To hibernate or not to hibernate?

South West London may be an irresistibly vibrant and fascinating place but isn’t it nice sometimes just to lock the door, pull down the blinds and leave the world to its own devices?

As the nights draw in and the thermometer heads south the appeal of a warm radiator and a cosy settee become nigh on irresistible.

Surely somewhere deep down in us all is the instinct to hibernate, to closet ourselves away with a well-stocked larder and a bottle or two of something to keep out the chill – for medicinal purposes obviously.

Once upon a time we’d have whiled away the winter months with communal gatherings and epic tales of daring do.

The gatherings may not be quite what they were (which is probably a good thing) and the tales may have been replaced by Celebrity Big Brother and Broadchurch but the instinct to hunker down is still very much alive and well.

There is, of course, the perennial poser of what to do if the TV fails to spark your imagination, or if you feel the need for a more meaningful form of entertainment.

Some turn their hands to the practicalities of party-making – cooking and creating just the right ambience, others will put their nose in a book and disappear into a world of the imagination, and still others will resort to something less romantic.

Playing on the internet is hard to resist when the nights draw in, especially now that it’s fully interactive.

Escapism counts double when the temperature is close to zero. SuperCasino – the people who put roulette on Channel 5 – offer a particularly good example of just the sort of lively online fun needed to keep the gloom at bay this winter.

Their bright and cheerful presentation of more than 100 themed games is just what is called for as an antidote to the gloom of a downpour in Dagenham.

You can find SuperCasino’s games here.

But you know what? There is only so long that you can ignore the great big bustling world out there.

Whether it’s the temporary Richmond Ice Rink at Strawberry Hill Park or Disney on Ice at the O2; whether it’s Tim Vine, Matthew Kelly, Wayne Sleep and Linda Gray all performing together in Cinderella at the New Wimbledon Theatre or the Southbank Centre’s Christmas Tree Maze there is simply too much going on out there to ignore.

Locking yourself away may have worked in the dark ages, and it might be ok for a midweek night or two, but London really has too much to offer to pull down those blinds for long.

However much the urge to hibernate might still be lurking deep in our DNA, London’s bright lights are an irresistible way to keep the urge to hide away at bay – even if that cosy sofa, the radiator, the TV and the PC do hit the spot every once in a while.

Picture courtesy of Lauri Vain, with thanks

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