Our outdoor thermometer has been constantly displaying temperatures normally only seen inside a deep freeze.
It is Cold.
Today's daytime temperature didn't rise above a bone-chilling -12ºC and in the early morning it registered -17ºC! I am completely unaccustomed to this sort of cold; in fact I don't think I've ever been anywhere this cold. I found it hard going taking Kita out for her walk and couldn't stay outside for long. The chill makes my cheeks turn white - I believe it's called 'frostnip'. Whatever it is, it's unpleasant and scary-looking.
I also discovered that at these icy temperature, my nostrils freeze!
The dog is completely unaffected by the cold, courtesy of her thick, double coat. All that bothers her are the pieces of salty grit on the pavements that get stuck in her paws. Overall, she's been having a fabulous time; mainly because her raison d'être, hunting, is much easier in the cold - the mice are much slower. Yes, she has had a couple of successful kills recently.
The lake is now completely, and apparently solidly, frozen and people have been skating on it. I am too nervous to venture out into the centre - just in case - so I stick to the novelty of walking on the edges.
I haven't taken many photos recently as it's just too darn cold to leave my gloves off!
Many times in my life I've heard the phrase, "it's too cold to snow." I can now categorically confirm that this is an untrue saying. It has snowed. Just a little came down over the weekend and the flakes were beautiful. Large and perfectly formed patterns made a thin, glittering layer over the old snow. And because it is so cold, they are still there, ready for study and admiration for as long as anyone can stand to be outside.
Back to the temperature - because I still can't quite believe the numbers!
I went for lunch with a friend today so I needed to catch the bus into town. I wore five layers, two pairs of socks, sheepskin gloves and boots. Nothing worked and I was frozen within ten minutes. Of course, I should have worn my ugly, dog-walking parka, but style overcame substance to my detriment. It's taken me hours to warm up properly.
So I need a new coat. Something smart and stylish, yet very warm. A down coat would be perfect, preferably one that comes down to my knees; a women's down coat... however, women's coats rarely fit me. And men's coats are not elegant. Therein lies my problem.
I trekked to the Barbour shop where I tried on some gorgeous, stylish parkas, but alas, the sleeves were far too short. I suspect I will find this with every brand and I'll be back to wearing boring men's coats again.
Glancing briefly at Moncler's prices, I swiftly moved on (shame, they're very stylish!) - back to my warm house and internet research for the best winter coats.
I'm still looking, sadly.