Until Spring…

Looking outside this morning I saw a clear sky; bright sunshine leaned against my windows showing up every smear from not cleaning with vinegar and newspaper.  My face glowed as I dried my hair in a pool of warmth.  The frost had left the grass, there were yellow chaffinches flying in the bare branches of my rose bushes.  A slight breeze rustled through the treetops.  Inside, my yoga mat lay in a pool of sunlight it was hot when I went to roll it up.  I decided against my extra layer of silk.  All looked well for a trip to town.

As soon as we left the shelter of the flat the cold struck me.  The street was in shade, no crossing over to be in the sun, at least not until further along now.  My sweater, scarf and car coat were not combatting the biting air.  My joints complained at being made to move faster to get the blood circulating…

“Where are we racing to?” they screamed.

They haven’t caught on to the internal fire generated by deep breathing and fast pacing.  The sudden cold has them in hibernation mode. They’d rather be in bed with the electric blanket.

So would I!

The station platform wasn’t much better and the metal train radiated the cold picked up by the oft opening doors.  By the time I was rushing my sluggish self across the Victoria concourse my feet were Sperry-shaped lumps of ice.

We only had one minute to wait for the tube and once inside the compartment I couldn’t persuade my body to bend into a seated position so I stood and shivered.

Every wall, every post, every footpath every step of the tightly packed city streets emanated a piercing cold that travelled through the pavements, up my legs.

My body tensed.

We walked through the Victoria Embankment gardens whose lawns glistened invitingly in the sun, only birds and dogs were enchanted.

Signs at the entrance to the Covent Garden Market warned us that,

“Thieves are at work here.”

I clutched my bag to my side. After browsing for an hour I found I had turned thief stealing heat from warmer bodies than mine by pressing into the crushes at the stalls.

We left and a frost of cold air settled itself around me again.  At the church gardens there were no benches in the sun.

Lunch would have to wait.

We passed a post office and darted inside to buy stamps for the last of our Christmas cards.  The sudden wall of heat coaxed my body to relax.  It was packed, the service was slow.  How long does it take to defrost an 8 stone body?

Hubs went to scope out the “get your ticket here” scheme.  We decided to stand in the automated machine line while waiting for our number to be called thus summoning us to the counter.

The customer being served was 154, we were 006, or maybe it was 900!  I was glad to be inside, a shimmer of heat hovered around me prodding the cold from my bones one joint at a time.

At number 194 we gave up our ticket to a woman who had just stamped her way inside and was looking at the queues in dismay.

We had been waiting for thirty minutes.  I loosened my scarf as we bought our stamps.

My thaw lasted until we found a sun drenched bench in the Embankment Gardens.  I longed for something warm for my tummy and ate a cheese and cucumber baguette prepared by hubs, thoughtfully remembering my love for picnics.

We looked around the park.  All the benches were taken by office workers keen to get out of their stuffy, hot, places of work to enjoy their lunch on a cloudless day in a December London.


On the train home the cold put me to sleep.  My body was in hibernation mode again.  I can understand the delusions of hypothermia.

As my hubs turned the key in our door I breathed,

“Our warm little flat…” and relaxed with a hot cup of coffee.

Remind me that once the long silk undies make it out there’s no casting off until Spring.

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