Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Snug as a bug

It's unseasonably cold this evening. I don't mean Antarctic winter cold, or even American High in the Rockies cold. Just cold for us on our Gulf-Stream warmed little green island. The temperature is a balmy 0 C, or 32 F, for our other visitors. The car roofs are dusted in pale waves of frost and I'm sure the potted geraniums in the back garden may be done for by morning. If they survive, I may move them into a tumbledown shed that's had a reprieve and has a sunny window.

Billy Connolly has some funny stories of growing up in Glasgow and the efforts to look more affluent when the parish priest came around, spoiled by the brother shouting from the bedroom:

"Mammy! Billy has his leg down the arm of the duvet!"

Herself and I both survived frosty nights in unheated bedrooms as children with blankets of adult coats on us for protection. I remember my father's large tweedy coat, the smell of tobacco from it, it's rough outer texture and smooth inner lining. We also had some furs, remnants of the family's few years in Canada, and these tartan-lined bearskins had long, soft brown hairs to keep the cold out of the unlucky bear. The furs are long gone, of course. But I found a small bear-fur hat from my mother's 1950s collection. It's sitting on a shelf by the door of my cluttered study. I'll give it a pat for old-time's sake on the way to sliding in under the many togged modern duvet in our centrally heated 21st Century house.

Times move on. On Monday, our visiting 3 year old grandson stopped in his tracks in front of the living room fire.

"What's that?" he asked, staring at the naked flames.

Good night.