Cold comfort: Ten ways I know it really is winter

Obviously a quick glance at the calendar tells me that it’s early December and the fact we are at 55 degrees north mean that it’s winter. Autumn is over and spring is a very, very long way off.

However, I’m told it was the warmest autumn since warm autumns began meanwhile, shops have been flogging fake snow-covered festive scenes for weeks already.

So I need to use other measures of the passing seasons.

Here are my top ten clues that it’s winter:

  • I have blisters on my ankle bones from a close encounter with a hot water bottle.
  • The central heating has needed repaired.
  • The toddler has out grown his winter boots.
  • It is daylight for such short amounts of time that it’s hardly worth opening the curtains and certainly not worth cleaning the windows.
  • The vests are out. Boy Three got new ones which prompted this conversation. “Isn’t this vest lovely? It feels all cosy.”“It doesn’t feel cosy. It feels all mummy.”
  • I am reminded of how expensive it is to buy tickets for a city centre pantomime. Boo hiss.
  • Sean Batty is overheard saying “snow likely on higher ground”.
  • There is a tiny little frost and three people I meet in a morning report falling over.
  • Any pretence at maintaining feet and legs in a respectable ladylike manner is abandoned with glee.
  • I get invited to review a sledge. 
  • Christmas cards arrive.

But this year I am organised. We have anti freeze, a windscreen cosy, a shiny new snow shovel and I’m giving serious thought to some of those snow grips that strap on to your shoes. Mr J Frost, bring it on – I’m ready.

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