Bring back tradition of whingeing about cold

00:10, Aug 16 2014

Somewhere amongst all this silliness of the earthquakes, we've lost sight of our glorious past.

We've become so acclimatised to road works, fields of rubble, potential asbestos poisoning and battles with various insurers and government agencies that I feel we've forgotten the Christchurch of old. The Christchurch of cold.

Allow some idioms to explain what I mean.

It's as cold as a witches tit and a welldigger's arse. It's brass monkeys. If the temperature was a vegetable it would be a cucumber. If it was of literary mind it would be as cold as a dead man's cheek.

I am more plain speaking. This week, it has been (insert your favourite expletive here) freezing.

I hope the mood has suitably been set. I am writing this on Wednesday evening. The MetService forecast says the next five out of six nights will reach zero degrees or below.


I am in a warm office for most of the day and it is, after all, winter so I ought not worry about the daytime. What I fear is the morning.

I fear the cold bathroom and my feet on the tiles but most of all I fear my car windscreen.

I know there are people who live in far harsher climes. There are people from Otago or Southland who can rightfully say I have not lived until I have experienced the hoarfrosts of Ranfurly or Kyeburn. (I use these examples because my mum lived there as a kid and if I had a layer of woollen gloves for every time I've heard about the hoarfrost I'd have ungainly hands indeed.)

Still, with all our new quake- related problems, we must never forget to complain heartily about our frosty mornings and icy windscreens. I find arriving to work on time a tough enough prospect without this added pressure.

Wednesday morning's example was a goodie. The frost was so thick it formed beautiful patterns on the windscreen.

I asked Twitter how many jugs a windscreen might need on this frosty day. "Three large" someone replied.

I tried to leave home by the back doors but I had to shove because they had frozen together. I had some recycling but I couldn't open the recycling bin because the lid was frozen closed too.

I didn't even attempt to open the car doors until those three large jugs of warm water had fully cleared the ice.

These days I make sure I know where my keys are because I've fallen into the trap of pouring water only to emerge from the house to find the screen frosting over again.

I once had a windscreen scraper with a red sleeve and white fur lining. It worked well but it always felt like I was doing something filthy with a Santa puppet. The credit card scrape can be fun but it's time consuming.

The cops are quite rightfully reminding us about windscreens this week. Drivers attempting to navigate roads by peering through a hole the size of a credit card will be nicked for 'obscured window' offences. It's a $150 fine. The serious side is that if you can't see properly, some poor cyclist will be swiped so consider that the moral of this lesson.

And with that, I must get to sleep. It's supposed to be minus 4deg overnight and I am beginning to fear the morning already. I've got a positive focus though. I will bring my cold toes back to bed for a couple of minutes after going to the bathroom in the morning and I will plant all ten of them on my boyfriend's electric-blanket-heated ribs.

The sound I hear after that, it's a more pleasurable sound than scraping ice off a windscreen.

The Press