There I was thinking we’d gotten away with it lightly, with such a sunny Paris December .. then bam! Down came the cold … and down came the temperatures, to the coldest in decades. The coldest drawn out spell since the 1940’s according to Le Parisien … in Paris as in Lyon and across half of Europe. It’s been snowing penguins in Istanbul! Istanbul that Mediterranean Bosphorus blue city of copious sunshine and steamy hammams (and granted way more than its fair share of terrorist attacks of late . Yes of course any is too many.)
Even sundrenched Marseille, France’s Med capital where people’s accents implode with bouillabaisse as much as sun rays, is freezing its nuts off. Which brings me to the point of funny sayings about the cold. Topped off by that of a dear friend in OZ who always used to say, “Cold enough to put icicles on a penguin’s dick”. And I’m not normally crude or a great admirer of vulgarity of any kind but I just find this kind of Aussie gutsy, saying things as they are, calling a spade a spade, likeable.
I guess it’s the Australian equivalent of the far more polite (read British … an ancestral thing for us Aussies but far enough away for us to shrug such niceties off – along with layers of clothing), “Cold enough to give a penguin chills.”
I will keep those in min5d as I shiver away … There’s no light at the end of the tunnel until January 29th when we take a sudden upturn from minus 5’s and 6’s maxi 1-2 (i.e hovering in the 20 degree Fahrenheit range), towards 10-12 degree days.
On the bright side … and there is one. It’s going to be very sunny. This morning in -5 Celsius temps I took a glorious winter sunbath again with the door just lightly ajar in order to soak up that sun, without risking frostbite or snapfreezimg in the bitter cold wind.
Also I must and do pay a very big thought to the huge suffering this cold snap is causing. How could anyone survive that living in the streets? Thankfully there are some very big hearts out there lending a helping hand to those very much in need.
As to my little video, taken in front of the Louvre on the Quai de Francois Mitterand in my Prague babushka hat. Come Dr Zhivago yes. Well it is always guaranteed to score some looks and comments. One man passing me on the Pont des Arts said smiling “Vous n’auriez pas froid vous” (you won’t go cold) … to which I replied “No Monsieur mais I need one for my entire body.”
Then as I crossed the lights to my office, Bibliothèque Mazarine, a woman exclaimed “Madame Proust!” I played along with it for a few seconds before realising she hadn’t mistaken me for yet another character from a century novel, but a tour guide she and her group were waiting on.