The Very Worst Of Winters

As December grasps the calendar baton from November, whose watch matched the previous eight months starkness on Planet COVID, apparently snow is forecast in West Yorkshire for the coming days.

If this was Canada, Amazon delivery vans would be changing to snow tyres, gritters/ploughs would be working around the clock and elk would be building protective igloos.

Actually, I might have imagined that latter action. Thinking about it, being in possession of cloven hooves would significantly hinder an elks ability to construct ice structures…. As you were, troops.

Anyhow, moving on, Canadians have real snowfalls and possess the logistical wherewithal to pragmatically carry out business as usual when they strike. Unlike their Brit cousins whose lives go into meltdown at the first sight of snowflakes, regardless of how meagre the flutter.

I recall a couple of years back when my daughter Rachel lived in Banff, Canada, one January she phoned home to be told by her mum that it was freezing back here in Blighty. With the temperature of -1 degree Celsius, a statement which you could concur was technically true.

However, our youngest offspring swiftly usurped that tale of winter discomfort with the revelation it was currently -30 degrees Celsius in Alberta. A temperature so harsh, when she’d been out earlier in the day, her eye lashes had frozen together.

As my dear old mum would no doubt proffer about UK snowfall levels and temperatures, “We don’t know we’re born!” when compared to Canadians.

That being said, the early part of 1963, just prior to my entrance onto this dysfunctional planet, Britain did endure one of its worst winters since comedian siblings Mike and Bernie.

The UK’s unusually harsh conditions resulting in snow drifts reaching close to the top of telegraph posts. A situation which moved then prime minister Harold MacMillan to inform press congregating outside parliament “Bloody hell, it’s brass monkeys out here!

An opinion he followed with “Oh incidentally did you see that Albert Tatlock on Coronation Street last night….. What a bleeding misery he is.”

I recently asked my mum what it was like living through that wretched few months weather wise. After pondering over my question for around half a minute, she answered “Cold.

It was an unusually short response from the ordinarily talkative octogenarian, which admittedly doesn’t augment this narrative in any way. But, hey, don’t shoot the messenger.

During my research for this piece, I did some digging into the April day I was born, in 1963. According to the website, apparently the following is true for anyone delivered on the same day as yours truly:-

  1. Numerological edicts state my life path number is 3…… A number which represents vision, imagination and joy of living. Those possessing this path have a great talent for creativity and self expression
  2. My ruling planet is Venus…… A planet of love, charm, and possessions. People who are born with Venus as their ruling planet have beauty, charm, sensuality and sporadic afflictions of excessive ear wax production.
  3. I was born during the Year of the Rabbit….. Blimey, I didn’t realise Anne Summers shops were around in those days.
  4. Apparently, I’ve spent 7,013 hours of my life sleeping…… With working hundred of night shifts over the years, during which I was only sleeping 2 hours a day, a more accurate figure would be around half of that estimation.
  5. The number one single in the UK on my birthday was ‘How Do You Do It’ by Gerry & The Pacemakers.
  6. The number one single in the US on my birthday was “I Will Follow Him’ by Little Peggy March…… Which later became an anthem for female stalkers everywhere.
  7. My star sign is Taurus the bull….. You can write your own punchline to that!

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