Monday, 11 March 2013

The East Wind Doth Blow

It is very cold today.

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.


  1. You are not alone Ray, my mum has commented how much colder it seems.When the wind blows she says it is as if the heating hasn't been on. The UK seems to have had some horrid weather of late.

    However as you rightly say, we have warm houses, we are the lucky ones. British Columbia is much milder than the rest of Canada (not an igloo to be seen, honest!) and consequently a much higher homeless population as it is so much warmer here. I would still struggle to be outside rather than inside my house.

    Counting my blessings, thank you for bringing them to the forefront of my mind.

  2. Yesterday here reminded me of the cold of winters in New England -- perishing! Here's to staying warm and healthy...

  3. Glad things are working well for you in British Columbia Shona.
    The homeless problem seems to be getting worse everywhere at present, I assume because most economies are failing.
    However, it does appear worse when the weather is cold.
    After all, few deaths from heat are reported, while the same cannot be said of colder places.

  4. Yesterday was terribly cold but today has been hardly any warmer here.
    Let's hope it changes soon Broad, or we'll all soon be sleeping in the fridge in order to get warm.

  5. Apparently it was the coldest March day since the 1980s, Ray and it felt like it over here in the west too! And our central heating pump has been on the blink, which means I've been wearing a lot of layers of clothing. :-) I've just looked at the Met office 5 day forecast for our area and all the temperatures are still in single figures. Brrr!

  6. I do hope your central heating problem is sorted really soon Perpetua. Really extreme cold is very hard to cope with, layers or no layers.
    Today at lunch time for about 2 hours we had strong sunshine and in a sheltered bit of the back garden I managed to cut back a bit more of my jungle and was, very briefly, too warm.
    Let's hope the second part of March will be much better than the first.