It's so cold in our flat that when I shake my head it feels like my teeth are rattling. The Esselunga guy just delivered my supermarket shopping and asked me if I'm wearing a scarf in the house because I have a cold. Don't tell G, but I just caved and put the heating on. A couple of days ago, we got a gas bill for the last quarter and he still isn't talking to me. Consequently, I'm making an effort and turning the heating off when it's just me at home. When our icicle-clad daughter comes back from nursery, I turn it up to a sweltering 18 degrees (Scorchio, scorchio, I hear you cry!). Fortunately, she's so English that she actually has porridge coursing through her veins and doesn't really suffer the cold. Having said that, she overheats like a husky in the Sahara come May and spends most of July and August looking like she's about to spontaneously combust. I blame the parents. Bloody northern European genes.
The latest scaremongering news over here in Italy is that if this 'Siberian Winter' continues, then gas is going to have to be rationed. Good, I say. Everyone else I know here in Milan has centralised heating - meaning they have no control over when it's on or off or the temperature itself. My sister-in-law's flat hovers around 26 degrees from November to March and when the temperature outside hasn't risen above freezing for two weeks, it's enough to make you feel faint. I basically walk in her front door and, as the tropical wave hits me, immediately fall asleep standing on the mat. Isabel goes bright red from head to toe and starts to give off a pulsating glow like the Ready Brek kid. If all those buildings could just turn down the heating a couple of degrees then it'd save tonnes and tonnes of gas (or however gas is measured - in hot air balloons perhaps?) and we could visit friends in winter without having to pack vests and suncream.
Well, the cold snap is set to continue for a few more days and more snow is forecast this evening. Clearly great news for all the old ladies who loiter on street corners waiting to tell me that my child is under-dressed. There's nothing like trying to convince an 18-month-old to keep her mittens on. Toddler logic clearly states that covered hands are no good at picking up nasty, flee-ridden (frozen) things from the pavement. Scarves are obviously for wimps and nothing, and I mean nothing, is more fun than watching mummy skidding on the ice to catch said toddler before they run out into the road just as the pushchair quietly rolls off in the opposite direction. So there.
When is Spring again?