Hot and Cold 

You would think that after all these years, I would have some sort of handle on temperature and weather, but if today was anything to go by, I have a way to go yet.

There are plenty of covers on the bed, but there are also dogs and for some reason both of them seem to think that my side of the bed is the one to sleep on. While Lucy will actually get under the covers and go to the bottom of the bed to sleep in deep winter, right now she is finding the electric blanket on my husband’s side a little too much. She disappears under the covers and curls up at his feet, while Archie settles himself at mine on top of the duvet. Five minutes later, there is a stirring and she will make her way back up the bed, shifting the covers like an earthquake and appear panting on the pillows.

I was woken by the cold this morning. Somehow the covers had been pulled off me during the night and I suspect it was my husband employing his infamous ‘rotisserie chicken’ manoeuvre to gain supremacy of the duvet. At some stage, after the chicken move, Lucy had resettled herself on my left and Archie on my right, pinning the covers which had been dragged off me into their new position. After a number of violent tugs which woke me fully up and then my husband and finally everyone, I got back under the duvet, but only for around one hour more of sleep before I got hot under the dogs and woke up again.

Although there was a chill in the air, the sun was out and I was really warm when we came back from our morning walk, albeit a short one. I had arranged for us to go into our bank to sort out some paperwork and the woman that had booked the appointment clearly did not realise just how much house admin it takes us to get up and out. As a result, I drove the dogs to the park and raced them around so was really warm when I got home. Stupidly, I decided that this meant I was safe to leave my jumper off while we went to the shops.

The bank was OK actually but then we went to the supermarket and I began to feel really cold. As goosebumps popped up on my arms, we moved around the large fridge section while I got colder and colder. I do not often feel the cold but this was bad to the point where I started looking at my husband’s lovely chunky jumper and wondering whether there was any chance of getting it off his back.

I am sure he thought I was being super affectionate as I snuggled up beside him while he contemplated pork chops, but it was his body heat I was after. I did a similar thing many, many years ago when I gave up smoking and he didn’t so I used him like a human nicotine patch.

God it was cold in that store. I started moving away at speed to get things off shelves many aisles ahead of my husband, who was driving the trolley. I passed men in jackets and women in fleecy hoodies. I could have mugged them all. But after a couple of trips around the entire floor, I managed to get my heart rate up sufficiently to warm up. I have always been able to warm up quickly while exercising – normally a pain but on this occasion, a bonus.

To make up for the short walk in the morning, I took the dogs out mid afternoon for a big walk which takes in about a 6 km circuit and includes two parks. I had filled a small bottle with water intending to put it in my bag for Archie, who like me, overheats while exercising. Sure enough after about 20 minutes, he started to slow down. His tongue became wet and his tail started to droop. It was not hot, but he was getting tired and thirsty. I reached into my bag: no bottle. I had left it on the counter at home. I felt awful, especially when we went past a house where a man was unloading his van. Beside the boot sat a bucket and Archie veered off and stuck his head hopefully over the rim, looking for water. It was empty. Unfortunately for Archie, the man did not offer to get me some water when I explained what was going on and we plodded onwards.

I was hot by now too, amd had my jumper tied around my waist. I was scanning every front yard for a tap we might use but the ones I saw were all attached to hoses. Finally, just as I thought I might have to carry him for a bit, I spotted a tap in a car sales yard that was closed for the day. I took the dogs across and filled their travel water bowl – which I had remembered – from it.

Archie drank his fill and even Lucy had a good drink. I felt a huge relief as Archie’s tail slowly reasserted itself into the full mast position and he perked up ready to find a cyclist to terrorize. I knew just how he felt.


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