nips like tent pegs, nose like an icicle and I haven’t even left the house yet

Just as I am built for comfort, and not speed, I am also built for warmth and not this bone-pervading cold we are enduring here in the East of England this winter.

By bone-pervading, I mean it’s -2C. And before anyone starts getting uppity – especially all you readers living at the Russian Vostok Base in Antarctica which is currently enjoying invigorating temperatures of -89C, 40C colder than the average surface temperature of Mars – the ability to cope with the cold is all relative, I’ll have you know.

It doesn’t help that I’m living in a badly-insulated, draught-filled Victorian shambles of a house with an extension clearly thrown up by Roy Rogers and Co back in the 1970s with its own eco-system and wind-chill factor of -30C on the most temperate of days.

The extension is, of course, where the computer is housed. As I sit here, ice pick beside me in case I need to chip away at some of the less fashionable keys on the keyboard (§ for example. Or \) which haven’t thawed out, I feel as if I’m typing in a morgue. And for once it’s not a metaphorical morgue which signposts the graveyard of ambition, which is how Jeremy Clarkson describes working in Norfolk.

Critics, or my family as I like to call them, point out that it doesn’t help that I continually cover all the radiators in the house with wet clothes. When I point out that the alternative is that they have no clean clothes whatsoever, they remain impassive. I’m good, but I can’t work miracles (or when I do, I aim for a better class of miracle).

By Tuesday night, it’ll be -4C. Yes, mock us all you Canadians who don’t wave goodbye to snow until May, but remember: we are British. The only temperatures we can withstand are those which are the very definition of ‘average’. This is not average. I can’t feel my bloody nose.


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