The first real frost of winter settled upon us overnight, covering the cars in a white rime and freezing the sap in the flowers that have so valiantly struggled on past autumn. Well, it had to come didn’t it, the cold snap; it wouldn’t be winter without a touch of frost.
I volunteered to scrape the wife’s windscreen and I was surprised just how thick the film of ice was. Of course I neglected to wear gloves and by the time I’d finished scraping my hands were freezing and my fingers felt like icicles as I scratched the word 'Frost' in the white stuff.
Icicles, now there’s a thing. As a child I loved looking at the icicles that hung from the guttering above my bedroom window. They sparkled like diamonds in the cold white moonlight. Of course I wasn’t so keen on the ice that formed on the inside of the windows overnight, but those icicles were a little bit of magic in a world where I needed as much magic as I could get.
My bedroom was at the corner of the house and my bed backed onto an outside wall. On bitter cold nights I would put my hand on the wallpaper and feel the cold permeating in from the outside through the brick and plaster. No central heating then, no heating upstairs at all.
Those childhood icicles were magnificent, often growing to over two feet in length and I was always sad when the inevitable thaw came as they slowly dripped away to nothing. It was worth the artic atmosphere of my bedroom just to let those massive icicles form, which they surely wouldn’t have done if there had been heating upstairs. Every cloud has a silver lining they say, even if it is made of ice.