THE next time I complain about a Melbourne winter’s day is “freezing” please remind me of this visit to Scotland.
Since I arrived here last week the temperature has been stuck in the low single digits, with a couple of days where it has been literally freezing with the mercury sitting on zero.
The first morning I was in Scotland the water in the fountain outside my hotel froze solid, and there was one day when the cold wind blew so hard it felt like my face was being cut by a knife.
I have had to duck into a coffee shop or cafe several times a day, to have a hot drink or bowl of soup, and let the muscles around my mouth warm up enough that I can once again form words.
When I get dressed in the morning I face the challenge of deciding just how many layers I can pile on while still being able to move my arms and legs.
Yesterday, when I climbed the cobbled path to the highest point of Edinburgh Castle to enjoy the view over the city, I was wearing all my cold-weather options.
I was dressed in two pairs of socks, my RM Williams boots, my heaviest jeans, a long singlet I could tuck in to keep my back warm, two long-sleeve t-shirts, a thick wool cardigan, scarf, gloves, beanie, and my long red coat.
Having said that, there is a certain delight in rugging up and heading outside for a walk, and it has been special to see some of Edinburgh’s most famous attractions without the crowds of tourists who visit here in the warmer months.
How many people have a photo of them at Edinburgh Castle without another person in the picture?
But I’ve been lucky, I’ve been in the UK for almost three weeks now and it hasn’t really rained enough to stop me having adventures.
And it hasn’t snowed, but that’s about to change with white stuff scheduled to fall from the sky about the time I’m due to board the train on Thursday and head back to London for my flight home.
What’s the bet it will be 40C in Melbourne when I get off the plane on Saturday?