Monday, 11 March 2013
The East Wind Doth Blow
It has been cold before.
It has been very very cold before.
It has never in my lifetime felt as cold as it does today.
Before the howls of protest start, yes I am an old woman and I do feel the cold much more than I used to when I was younger and much fatter.
Yes I do remember (quite vividly actually), the appalling winters of 1947 and 1963 as well as the much more recent ones like 1981/82 etc., but, snow and frost dreadful though they be, cannot begin to compare with an east wind.
Standing this lunchtime at a bus-stop in the High Street for a mere four minutes, tears streaming from my eyes, nose dripping oh so elegantly, hands purple inside the frozen gloves, I watched the half dozen or so people unwise, or unlucky enough to be out and about in the Siberian wastes of Aylesbury and thought, "I have never been so cold in my life".
At home in my warm house (even without the heating on) I suddenly thought "Woman, you don't know how lucky you are".
This was prompted by remembering that my eldest brother is today travelling - hopefully for the last time - on foot then for an hour and a quarter by bus, and then again on foot, from Eastbourne to Brighton, where for the past 7 and a half weeks he has been undergoing radio therapy for prostate cancer.
This, if all goes well, should be the last treatment, but the entire course has been through some of the very worst weather we've had for years.
So many others must be in the same boat and so many others like my brother have to travel long distances for exhausting treatment.
Then there all those who have no homes, who, even if they are lucky enough to have hostels to return to, must spend all day out in the bitter cold.
Suddenly my four minutes at a bus-stop pales into insignificance.
The wind is throwing freezing needles of snow flurries against the windows as I type, but in here, it is warm.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 2:51:00 pm