Tuesday, 7 December 2010

December - in the bleak mid winter

Last week, I went swimming for the first time in over a month. The pool was quite warm and I was able to clock up a respectable 500m in 17 minutes. On leaving the pool room, I was met by the usual icy blast from the small vestibule that leads to the showers. That was when the trouble began. I was wheezing hard by the time I'd turned on the shower and set the temperature as hot as I could bear in the expectation that the steam would open the airways -  not a hope. The warm changing room did help, a little, and I was almost recovered by the time I'd dried and put on my clothes.

Leaving the Health Club, the wheezing returned in earnest as I made my way gingerly across the snowy car park. Asthma and cold weather - very unmixy things. I drove home with the first verse of an old carol playing on a repeat-loop in my head.

In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter,
Long ago.

The scene outside the window today is just like the picture - a hard frost hanging on every leaf and branch, water like a stone minutes after the bird baths have been filled with water that is boiling.