There are few things in life that can stop me in my tracks. But there is one which fells me every time.
Coldness. I hate it.
It debilitates me more than anything.
So when I cast my watery eyes towards the clouds lurking above and breathe in an icy sbap of air, my heart sinks like a stone.
When happy smiley weather forecasters wave their arms at their very clever maps, cheerily telling us snow is on the way, I want to throw something at the telly.
Anything large and destructive will do.
Yes, snow, ice, coldness.
A combination guaranteed to bring out the worst of me.
When the central heating at my home packed up (again) just recently, I scowled and growled until it was sorted.
I’m currently locked in a campaign to persuade my wife that, as safety conscious as our family Volvo might very well be, a 4×4 would be much more sensible.
It is, needless to say, a battle I’ll likely not win in these days of austerity.
Last winter I turned to the trains for solace rather than brave the roads.
But that turned into a daily grind as points froze, power failed and people spluttered open mouthed all around.
This lunchtime I fully intended to head to the nearest outdoor clothing stock to replace the Goretex gloves I lost last year (£95), consider some ski-pants or waterproofs to replace the suit which got ruined by the lush last time round, and maybe a jacket too.
None of which I’ll need any other time of the year. In truth, none of which I really need now.
I could easily pull on a sweater, pick up some cheap Thinsulate pair from the garage.
But it’s psychological too, you see.
If there is an illusion of being toasty, that’s fine.
Should you be marvelling at how picturesque and majestic Edinburgh Castle can be when crowned with the white stuff, it doesn’t seem so bad.
Or knocking back some warming mulled wine hot from the stove at the winter market, makes it seem almost, well, enchanting.
So my advice?
Crank up the heating a notch, stay an extra half hour in bed, and try to forget all about it.
And if you don’t see another blog from me for a while, don’t worry.
I’ll just be hibernating somewhere. Warm.
But the point to all this is the apparent failure last year of the authorities to keep us moving.
It’s all well and good me having an old moan about the cold.
Yet if the roads haven’t been gritted through bad planning, if the trains aren’t running, people aren’t getting to work and the schools are closed, it affects us all.
So as the first icy blast of winter arrives, let’s hope the lessons of the last snow fall have been learned.
Other wise it truly will be a long. cold winter of discontent.
At least for me.