As all locals will know, living on the Isle of Man is a constant battle of the elements. If it’s not pissing down with rain, you can expect gale force winds, sub-zero temperatures, or an endless sea of mist thanks to good old Manannan’s cloak. And that’s in the summer.
So with that in mind, here are 8 top tips to help you survive what seems to be the longest season on the Isle of Man. Winter. Especially during a Hoolie!
1. Cancel any outside plans
During winter, you’re probably best not leaving the house if you can help it. Your boss might not think avoiding frostbite is a good enough excuse to miss work, but any other plans should be immediately cancelled.
Let’s face it, you’ll be freezing cold and you won’t enjoy it so you may as well decline any event invite between late August and April. Stay inside wrapped in blankets with a smug sense of satisfaction when your friends are uploading selfies looking like drowned rats.
2. Wrap up warm
If you do have to leave the house, don’t let the odd sunny morning convince you that you can go without a coat. You’ll instantly regret your decision. What started out as a nice day has now turned into torrential rain, extreme winds and your fingers are so cold they’re turning blue.
As from August, you’d be a fool to step outside without bringing a coat with a hood as the bare minimum. Don’t bother with an umbrella as it will flip inside out the moment you open it and you’ll end up even more wet and cold.
3. Remark on the weather to everyone
To help your friends, family and colleagues come to terms with winter, be sure to start every conversation with a comment on the weather.
Make a big show of undoing and re-doing your layers every time you enter or leave the office. Extra points for lots of sighing, groaning and fearful looks out of the window before you go.
And if one of your colleagues decides to brave the outside, widen your eyes and even gasp when they reach for their coat. This will help them prepare for the dreadfulness of what’s to come. Running to the window in horror and pointing will also help them accept winter is officially here.
4. Pile on the pounds
Piling on the pounds is a great way to stay warm. The more body fat you have, the less likely you are to feel the harsh wind every time you leave the house.
There’s a reason chips, cheese and gravy is a traditional Manx dish – it’s a quick and easy way to fatten you up for the winter. Eating just one portion daily is necessary to stop you catching hypothermia; though if you’re on the skinny side you should consider eating this delicious Manx delicacy twice a day.
Don’t even look at a salad over the winter months, now is not the time to diet.
5. Don’t try to leave the island
You might decide to escape the rock to avoid some of the winter. Don’t bother.
The Steam Packet enjoys a bit of banter with us Islander’s by cancelling sailings due to “technical faults”. Sometimes they even let you leave Douglas harbour, get all the way to the destination and then turn straight back round again.
FlyMaybe also likes to get in on the joke and pretend you can leave the Island any time only to cancel flights or leave you circling in the air before deciding it’s too dangerous to land.
However, if you like playing Russian roulette with your holiday plans then go right ahead and see how far you get.
6. Stock up on food
Due to the unpredictability of the ferry sailings, there’s always a risk that you’ll starve each winter.
To ensure you’ll fully prepared for the terrifying reality of there being no food on the shelves in Tesco, you better make sure you stock up on the essentials. The moment you hear of one cancelled sailing, you should rush down to Tesco at 6am prepared to fight your fellow Manxies for a loaf of bread.
Remember to take lots of photos of the empty shelves and upload them on Facebook to warn others of the impending doom.
7. Floodproof your house
On the Isle of Man when it rains, it rains.
If you live on top of a hill, congratulations; you’re clearly a long-term Manx resident who understands the dangers of living on a wet, windy Island.
For those of you who are stuck at the bottom of a hill, you’ll need to invest in a lot of sandbags.
Jokes, you’re pretty much screwed. You better quickly make friends with a ‘top of the hill’ person to protect you this winter or you’ll be kayaking to your front door.
8. Start a new romance
You’ve finally accepted that you’ll be staying in the house all winter so what better time than to find someone to keep warm with?
Imagine cuddling over steamy mugs hot chocolate or snuggling with your chips, cheese and gravy by the fire. It’s starting to sound pretty nice, huh?
Too bad everyone you want to ask out is off limits because you know their ex.
Guess you’ll be spending the cold winter nights all alone.
Good luck fellow Islanders. Be safe this winter!