The North Wind Shall Blow
As we hurtle towards February, like a 5th century Byzantine fleeing Attila the Hun, temperatures have taken a dip in Blighty. The chill isn’t anywhere near as severe as a Canadian winter or the welcome you get at my wife’s parents house. However, winter feels as though it’s finally taken hold of our sceptre isle.
The cold reception afforded by Karen’s parents is so severe if you stay too long in their house there’s a risk of being cryogenically frozen…….. No wonder they’ve lasted well into their 80s
To clarify, I’m kidding about Birtley’s finest whose support throughout their daughter’s fight with incurable cancer has been immeasurable. That one visit (2011) in six years since her diagnosis has been the cornerstone of keeping the family together through this trying time.
Anyway, today has manifested a cold of enough intensity to raise comments from passers-by like “It’s cold”, “It’s not very warm” and a number of other arbitrary chill weather observations.
I don’t mind so much the passers-by utter these generic, insipid meteorological statements. However, I do mind them knocking on the front door to tell me how cold it is, only to let the freezing cold air into my home, making it as chilled as outdoors.
They are well meaning, but I don’t need people to knock and tell me how chuffing cold it is in Leeds 15, I already bloody know!
Years ago, my wife meant well by berating the kids for making too much noise if I was on nightshift. In reality, though, it wasn’t my young children waking me from my daytime slumber, it was my spouse shouting at them not to wake me up that woke me up!…… As the saying goes, a good deed never goes unpunished.
My mum once proffered with sage like wisdom “If it’s cold outside wear a coat. If its hot outside don’t wear a coat. If the weather is tepid and non-descript take a judgement call.” A generic statement with an obviousness that cannot be overstated.
She is a genuinely good person (unlike Birtley’s finest) so I always appreciate and respect her advice. Although I wish she’d have told me it with the front door closed against the freezing elements outdoors, not on my doorstep.
As an aside, my mum has some unique sayings, which I’m convinced she has created herself. I base this on the fact I’ve never heard anyone else utilise them. An example of this was many years ago when I was procrastinating after I’d promised to drive her into town for some shopping.
To try and hasten my movement, she told me “Let’s get out, so we can get back in again!”
In response, I sarcastically mentioned if we don’t go out we’d be back even quicker. She wasn’t impressed with my tongue in cheek remark, countering tersely “Hurry up, you pillock!”….. Again, as the saying goes, a good deed never goes unpunished, or perhaps appreciated.
I laughed at her no nonsense motivational skills and sped up my actions to vacate the house a little earlier than I was planning. We returned back to my parents house an hour or so later; and give my mum kudos for her foresight as we did get back earlier.
Since I started penning this narrative, I’ve had occasion to nip outside on a couple of occasions. Firstly, to the wheely bin in the back garden to empty the rubbish bin. Secondly, with course to hand one of my neighbours a parcel I had of his. On both sojourns I was only out a few minutes, but on each occasion the cold was biting.
As neither of us are inclined to stand at an exposed bus stop in these temperatures, Karen and my plans to go into town for tea have been put on hold.
Even our pet penguin Archie won’t go outside; instead he’s sat by the radiator watching Rick Stein’s Fish Recipes for Penguin’s on cable TV. The cheeky get has the TV tied up all evening. He’s turned into a real coach potato following Sky TV’s recent introduction of numerous penguin channels.
Right, as my mind has moved into a portal of a world with cable TV for penguins, I’ll bring this meandering weather related narrative to a conclusion.
Oh, and make sure you always remember to go out, so you can get back in again!