9am this morning and we're at the wonderful stage where everything has a snowy highlight and there's not a paw nor footprint to be seen. The sounds of the world are muffled and it seems a simpler place somehow, unless you have to go out of course. I have a reflexology appointment later on the other side of town and I don't think that constitutes an essential trip: everyone's been advised to stay at home unless their journey is vital.
I've taken another video of the garden, but as it's so similar to yesterday's, I thought it wasn't worth loading up for display. The birds are still singing (as some of you observed), but today it's more of a token gesture. I was speculating where this winter might fit in the record books: so far it's the coldest since 1981/2 according to today's news.
I remember that winter very well. I'd just left home in Birmingham and moved into my first house which I'd bought at Pity Me, just outside Durham. There was no central heating, just a couple of gas fires. It was the devil of a job to keep the house warm and I awoke every morning to the sight of ice on the inside of the windows. I was sleeping on the floor at the time too as buying the house had taken all the available cash I had* and the thin mattress I'd managed to borrow was piled high with duvet, blankets, coats and everything else suitable in an effort to keep warm. The wind tore through the telephone lines outside the house making the eeriest of music at all hours of the day and night. I can also remember the River Wear freezing over in the centre of the city.
I was terrified the water pipes would burst, so I kept the fires on all day together with the cooker, so I was equally terrified that the house would burn down whilst I was out at work. Yes, I went to work: I'd just joined the Civil Service and they had a rule that if you lived within 3 miles of any Civil Service office, you had to make your way there when the weather was bad. I lived 2 miles away, so
The house didn't burn down and mine was the only one in the street not to have burst water pipes when the big thaw eventually came. Of course I thought it was a tremendous adventure at the time, but today I'm rather glad our house has central heating and my bedroom has a cosy duvet to snuggle under. It seems I've lost my tough northern constitution and joined the ranks of the softy southerners after all ;)
How's the weather with you today?
* = it was actually cheaper to buy a 2-up, 2-down terrace house than to rent a tiny flat, though I hadn't factored in the cost of buying furniture as well. A few essentials such as a cooker, table, dining chairs and a wardrobe came with the house. My new colleagues were wonderful (even though most of them couldn't understand why a young, single lass was buying a house especially when the sight of a ring on a certain finger was nowhere to be seen) and donated all the spare furniture they had, so I only had to sleep on the floor for a few weeks.
But do you know what? I was so proud of what I'd managed to achieve by scrimping and saving out of my student grant, post-student and holiday jobs that I sat there as pleased as punch despite the cold. That sense of freedom, independence and readiness to take on the world was absolute bliss :)