Legends from our own lunchtimes

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Life in a Cold Climate

When one isn't used to life in a refrigerator, one's behaviour can change inexplicably when a bout of cold weather descends.

We were in the backblocks of Wales one evening and had walked maybe three hundred metres in four degree temperatures from our lodgings to the pub, where we had hoped to find, and indeed did find, a meal of rather splendid gastronomic proportion.

On arrival, it was clear to three of us, the third shall remain anonymous but lets just say the other three knew her as wife, mother and mother-in-law respectively, that the pub was quite efficiently centrally heated.

In a move that seemed puzzling to the other three, the matriarchal figure stood back, ordering us into the seats closest to the wall, and coincidentally the giant radiators which lined it. I don't want to imply that there is any usual behaviour of selfishness on her part, as that is certainly not the case, but in a climate far different to the one to which she was accustomed, we had become used to her racing to the warmest spot in any room, and allowing us to elbow each other for the lesser positions, like seagulls fighting for the last chip.

As we began to wade through the second of eleven dishes of vegetables which accompanied our quarter of beef, the first rumblings of "are you warm enough" began.

"Warmth", it seems has nothing to do with the actual temperature of the room, and everything to do with the amount of radiated heat landing directly on whatever part of one's flesh remains bare to the elements.

The seat that she had chosen was next to the roaring fireplace. What she hadn't realised for reasons which remain completely inexplicable, as she herded us so selflessly towards the giant radiators, was that the only heat generated from it that night, would be from the flickering LED's nestled conspicuously among the plastic coals.

The fireplace, and indeed the fire it contained, had been made in China.

A video recording would have given off more heat.

Thanks to Shelley for the pic, and to Nick and Michelle's plastic fireplace for acting as a stunt double for this post.


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