destinations on my own or with a friend. It’s not the most common sight for a city dwelling girl, and I have a particular fondness of deer, especially as they are depicted in Scripture and in the Psalms as an image for a heart longing after God….just like ”the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul longs after You”, the psalmist David writes.  They are also special to me at the moment, and have been for the past couple of years in terms of a personal encouragement between God and me for something I have been praying about. So these pictures brought a smile to my face.

I like that our memories and special times with our friends or times by ourselves in reflection can be linked to something so simple as a warm and comforting drink. As I write I am drinking just a ‘normal’ cup of tea and snacking on a chocolate chip cookie. I like the memories we make in the simple things, allowing the ordinary to become special. It was lovely to catch up with my friend, and we chatted about how life had changed from the times we spent together as single girls living and working in the city, and having the freedom to go out for coffee like this, or for lunch or to dinner with groups of our friends. I still have that freedom, but my friend is juggling the responsibilities of being a wife and a new mother and working part time, and she’s living pretty much in the countryside just now. We chatted about her plans for her future, and the unknowns about my future, and she told me how she actually missed her carefree single days even though at the time she longed for the days of marriage and family that she has now. It’s easy to fail to appreciate the blessings of each unique season we are in, until the time comes to look back upon it. So we enjoyed the time together, in the moment, catching up and looking at photos of her gorgeous baby. And now those lovely in the moment moments are but a memory, and this little paper cup serves as a fond reminder of them. It is amazing that a coffee or tea cup goes far deeper than you would think at first sight – spend some time over your cuppa with a good friend and you will be amazed at the deep things about life that you could learn! 🙂 x


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