“A bit fresh” & a few house pics

“A bit fresh.”  That’s how the weather might be described today.  I’ve never heard anyone actually admit that it’s cold here.

But c’mon.  We’re creatures who evolved from warm climes, aren’t we?    Wet cold will kill you.  Which is definitely how it feels today.

It’s mid-June and barely 50 degrees.  Wet.  So cold that I’ve been back from “the shops” as they say, for an hour, and am sitting here in my North Face hat, trying to get warm again.

Mid-June afternoon. Please send multiple parkas.

I think I might finally be getting something about British culture and weather, though.   In the US, wearing skimpy clothes in freezing cold weather is considered silly and unwise.  The precedent to getting sick, which is a waste.  But here, enduring the cold is a badge.  I’ve heard many boast about how little they need to wear in warmer places, while others are donning coats and hats.  C. firmly believes, too, that one should keep the house as cold as possible to avoid any sort of unhealthy familiarity with temperatures above about sixty.

I’ve also heard the phrase “feel the benefit.”  I.e. don’t wear your coat on the train, where it’s warmer.  If you do, you won’t “feel the benefit” when you get into the cold.

Call me a wimp.  Call me decadent, etc., but I don’t want to be cold, shivery, or sneezy.  I enjoy warmth and the sun, and am not afraid of admitting it.  I do, however, enjoy a non-wet cold.  Icy cold, and snow.  It’s sobering.  It wakes you up.  Of course snow is gorgeous too.  I can appreciate a nice, polar ten below day.  But not wet cold.  There’s something about it that instantly makes me feel like I’m going to die, which is perhaps a life-enhancing feature of the human brain, but might be best switched off in England.

What I have heard locals admit is that the weather can be “a bit fresh.”   This, to me, feels like saying that the Sahara is “a bit sandy.”   But this is the closest I’ve ever come to witnessing a weather complaint.

I’m trying to remember what it’s like in Virginia right now, 100 degrees and climbing, when one simply cannot do anything out of doors.  That’s a killer too.  I remember trying to take a walk on one of my last evenings there, and it was like trying to swim in a Jacuzzi wearing four wool sweaters.  Just awful.

I thought I’d also share a few pictures of my neighborhood.   Even the houses look like they could use some chicken soup today.

There’s often a wide variety in how people keep up with exteriors around here.  There are piles of empty glass beer bottles in the windows of the unpainted house.  Very ghosty.

Sometimes I struggle to keep my spirits up when it’s so dreary.  I miss trees, flowers, green.  On the other hand, we did get our carpet in, and it looks quite nice:

The lounge. We put new curtains up--pics coming....

So lounge=living room.  This space is considered quite large, even though it feels a bit small to me.  More pics to come.  Estate agent was supposed to take pics tomorrow for their website, but he had to reschedule, so our deadline for getting things tidy and clearing out massive piles of clutter has been moved up.  A blessing in that there’s no pressure now, but a curse in that I probably won’t get very much done with it today without the pressure.

Murphy is very excited about the carpet.  The ping-pong balls he loves glide across the floor now in the most enticing way, and usually by nighttime he’s ready to curl up with us on the duvet.  He always goes out when C. leaves before 6 in the morning, even when it’s cold and rainy.   He scratches at the door at very odd times, like the crack of dawn and 10:30 p.m., as if he has a scheduled appointment in the alley.  I don’t know how he stays warm, he’s so small, and always comes in wet.   Do British cats have oily fur, like ducks?

Murphy’s favorite spot is right on top of C.’s feet.  C. had originally banned Murphy from the bedroom, and then just from the bed, and then from his side, so of course that’s the one place he always targets.  How do they know these things?

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mariellen anderson
    Jun 10, 2011 @ 21:17:13

    Hang in there…let’s plan a trip to Barcelona soon?

    Reply

  2. taramoyle
    Jun 10, 2011 @ 21:53:10

    I’m dreaming of it. Would drop everything for Barcelona. 🙂

    Reply

  3. David
    Jun 13, 2011 @ 12:58:05

    You are a decadent wimp (as requested). Seriously, how can you move to England when you don’t like wet. Even in the summer when we have a heat wave it’s humid. England does wet very well.

    This is about Seattle but is just as relevant to the UK: http://theoatmeal.com/blog/seattle_weather

    Us Brits do like to be understated. In the same way that saying “It’s not bad” can be quite an accolade we save “It’s raining cats and dogs” for things like my drive home Sunday which was hard work after a weekend in a tent.

    Reply

  4. taramoyle
    Jun 13, 2011 @ 16:19:26

    Ha, decadent wimp title accepted.

    I know–it was a crazy move, wasn’t it? I have a rheumatoid-arthritis-like condition so literally freeze up like a steel beam in cold wet weather. Sometimes if my body is really warmed up I can tolerate it, but it’s catch as catch can. I knew it would suck at least part of the time, but blame C., 100%, for being so bloody charming. Cupid’s an evil little f*cker sometimes, isn’t he?

    Reply

  5. David
    Jun 13, 2011 @ 16:24:36

    I don’t think C. has ever tried to charm me so I can’t comment.

    But yes, Cupid makes you say and do some strange things.

    Reply

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