I Can’t Get Warm

Posted on November 29, 2010

I am so cold it is incredible, no matter what I try, I just can’t warm up. This must be a combination of getting older, fighting off a common cold, and the extraordinary weather we have been having over the last ten days or so. Of course I don’t need to tell this to anyone locally, you know how bloody cold it is, but to my readers in Australia who are lapping up the sun and watching cricket at a sensible hour, we are experiencing some of the coldest November temperatures on record. Here in Basingstoke it was -7 last night whilst it was a high of  just 1c today. It is now 4.15pm and it has dipped below freezing already. We are the luckier ones, it was -18c in Wales last night and much of the country is under a blanket of up to 20cm of the white stuff that is so far staying to the east of Hampshire.

The picture above shows the jet stream (the bits in orange and red) which is normally our best pal in winter as it keeps us relatively mild whilst the rest of Northern Europe freezes. At the moment it is blocked for at least this week, and is travelling down to the west of us, across the Bay of Biscay and in to southern and central Europe where it is currently nice and warm. What forecasters don’t seem to know is how long this will last, it may only be a week, but an Atlantic block of this type can last months. The jet stream can be tracked as above, but opinions are divided on how it actually works, but to stay a green and pleasant land we need it, otherwise we will freeze in winter and bake in the summer.

I like a bit of  snow now and again because it is generally unusual in the south and doesn’t last long, but the thought of a winter dominated by freezing temperatures and easterly winds is not a pleasurable one, especially when you take in to account travel disruption, postponement of sporting events, and high heating bills, especially where my poor girlfriend lives, she has an old cottage that runs on oil which isn’t cheap even during a mild winter.

When I was a kid I was not susceptible to the cold at all, I just didn’t feel it. I can remember on occasions the condensation on my bedroom window freezing, but I would often go out in just a jumper in the snow and I rarely had gloves because I would always lose them within a day of my mum buying them. I wasn’t Mr tough guy, I was just always warm. I can remember driving home once from Kent in a blizzard once and my Dad saying that he had lost the feeling in his feet (car heaters were crap then) because he was so cold and I just couldn’t understand it. I do now, and I often marvel at how my youngest son Harry is never cold, obviously a gene he has adopted from me.

I really hope this is just  a quirk in the general weather pattern and by the time next week comes we have settled back in to a more normal December pattern of weather with the odd frost and daytime weather that can be alleviated with thin jacket or even just a jumper. As for my recent cold, if it is described as ‘Man Flu’ by one more woman I come across I will throw a fit. ‘Man Flu’ is a term used by women that suggests when a man has a common cold he exaggerates its effects to the extent he says he has the Flu. It is an accusation without substance as women are just as likely to enhance their colds in to something worse. What’s more I haven’t said I have Flu, so ladies please stop accusing me of feigning an illness I haven’t even claimed I had. I have ‘Man Cold’ if that’s okay by you.

The next time I hear a woman tell me she has a cold, I must remind myself to tell her that she has “Woman Flu!”

I know how to make myself popular.

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