Obviously a quick glance at the calendar tells me that it’s early November 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 usually needs repaird.
- At least one son 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 the 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.