Thursday 3 December 2015

Baby, it's cold outside

Some people don't seem to notice the cold but I think I have amphibian in my blood. I slow down as the temperature drops and I'm truly grateful that I don't have to work outside.

I had an outdoor job once, when my parents ran a market stall. I've blogged about life on the markets in My Market Performance but I didn't mention the all-consuming pain of spending a day on the market in the depths of winter. I'm talking more than numb fingers and toes. It was a cold that attacked my entire body and it took hours, sometimes days, to recover. It was a tough life and I only stuck it for a short time.

So it is with genuine empathy that I express concern for the many outdoor workers at this time of the year when the inevitable frosts will soon be upon us. Take the postman, for example, struggling with red and frozen fingers to sort and post letters. Then there's the window cleaner slithering on icy slabs with his ladder, the garage man lying on his back under a car with a swift north-easterly whipping round his trousers, police on the beat with frozen feet, and as for those car washers; have you seen how red and chapped their hands are?

The list is endless. There are road repairmen, tree surgeons, street cleaners, gardeners, and don't get me started about the horrors of being a sailor, trawler man or fisherman at sea. How they survive the sub-zero temperatures, the wild seas and the gale force winds is beyond my comprehension.

I know that there are lots of jobs that I haven't mentioned and I'm sure that they are all equally tough at this time of the year so let's spare a though for all outdoor workers as the temperature starts to plummet.
I'm typing this with a snuggle blanket over my legs, a cat curled up next to me and a mug of hot Ovaltine on the table by my side. I can hear the wind whooping down the chimney but it can't get at me. I know that people have to do those outdoor jobs and I am grateful that they do them. I'm just glad it's not me.