Three days of frost and we’re frantically digging out our skates with the word ‘Elfstedentocht’ ringing in our tingly ears.
Temperatures are below freezing and solicitous authorities are telling us to keep a sleeping bag in the car, and a charged up phone. Michelin like figures sit behind the wheel of their cars heeding the call not to take their coats off. Meanwhile, the elderly are sick to death of trudging to their front doors to reassure worried neighbours that they haven’t died of hypothermia and are ok for food and a tipple.
De Pers thinks we should all have a glass of water and a sit down: it’s just winter.
Gerard Joling actually said something to the point the other day, the paper writes. ‘Open a fridge door in the Netherlands and everybody starts bleating about an Elfstedentocht, the singer said on the Giel Beelen show.
The sleeping bags, the charged up phone, and best of all, the exhortations to keep your clothes dry and not to sweat too much, are all very well…if you’re planning to join a hunting party in Alaska.
Honestly, we’ve had colder winters than this, De Pers writes. The paper took a dive into the archives and surfaced with 1963, one of the coldest winters on record. 3 metre high snow dunes, the Ijsselmeer frozen solid before Christmas and skating on the frozen waves of the North Sea.
At the moment the ‘Ajax of winters’ comes in at number 108 of fierce winters but will probably struggle its way into the middle regions. The horror winter of 2012 is turning out to be average at best.