`There is an extremely cold spell on it's way. Artic winds
will sweep down from the North Pole.' No sooner had Iain
McGorgeous spoken than they were upon us.
The dogs were waiting for their walk. I considered a pair of
red, green and black striped leg warmers discarded by my
daughter. They weren't quite as long as my legs but if I
pulled them well up, those biting North winds wouldn't even get
I put on my wellie socks and pulled the legwarmers over
them. They fitted snugly round my ankles. So far so good.
Unrolling the rest of the tube upwards over my calves and knees
I was pleased to find they almost covered my thighs, the
elastic top gripping sufficiently to hold them in position. I
smoothed down my skirt. It was a bit draughty above the leg
warmers but no doubt a pocket of warm air would soon collect to
keep my nether regions warm. Wellies, jumper, body warmer,
Barbour, woolen hat, mittens, scarf. I was ready for anything.
The dogs raced ahead of me. The lane was strewn with fallen
leaves; the sun shone in a brilliant blue sky, my legs were
warm inside my newly acquired, wrinkled, woolen tubes and
things were looking good. I scrambled over the stile at the
bottom of the hill. I wasn't moving as easily as usual;
probably the additional weight of my winter clothing I
Fifty yards on I attempted to climb another stile. One foot
on the bottom step, lift the other and ..... it wouldn't
lift. It was apparently out of commission, non-functional,
absolutely caput. I stepped back and was immediately brought
to my knees. `Damn the cold weather, and Anno Domini!' Both
had set in with a vengeance this morning.
I went through the gate, avoiding the stile. The next
obstacle on my usually uneventful walk, which today was rapidly
turning into an assault course, was a puddle and an area of
squelching mud. I normally strode over them both without a
thought. I didn't think.
When I had scraped off as much of the mud as I could manage
it was time to investigate. My hands were clean inside my wet
mittens and I fumbled my way under my muddy coat and skirt
with frozen finger tips to discover the legwarmers had
descended dragging my tights down with them. The gusset was
hobbling me at the knees. Something had to be done, I was a
mile and a half from home.
As I rolled down the legwarmers, a cold draught swept into
the space left above them. I folded each one neatly over my
boot top. The hobble remained in position. Nothing for it.
With my courage in both cold hands I hauled up my tights from
mid-buttocks to waist, aware that early morning bird watchers
using binoculars across the marsh might well suffer terminal
shock. The Arctic wind made itself felt as I struggled to drag
skirt down again and to walk home unfettered without further
293A Titchfield Road Titchfield Hampshire PO14 3ER.