In Bristol, 1 January 2010 broke cloudless but with a lingering frost on the windscreens and grassy patches. Mine eyes haven’t seen the dark side of 9am for many a New Year’s Day, but having a five month-old baby wreaks havoc in all areas of life. Brit Jnr saw the decade in at midnight as part of her normal sleeplessness pattern. In theory, that should be the last New Year she sees in until the 2020s, which is an alarming thought.
2010 has thus far been cold, but countryside cold is of a different quality to town cold. This morning, as part of my post-Christmas exercise regimen, I arrived at the office early so as to take a brisk stroll around the surrounding lanes. Ice-stiffened and clogged with mist, the whole valley looks like the ghost of itself. After a while my thighs became cold beneath my trousers in a sharp stinging way which suddenly took me back to my primary schooldays in Portsmouth; a Roman Catholic job where we boys were required to wear shorts in all weathers. Mulleted footballers, cold thighs and the fizzy drink Quatro, that’s the early 1980s for me.
On the way back I spotted the Local Character’s poor old horse grumbling around in its field. Its back appeared to be covered in frost. Is this possible? Can horses frost up, like motorcars? I will have to ask the Local Character when I see him, which surely I will if he made it to the other side of Christmas. I hope you did too, and that you had a good one. Having begun 2010 with a bang I will almost certainly continue it with a few hundred whimpers. This was merely the first.