Yes, it's dreary, yes it gets dark far too early for our liking and your shabby leather jacket just won't cut it in the rain but with the onset of the wintery months (that we Irish sure love to moan about) comes a lot more positives than your 'take me back to Ibiza' mindset might have entertained.

1. No one can give you a hard time for getting into your PJs the minute you can get in from work. 'It's winter, and that means hibernation time, alright?'. What's more, you can basically wear boots that look pretty much like a pair of slippers all day long, even out and about. It's OK now, because they're in fashion.

"Are those Ugg boots?" "You know it."

2. Rather than meet your pals for a boring coffee, it's now acceptable to mull over a hot whiskey, several in fact, day or night. They taste damn good, they ward off sickness AND they keep your belly warm. Few of those down the hatch and who knows where your autumnal evening may take you?

"You're ordering a hot whiskey? Do you have a cold or something?"

3. In winter we're allowed to let our personal grooming take a back seat. Yes, men and women. For men it's acceptable to cultivate a ronnie or a full on Santa beard without looking like they're just straddling that fine line between hipster/homeless. For women? Well we're all about the thick wooly tights, so who's going to know that you haven't shaved your legs since the August Bank Holiday weekend? Just hope that your other half loves you enough to tolerate it.

"Growing a winter beard, huh?"

Ladies, you could alternatively invest in a pair of fetching hairy leggings.

4. You need not feel bad about whiling away a few hours in the pub, even on your lonesome. Pubs and winter are a match made in heaven. A cosy snug, a broad-sheet paper, a chance to muse over all that this year had in store, all the while nursing a Jemmy on the rocks. What makes such establishments even more enticing, come winter, is when they crank up the heat and lash a few logs on the fire. Bliss.

"Oh, are you on your own? Cool, I'll be there in five mins loads to talk about Breaking Bad's ending"

5. It's the perfect time of year to get yourself a winter manfriend or a winter girlfriend. We all need that special someone with whom to wear matching wooly hats and snuggle up in bed with, to kiss at midnight on NYE and chase around the Christmas party with some scraggily mistletoe, and once you agree to the terms of a seasonal relationship and everyone's happy, then you can turf them out once spring arrives. Simples.

"HEY IT'S SPRING SOON! Let's go on holidays together..."

6. As you prepare to send your family Christmas cards, you can enjoy all manner of awkward family photo fun.

7. Mince pies. Yes, they go on sale like NOW, and even though we're not really supposed to eat them until Christmas, noone's going to tell us we can't (unless you share a flat with the 21st century non-fictional equivalent to Scrooge). Actually scratch that, it's really just food in general that's a winner in winter. Feck off with your salads and your slimline cocktails, at this time of year we want shteak, we want pies, we want roasts, we want stew, we'll even dabble in coddle (though it looks like water with willies floating in it), we want the pub carvery, we want apple tarts, we want icecream (shhh, it still works in winter.) And just think of the Christmas week food shop!

8. Halloween! The chance to dress up as Lou and Andy from Little Britain, or Walter and Jesse from Breaking Bad, or the Obamas, or a cereal killer, or a cross between Dumbledore and Dora the Explorer: Dumbledora the Explorer - is there any end to the creative possibilities that Halloween can bring? We think not.

9. The prodigal son returns. At Christmas time, no matter how far and wide your family and friends may be flung, they'll almost all return. If not to reunite with pals, at least for the Christmas turkey. We don't care what you say, there's no amount of sun and sand on Bondi beach that could make up for Chrimblybobs, Irish shtyle.

10. Party season is in full swing. We might be a bit blue about wrapping up with the outdoor festivals but even in summer they can still be pretty miserable at night (this is Ireland, hello). With winter, we've got invites flooding through the door to this and that party, celebrating the year's close and thankfully most of them are indoors where fluffy carpets have been laid. Party dresses, party people, party music, party food and the possibilities that all of said festivities can bring. Don't you know the statstics about the ratio of craic to winter? The ratio of love at first sight to the wintery months? Well we don't have figures, per se, but we know we're not wrong.

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