When it's icy and snowy and the pavements are frosted over with sparkling crystals I am filled with a sense of wonder at the beauty of nature and experience an ever-present frisson of excitement.
I have never grown past my love of snow and ice. For so long when I was growing up, winters were so disappointingly grey and early spring-like. It was like early March right from September to April. That icy blast of winter never came.
And so that novelty feeling of a proper winter will never leave me I don't think. Breathing early morning air in sub zero temperatures is one of the very real pleasures of my life. I like walking during a winter sunrise and watching muted colours parting to reveal bursts of sheer radiance. Like a painting but real and vital and there in front of me.
I also always have a perverse feeling of gladness when anything out of the ordinary happens to disrupt routines. It's true. I'm not proud of it. But it is true. Maybe not being able to get into work or wherever you need to go, maybe routes being closed and having to walk, maybe people not coming in because they can't get off their driveway - it makes daily life a bit more interesting. I daresay it's mostly because I still get the feeling that it might be a snow day. Even though our schools never closed because of snow. Ever. And my parents were very much the kind that had no truck with that kind of nonsense.
These days schools barely seem to stay open during winter. And I always think how much I hated school and how ace it was to get a gift of a random day off. It's probably not as easy these days to skive off so I reckon the generations are even in the end.
So, even though I still don't have a working boiler. Oh yeah, you don't think a blog post could go by without a mention do you? I am currently fighting with the MD of the letting agents who is very, very keen to tell me that he and his staff are awesome and not actually fixing the motherFUCKING boiler. I've kind of become dependent on them, truth be told. If I didn't email them at least twice every day and hear their latest fuckwit rationalisation, well, I'd miss them. I think we've become codependent, between you and I. It can only end badly. After I've moved, I'll probably be phoning them and hanging up just so I can hear their voices.
And for this week only they've given me access to the flat beneath mine, which happens to be a holiday let and is relatively plush. It looks like your granny selected the decor but it's all very nice. Sunday afternoon was spent enjoying the luxury of a sofa, actual central heating and, best of all, a hot shower. The first for over 14 days. It's nice to have somewhere warm to go but as Fatty can't join me I don't feel able to stay down there much. Plus my friends are getting very covetous over a certain art deco lamp down there. I should probably keep them out of temptation's way.
But back to the snow and ice. For all its beauty and divine wonderment. For all it makes a shitty, 'orrible street look gorgeous and Narnia-like, it makes me walk like an 80 year old mental patient who has very probably shat her pants on the way to work. I just can't walk normally. I'm absolutely certain I will fall as soon as I set foot on it, despite the act that this has never happened to me in my life, and despite the fact that I'm wearing heavy duty Dr Marten boots, the like of which Alexei Sayle would be proud. All I have to do is walk. You know. Normally.
But people keep lapping me. Small children. Actual old people. People just walk like it's normal while I adopt the shuffling gait of Tena Lady's finest customer. I get to the bridge over the Foss and slow down to an absolute tiny shuffle. In my head I visualise me doing a Bambi thing where my legs splay out and I can't get my balance. That's all that I can see. Sliding over onto my arse. Presumably it's an embarrassment thing? My usual mistake of thinking anyone would give a shit if I fell over or if I ran down the street naked. No one, especially in the morning, gives a fuck what anyone else does, as long as they don't get in the way or try and engage them in conversation. So what makes me walk like Hilda Ogden after a stroke? In case I break my hip? In case my dentures fall out? What's wrong with me?
I want to walk to work tomorrow, but as it's 2.75 miles and it takes me about an hour to get to the bus stop at the moment I don't think it's going to happen. I might just grab on to someone's coat tails and let them drag me along. Or hold on to the back of the bus a la Marty McFly. Or I might just be brave and walk like a fucking normal person. What's the worst that can happen?