Sunday, January 18, 2009

 

Cold Weather

Peter Hitchens has it right and writes well:

I like sitting round a hearth as much as anybody, or walking into a warm kitchen. But these things are not half so pleasant unless you have come in from the cold outside.

Proper British cold weather is exhilarating, stimulating and good for you. ... I still recall experiencing as a small child the sharper frosts of Scotland, on the Fife coast of the Firth of Forth, and finding the milk solid in the bottles on the doorstep, with the cream thrust up out of the bottle and he foil cap perched on top.

Sometimes it brings glorious clear air, so that you can see further than at any other time of year. Sometimes it comes with mysterious fogs. I am still sad that I shall never see again the overpowering sight of an express steam engine coming into a station one foggy winter dusk in a small Dartmoor town, entirely surrounded by its own cloud of steam glowing pink, red and gold.

When it freezes lakes and ponds, and hardens the earth, it makes sound travel quite differently, so that church bells across a long distance have a special hollow echo to them that (like the bells themselves, only more so) is uniquely English.

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