The temperature has dropped today. This comes as an unpleasant omen, especially after the long spell of mild weather that we have been enjoying. The summer was the hottest I can remember and it seems meteorological records are being broken all the time, presumably as a result of global warming.
I am happiest in what I call shirt-and-jumper weather. That’s when you can go about during most of the day in your shirt-sleeves and perhaps top up with a pullover in the evening. Perfect. Of course, weather never is perfect, especially in Britain. Last summer was too hot, at least to us frigid Brits it seemed so. People used to living near the equator might have found it balmy but I, for one, considered it overdone.
For all that, I prefer the heat to the cold. Cold depresses me. I start to fantasize about hibernating or moving overseas. Once I am cold, I can’t get warm again. My feet and hands turn into blocks of ice and no matter what I do, they won’t warm up again. About the only thing that works is to get into a hot bath but I only get cold again when I get out.
During our trip to Canada earlier this year, I spent a lot of time in clothes shops. I reasoned that as Canada has even colder weather than we do, they ought to know how to make good winter clothing. Perhaps it was the wrong time of year to be looking for coats as there was nothing available that fitted the bill.
As the weather gets colder, I put on more layers of clothing until I begin to resemble the Michelin man. If you find the the nitty gritty of natty gents clothing off-putting, skip the rest of this paragraph. In winter, I start with a cotton teeshirt. I am not too proud to tuck this into my underpants. On top of this goes a shirt, tucked into trousers. Next comes a pullover or maybe two, depending on the severity of the conditions. When I go out, all this is topped by the thickest coat I can find. I also have a sort of ninja hood that can be worn around my neck and the lower half of my face. I then have a fleece bonnet that I pull well down over my ears. On occasion, I have been known to wear a second pair of trousers.
During our holiday in Cornwall, we found a clothes shop that was having a closing down sale. Tigger and I both bought the thickest coats they had. They are the sort that have panels of different colours, lots of zips with tags on, pockets in unexpected places and straps for tightening the cuffs to keep the wind out. The pockets either zip shut, close with velcro flaps or both. Mine even has a hood neatly folded away inside the collar. That’ll be really useful if ever I can figure out how to deploy it. If by chance I run into David Cameron while wearing the hood, perhaps he’ll give me a hug.
I wore it today when I went to pick up Tigger from work. As usual I took the tube to Borough. I regard Borough tube station as my gym. This is because of the staircase. There is a notice on the staircase saying “Caution. This staircase has 102 steps. Use in emergency only.” Actually, there are more than 102; about 125, I think. Never mind emergencies, I walk up the staircase each time I go to Borough, once each day Tuesday to Thursday and twice on Mondays and Fridays because I go down for lunch on those days. It makes me puffed so it must be doing some good. And it warms you up, too.