Tuesday 14 December 2010

Winter's Tale without ending.

I hate this weather - HATE IT! Although for the last few days we in the south of England have been experiencing daytime temps in the dizzy heights of 4 or 5 degrees Celsius, with nights hovering around or just below zero, we're due for yet another prolonged Arctic killer blast in a couple of days, even colder than the one we had at the end of last month, which was quite bad enough, thank you! Yes, I've heard that what we are going through is as nothing compared to conditions in north-east and mid-west USA and, indeed, other parts of north and central Europe, but my tolerance of cold is already low and now it's just plain scary. My nightmare is that the heating in my flat is going to suddenly pack up, blasting away continuously day and night, which would entail me having to get in touch with my landlord whom I haven't spoken to for nearly 18 months following his displeasure at my complaining about the noisiness of my downstairs neighbour (now largely a thing of the past, by the way).
I've never known in my entire life a Winter like this. Usually if we have really cold weather and snow at all, it only starts towards mid or late January, sometimes later; but to begin in November is unheard of. Only wish I could hibernate with my pussy cats for at least the next two months. Actually, waking up just in time for Easter would be even better. Meantime it's got to go on being a case of scarf-wearing indoors, over a 4-layer top of vest, T-shirt, ordinary shirt and sweatshirt, with additional hot drinks: also two duvets at night with hot-water bottle - and yet more teeth-chattering. Brrrrrrr!


  1. Aye, but when I were a lad happen we'd wake up in the morning with ice on the insides of the windows. We had this tiny gas fire which my father would sometimes light for us on a particularly cold morning.

    I remember warming my vest and school shirt by the tiny gas flame before putting them on.

    Downstairs the only heat came from the coal fire in the 'family room' ( which had only just been lit) and from the gas stove as Mum cooked our breakfasts.

    Ah, those were the days. Warming the milk in front of the gas fire at school because the top inch of each little bottle was frozen solid.

    "It'll be thawed out by break time!" our teacher told us, rapping the knuckles of the nearest boy who'd complained about the cold.

    Oh sir - we'd never had it so good - they told us so.

  2. Micky, I'm quite surprised to read that we seem to have had similar childhood experiences of Winter. I too grew up in a house with no central heating, and rather like yours, there was only a single coal fire in our living room (which for us was only lit in the evenings). Yes, we'd wake up in the morning to find our breath vapours frozen on the inside of the bedroom window. The plumbing would be frozen so we'd have to boil a kettle to pour down the sink to thaw it before we could have a wash. But these trials we just accepted as being part of life. There was no alternative. And there seemed to be a lot of snow every single Winter - and really DEEP. I don't recall the school in particular being cold, though, as you do. I suppose now we've been softened up. Doesn't make it any easier to bear, though!

  3. Brrr it's cold here in Ohio. It's 4F (-15C) this morning. It's okay though. Zero is my worrying point, and at least it's sunny in the daytime. Hardly any snow. Just enough to make the ground white. When driving it sounds like I'm running over broken glass. Winter start next week, doesn't it? LOL

    May I suggest you make a deal with your buddy down below. If either of your flat's heats goes out, you can count on the other to provide temporary refuge. Do you have an electric blanket? I think they are the greatest invention in modern times, right up there with fire and the wheel. If mine was a man I would marry it.

  4. I don't think that there is any refuge from this bitter cold. Most of my neighbors are snowbirds and leave for Florida or North Carolina the latter part of October. My next door neighbor e-mailed me yesterday that it is only 30 degrees there and feels colder. As for me, I'll gladly hibernate, with the cats and an electric blanket.

  5. Cubby and Paul, you may not believe it but I've never ever used an electric blanket nor even been offered one away from my home. Must be something that's just passed me by. When I was growing up they were considered a bit of a risk - reports of bed electrocutions etc. I'd imagine that things have progressed since then; at least I hope so. But I wonder if I get one, will the cats will get so attached to it (emotionally, I mean!) that they'll pound it and claw it? I see that you, Paul, manage it with your furry friends. But let's not go imagine problems yet. You've both planted the idea and it could be my salvation, at least something to fall back on, so I SHALL get one - probably tomorrow! Thanks to both of you for the suggestion.
    But Cubby, 28 degrees of frost (Fahrenheit)? Jeez, it hurts just thinking about it! Makes me think that with our relative balmy 40 degrees F today I ought to be shedding all my layers and going around naked - indoors, I mean. As for the chap downstairs, although we are reasonably friendly to each other now, having a 'Winter arrangement' with him would be just a step TOO far.

  6. Not much going on here Ray. Our temps are chilly, but not that unusual for this time of year. Our lack of snow in NH is pretty unusual, even for this time of year. Each time the forecast calls for snow the storm seems to fizzle out before it gets to us. That's worrisome for me as our water supply depends on lots winter snow for replenishment. I can only hope this is just a little odd weather and not the early signs of something much more troubling and potential disastrous.

  7. Thanks for visiting Kyle. I'm finding it quite alarming that so many regions the entire world over are regularly experiencing freakish (i.e. unusually severe) weather of some sort, and throughout the year too. I would like to deny it could be so but I fear that your own lack of snow and, therefore water, is but one symptom of dramatic changes already commenced that are almost certain now too late to reverse. Sorry to be so cheerless on this day above all days but I can only hope that as few people (and animals) are made to suffer because of our past and present follies. Nevertheless, a VERY Happy Xmas to you and to all those near to you.