What is going on with the weather today, New South Wales?!

This morning I lost a good friend. My favourite umbrella. For years I have been smugly cavorting with my beloved, trustworthy brolly. Come light sprinkles or torrential downpours, she and I would make our way through soggy streets, looking down upon inferior umbrellas that could not withstand windy challenges. They turned themselves in and were discarded on the pavement. All around us it was an umbrella graveyard; we chuckled and pranced merrily along.

Today, my smugness was blown to smithereens in a catastrophic display of brolly comeuppance. My umbrella turned inside out. I blinked, and she was gone with the wind. It was every iota of humiliation that I had always imagined but seldom feared.

R.I.P umbrella. Thank you for your service.

This got me thinking, on a day like to today (when we would rather be at home in our trackies) besides having a reliable umbrella, how can  a 9-5 office woman better prepare for the chilly months ahead?

1. Hunter Gum Boots 2. Madame Flavour Tea 3. Max Brenner Chocolate Powder 4. Heinz Soup 5. Lush Lip Balm 6. Panda Gloves 7. Touch Screen Gloves 8. Amigo Black Blanket 9. Ugg Ear Muffs 10. Senz Umbrella 11. Gel Hand Warmers 12. San Diego Hat Company Fingerless Gloves 13. Dotti Twist Headband

As for the necessities...

I actually despise stockings. Besides not offering the slightest bit of warmth (it’s like wearing a serviette as a winter coat?) they are hideously uncomfortable. How can a see through piece of fabric, aka hosiery, keep one comfortable on a frosty day? Anything that will tear unless you put them on with a pair of oven mitts, is not robust enough to provide winter warmth. Unless they are minimum one million denier, I don't want a bar of them. Even then, I have to buy them in Extra Extra Extra Long (even though I am not) because anything smaller and I have to contend with that low-hanging stocking crutch like I'm in kindergarten. You can bet if they're not hanging low, they're hitched up to your pits. Pants. What's wrong with pants? Get some today, at a store near you.

It goes without saying that you need to spend some dollars on a good, sturdy umbrella. Those five dollar numbers are just going to end with embarrassment.

I'm a lover of gloves and mittens and always have a pair at hand during winter. Fingerless gloves, or touch screen gloves, may not be as fetching as the panda mittens pictured above (which I own, by the way) but they sure are handy for preventing Frostbite by Smartphone.

Don't knock em til you've tried em. Equally as handy for blocking out that ol' cranny from Payroll as they are for keeping toasty on your commute.

Herbal teas, soups and hot chocolate. When you're holed up in an office, particulary one that insists on maintaining sub-zero aircon temps in July, you need to have a little warming stash in your drawer. When it's cold, I find my carrot stick snacks about as appealing as a fish slap, so it's good to make like a Girl Guide and be prepared with a few snacks that will satisfy a craving and (possibly) prevent you from making a daily trip to the nearest food court for all of the deep fried things covered in melted cheese.

There's nothing worse than arriving at work with soggy ankles! A pair of wellingtons will keep you warm and dry, and will enable you to splash in puddles, so. If you must, pack a pair of flats to change at work and/or start your winter with some good boots to keep the tootsies cozy all day long. There really is something to be said for Happy Feet.

Lest you get caught in a face-whipping, lip-drying gust, unless you want to get around town looking like Ronald McDonald, carry a lip balm in your bag at all times.

Listen, I used to work in a place that was so cold in winter that my bones seized up and I died. In these situations, make like a granny, I say, and stash a lap blanket at work. Who the hell cares - haters gonna hate and they just be jelly.

That concludes my handy guide on how to survive winter in a 9-5 way! Please feel free to drop your own hints below. x

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