Thursday, January 8, 2015

Brits - Don't know they're born

......weather-wise, that is.

Seriously. I know I've blogged about this before but I will never complain about British weather again. Ok, let me walk that back (as they say at the moment). I will never complain about British cold weather when it's winter; if I have the same weather in the summer (which has happened on my trips home) I will still whine and moan.

It's freezing here. We're talking about 5 Fahrenheit (that's -15 Celsius) actual temperature. When they factor in the wind chill, (which makes it feel colder) who knows where it will end?

Here's a few things that happen -

- You take your dog for a walk and get no further than the end of the street when she starts picking up one paw after the other, flattens her ears and looks as if you've just beaten her with a stick. Paws too cold even for a husky mix. (I managed to get her home without having to carry her, thank goodness.)

- The heating (which is air flowing through duct work) is on over-drive and is very loud. So loud that you have to turn the volume up on the telly and your shoulders start hunching up around your ears. You don't realize it's happening till the heating switches off and you suddenly find yourself listening to very loud TV and your shoulders return to their normal position - and, relax.

- It takes for EVER to get dressed for outdoors, whether or not you're a toddler wearing a snowsuit. For me, it's two layers of regular clothing, one preferably thermal or cashmere. An industrial style parka to the floor (not any old padded anorak), neck gator or balaclava, thick hat, thick gloves (we stopped using woolen ones in October), and fashion-abandoning snow boots. Here's what I look like when walking the dog -

Gorgeous eh? 

- Skincare takes on a new meaning and it has nothing to do with anti-ageing! People un-used to this clime tend to panic as they shed dermi-layers every time they take off their socks. Not only is it cold at this time of year, but it's extremely dry. We're talking hair standing on end, electric-shocks-from-everything kind of dry. This makes for snake-like skin shedding and necessitates lots of lotion and lip balm. Chicagoans become pre-occupied with cracked finger tips and chapped hands, seeking out advice on the best solution and spreading valuable tips with gay abandon.

- Snow days. Chicagoans are pretty hardy when it comes to snow. What usually causes "snow days" (which are days when schools are closed), is the temps dipping to dangerous levels. When it gets that cold, you're really not advised to stay outside for more than a minute or so. That makes arrival and dismissal of the little ones very difficult as they usually have to stand in a queue and be escorted into school.

So, we're on snow day alert right now .......

12 comments:

  1. Ah, winter in northern US. I do not miss it. Yes, it gets grey and wet and raw here at times, but -- as I like to remind the locals -- I have not had to shovel my roof for 12 years.

    And "let me walk that back..." Ugh!

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  2. That blue colour suits you!
    I think in winter I would swap the dog for a goldfish...is that feasible? Although you can't really do that with a young schoolboy...

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  3. Seoul was very similar - it was 12F on New Year's Eve and we were outside, wrapped up like eskimos. We actually bought boots for the dog, too. I had someone warn me that England was 'really cold' before I moved here, and I just laughed. I'm sure it's cold, but compared to Seoul, where your face (the part that's exposed between the hood and the neck gaiter) begins to ache in just minutes after walking outdoors, I am finding the weather in England to be remarkably comfortable - and the beautiful thing, as you pointed out, is that my skin is no longer cracking and shedding! I bet I had a chapstick and a tube of extra-strength hand lotion in every pocket of every coat I owned. Not envying you, but sending lots of sympathy. Oh, and for the dog, you might want to try Muttluks - it's a Canadian brand of dog boots, which I agree are absolutely silly, but might give the dog a bit of relief. Stay warm!

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  4. I feel your pain - although for me it was at the opposite end of the temperature spectrum in St Lucia, where it was always so hot you felt like you were swimming through cotton wool every day. Although at least the humidity was better for the skin!

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  5. Oh dear, you are really having a tough time. I hadn't realised it was that cold. We've been lucky the last couple of winters with mild weather.
    It's stormy today but yesterday was lovely, bright and sunny.
    Loved your blue suit and your eyes are very blue to match.
    Maggie x

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  6. Mike - we were shoveling the roof in Colorado a few weeks ago. This week apparently has been rather warm there and we now have icicles dropping off that are three feet long and ten inches wide. Yikes!

    Trish - the poor schoolboy can barely walk to school with the thick clothing and the giant backpack on! LOL

    MsC - Yes, whenever I come back to England I can feel my skin saying "Thank you, thank you."

    eps - I'm not sure you're garnering any sympathy there ;-)

    Thanks Maggie. Yes, that old Bristol weather is not so bad is it?

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  7. You do have lovely eyes (unless you've been touching up the photo).

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  8. Iota - Aw thanks petal. I haven't touched up the photo but the color is probably off since that jacket is actually a washed out black! My eyes are blue and tend to reflect what's going on around them so sometimes they can look grey/denim and other times I look like a timber wolf!

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  9. I feel your pain, but look on the bright side -- in some ways the US weather is just more exciting. Here, we're stuck with endless grey January, a bit drizzly and chilly but not excitingly cold or snowy. My really cold weather gear is languishing at the back of a cupboard, only to be dragged out for skiing.

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  10. It's super cold over here in Korea too... I need to invest in one of those face masks!
    Brittany
    www.BrittanyJefferson.com

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  11. I think I shall stick right where I am after reading that . . . . boy it looks cold there.

    Like the outfit, matches your eyes colour . . . lol

    I know we moan about our weather and long for sunnier climates ~ maybe the answer is to hibernate . . . :)

    A very Happy New year ~ Eddie . . . :)

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  12. Wrong email address hence no blog link . . . sorry

    I think I shall stick right where I am after reading that . . . . boy it looks cold there.

    Like the outfit, matches your eyes colour . . . lol

    I know we moan about our weather and long for sunnier climates ~ maybe the answer is to hibernate . . . :)

    A very Happy New year ~ Eddie . . . :)

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