Sunday, January 20, 2008

Balmy England

For anyone complaining about their weather at the moment, let me tell you what we have going on in Chicago. The sky is a beautiful light blue, not a cloud to be seen and the sun is blinding. The thermometer reads 1 degree Farenheit, which I believe is a touch colder than -21 centigrade. And that's without the sodding wind-chill factor which makes it feel more like - 15 Farenheit. You'd think a girl who'd grown up in the freezing north east of England would be equipped to deal with this, but no. After almost 17 years of living here I'm still whining about the cold.

This cold makes you cough because you can't inhale deeply enough. There's a strange sensation in your nostrils, which is actually your nose hairs freezing, although my little one says it's "freezing snotties". Probably a mixture of both for most people. Fashion goes out the window as we become walking duvets in our floor length down coats, balaclavas and huge padded mittens. Meeting and greeting people in the street is an exercise in faith and goodwill since no one is identifiable, nor am I recognisable to them.

And to top it all off, my husband has just come in to tell me of some strange 'stuff" in my car. We had to leave it out in the street last night to make room in the garage for our babysitter's car. When hubby went to put it back (too cold for me) he found some muddy brown "stuff" splashed all over the steering wheel. Having no idea what he was even trying to describe, I ventured out and found the same muddy "stuff" all over the back seat too. This was getting very strange indeed. It didn't look like anyone had tried to break in, and even if that had been the case - what the hell was this? "It looks like something has exploded" I proclaimed, and then immediately wished I hadn't as it gave hubby the clue and the culprit in one fell swoop. Diving under the seat, he retrieved the unopened can of Diet Coke I'd left next to the driver's seat. Remember how liquid expands when it freezes? Well, if it's Diet Coke restricted by a tin can it simply explodes and turns into sludge. I will have to resort to one of those household hint books to figure out how best to remove it.
Oh for the temperate climate of England - where at least your drinks are safe!


  1. You really are going through a cold spell! it is balmy here by comparison. Dismal though. Today, according to the newspapers, is the most depressing day of the year in England!
    Laughed at your brown stuff all over the car! Bet you didn't though!

  2. Yep, as Maggie said, welcome to Blue Monday. Living up to it's name so far - but still, at least it's nearly over! -21 deg C? What are you doing? Come back to tropical England and be depressed by the bleak greyness, why don't you... On second thoughts...

  3. Yes, I can never quite decide which is worse - the bitter cold or the boring grey! Don't have much of a choice at the moment with one child having just started high school. I'll just make the most of being fairly near the Caribbean and Mexico then :-).

  4. Yuck! Exploded Diet Coke!

    Will swap you yesterday's driving slush for freezing cold calmness.

    Didn't realise you were a fellow Northern lass :)

  5. I tried to explain the "It's so cold the snot in your nose freezes" kind of temperatures to friends and family in the UK and they looked at me like I was crazy!

  6. Oh, and don't leave your cell phone or credit cards in the car either. The battery in the phone tends to decide it's dead and credit cards go very brittle and crack when you pull them out to use them at the drivethrough ATM or the petrol pump!

    Come to think of it, leaving credit cards in the car isn't usually a very good idea in most places anyway, but I happen to live in a very safe, very quiet, neighborhood.

  7. AA - I remember telling my brother in England how cold it was here and he said "It can't be - that's a walk-in freezer". Hello?
    Thanks for the phone tip too - haven't tried that one but I'm sure it's a matter of time.


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