01 February 2010


I try to talk a good game about winter, about the stripped-down clarity of it, twilit skies, filigree of bare branches, whispering snow.

I try to do this because I cannot control the weather. I could grump and complain, but it's like complaining about the traffic. It would just leave me in a state of permanent pointless disgruntlement. If I sit down to think of it, I can make a list of substantive complaints long enough to keep me disgruntled for years. I do not need to let traffic and weather get to me.

But after yet another six inches of partly-cloudy-with-a-chance-of-flurries deposited over the weekend and brutal cold to go with it, so brutal that when I let the dog out early Saturday afternoon he turned around and gave me a betrayed look, because it is not fair that he should have to go out at all in 19-degree weather (Fahrenheit. That's -7 C, or thereabouts) and even Maeve, who is snow leopard yin to Fergus' pocket-panther yang, demanded into the bedroom to sleep on the bed with all the rest of us ... I am done.

Just done. All the handknits in the world cannot entice me to want another day of winter.

Of course I will get more winter, and I will go back to trying to talk a good game. But just now, I am tired of being cold, tired of barely seeing daylight, tired of chapped lips, tired of psoriasis compounded with winter skin, meaning, I itch. All. The. Time. and there is not a single blessed thing I can do to make it stop. If I lather up with the good (expensive) lotion right before bed I am usually able to sleep through the night without waking up at 3 am because I itch.

Yes I have a humidifier in the bedroom, yes I take my flaxseed oil, and yes, I am doing every other thing that nearly 20 years of having psoriasis has taught me about dealing with itch. If I could afford it, and if a certain unit in the agency hadn't pulled a stunt that resulted in my being chained to my desk indefinitely, I'd be booking a flight to someplace like Puerto Rico, where there is sunlight and sand and a warm salt sea.

For now, though, I'm just going to sit snarling in my cube and look for my rose-coloured glasses.

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