The deadliest, jelliest site ever. Brought to you by Niamh Shaw

This country is f-f-f-free-hee-heezing.

There has been no circulation in my nose for two weeks now.

At present, I am stretched out on the floor of the living room, trying to press as much of my body length as possible against the heater. I hope nobody comes in, because it looks suspiciously like I’m attempting to shag the radiator. Except that I’m fully, in fact possibly over-clothed; and instead of counting the cracks in the ceiling, I’m typing on my laptop.

Every morning, I wake up lightly chilled. I pull the bedclothes higher, tucking them around my neck to create a vacuum against the outside world. Then I wrap my arms around my torso and tuck my feet into my armpits. I’m more flexible than I thought.

After half an hour of fruitless, soulless, yearning for warmth, I can’t delay getting up any longer. Mentally bracing myself, I fight off the duvet and three blankets, scramble over the cold hot-water-bottle, and make a desperate dash for the bathroom – specifically, the wall-mounted fan heater.

[Wait a minute – Radiator and I are shifting position. Mmm baby you’re so hot.]

Since leaving the UK ten years ago I have spent little time in Ireland. Husband and I were here for Christmas 2002, but I didn’t notice the temperature because I was fuelled with mulled wine.

As for my formative years in Limerick, I tend to view my upbringing with anti-rose-tinted glasses. I seemed to spend an awful lot of time trying to locate the ‘nuclear’ setting on my electric blanket, or huddled miserably in front of a fan heater, or wondering whether purple was my natural lip colour.

Now I can confirm: it really was that cold


Comments on: "Freezing point: higher than you might think" (7)

  1. Anonymous said:

    I love your writing and your last batch of pictures were breathtaking.


  2. deadlyjelly said:

    Hello there and thank you! So pleased to hear from you and hope to see you around again

  3. McD;-) said:

    Hiya Niamh,

    You’ll be (I hope) happy to know I’ve broken my vow ‘to never comment on anyones blog’, souly to give you some comfort in relation to the inclement weather you’re experiencing.

    Winter has finally reached Madrid. It pissed rain here today and we’ve had gales that would easily blow a tinker off his wife but because this country isn’t big on radiatiors (and because Marian has agreed to look after the boy for the night) I’m off to insolate myself against the cold with lashings of good, hot Guinness!

    Stay between the ditches, sláinte.

  4. deadlyjelly said:

    YAY McD! Am DELIGHTED you’ve broken your vow of silence. Also, I had a little bet on that I would make you comment on my blog. Either way I was going to win $500, but I hoped you would.

    Does Guinness make good insulation material? I might have to switch beverage; I’ve been going for the Irish Coffee, but it’s not working that well.

    Gales that would blow a tinker off his wife?! You are PRECIOUS x

  5. McD;-) said:

    (Arse, boobs, hardcore, weirdo – for reasons writing that might become apparent later).

    Just got back from the pub. I’m builting up my resistence to drink slowly (struggled through the fifth). Very showly. But if I’m granted a few more of these eight hour ‘passes’, by my darling wife, I’ll be back to my former glorious state and I’ll be able to remember WHERE I puked! “The shortest journey starts with” ….. and all that.

    Oh God I’m bollixed drunk.

    Had a look at your most recent post about walking over … eh … steep things (for fuck’s sake Shaw! – would you not get yourself a Wii or a Playstation or something).

    I left a comment there – purly to help attract even more readers.


  6. McD;-) said:

    Please do let me know if the first line of the previous comment boosted the number of hits on your blog.

    (Ok, I promise that in future I won’t comment while ‘under the influence’.


  7. hey – just dropped by – but no Arse, boobs or hardcore ANYTHING – except maybe walking…..

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