Some days here are so gorgeous, it makes up for any rain, cold, or general dampness. It’s a beautiful day, a little breezy, but sunny, warm and dry. The clouds float by my window like starchy cotton balls, and most people are carrying their jumpers.
England does have some weather, but not as bad as it would seem. What makes it horrible in my estimation is the price of heating fuel and a general lack of insulation in many homes. Sometimes it feels like there’s no place to escape the chill. I wore gloves and a scarf indoors last year, and I am not looking forward to breaking them out again.
I think I bore people in the States with my talk of the weather. I bore myself with it sometimes. “Yes, yes, it’s cold and damp. Just like last time we talked.” “Oh, raining again? Not a surprise really. It’s England.” “Humid and in the 70s with an afternoon drizzle? Sounds like you don’t need a weatherman to tell you your summer forecast.”
When my husband would come during the winters back home, he rarely went outside. Inevitably, when he’d go out for his once or twice a week venture outside our little studio apartment, it would snow. Or he’d be met with heavy winds. Sometimes nature would be decidedly cruel and both would happen.
At the time, I thought this had to be the coldest he’d ever been, and excused his seasonal agoraphobia. Having wintered in his parents’ flat with the single paned 8 foot windows, soaring ceilings, outdoor (flush) loo, and the boiler that only comes on a few times a day, I know now that he knew cold. Maybe he just never knew what it was like to be snugly warm when it was absolutely grim outside.
London doesn’t allow you to have a fireplace or fire-stove. It’s meant to keep the air clearer, but I am beginning to question the wisdom in it. Wood can be a carbon neutral fuel source, and can be a great boost to meagre gas boilers in buildings designed to be heated with fire (albeit a coal grate). I am hoping we can move somewhere in the UK where we can freely burn wood to keep ourselves warmer and drier in the winter.
It’s a little telling that on such a beautiful day I am thinking about winter and being cold. Maybe it’s just the slight autumny smell to the air the past week or so that has made me realise it’s coming quickly, and a lot sooner than I am used to.