Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I'm fed up to my back teeth and beyond with this whole Northern European winter thing.
You'd think I'd get used to it after 30 plus years of experience, but you don't ever, do you?
Not like the Scandinavians, with their dry cold that plummets to eyeball-freezing temperatures. They've been able to adapt by wrapping up like the Michelin Man and learning to slide down mountainsides on smooth planks.
Nope, we don't get that sort of weather. We get the niggly, wet, 'cold snap' instead, which is a euphemism for someone upstairs switching off the light and heat and turning on a cold shower in November and letting it run for five months solid.
And this year, I truly think I may be cracking. Last year, I cracked in February, and I sold pints of my own blood and pawned my firstborn for the price of a ticket to South East Asia for a week.
This year, I'm low on the blood and the firstborn refuses to be sold into slavery for the benefit of my mental well-being.
I spend morning and evening in at best a dank twilight punctuated only by the rhythmic sweep of the windscreen wipers, momentarily making the licence plate of the completely stationary car in front legible through the rain.
In short, I need a holiday, but I can't have one because it's only just after Christmas and it doesn't matter if I only got a few days off and couldn't leave this godforsaken climate because I was ill. So was everyone in Ireland, down with some infectious lurgy or other.
There's no sympathy out there for my quest for sunshine and warmth.
Every year I swear it will be my last unbroken Northern European winter. Every year, around the time when more constructive people think of resolutions to improve their lives, I fret and daydream preposterous plots which would enable me to circumvent another cold, damp season.
I still haven't cracked it. But each day like today, I like to think I'm one day closer to doing so.