This winter has been so long that I’m beginning to think I live in Narnia. As I sit here, typing these words – wearing multiple layers and gloves – I can safely say that I have had enough of being cold.
Indeed, I have had enough of reading about, watching and complaining about the cold, of hoping for warmth – only to be greeted by cold, and of worrying about the cost of heating to combat the freezing, bloody cold.
Did I miss spring, summer and autumn? Have we just gone back-to-back winter this year? Surely this isn’t normal. Has time slowed? Have there been twice as many days in the winter months than usual? Why has it seemed so endless?
I am fully aware that I am conforming to the British stereotype and moaning about the weather, but as the forecast has snow on the horizon for the coming days, I’m seriously thinking of emigrating.
The cost of living crisis has made us all aware of how much it’s costing to put the heating on, so across the country our daily routines now include donning more clothes than a quick change act, drinking endless cups of tea and traipsing around the house turning radiators on and off. All this, in turn, makes us more aware than ever of the relentless cold weather.
I don’t remember winters being this cold when I was younger and, on the very rare occasions when my wife and I are out for an evening, this still seems to be the case. Apparently, if you’re in your 20s you can walk around any high street wearing next to nothing, in freezing conditions, while the rest of the adult population has to dress like Sir Ranulph Fiennes.
Today though, as I’m not reliant on a beer coat to keep out the cold, I feel it in my bones, as well as in my fingers. Usefully I have Raynaud’s syndrome, which means that my blood beats a hasty retreat from my fingers whenever they get cold, leaving me with digits like white chocolate fingers. It’s annoying, painful and another reminder that my body isn’t as good at handling extremes as it used to be.
So, as the snow falls across the UK this week, I’ll grin and bear it, drink tea by the gallon and moan to anyone who’ll listen. But like the rest of the UK, I’ll also be dreaming of spring – of those warm days and long evenings – and of summer, when I’ll be moaning endlessly about the relentless, never ending, unbearable and unseasonable heat.