Time seems to be accelerating at the moment.
With the benefit of hindsight I guess it always passes at a frantic rate, but over the last few weeks it’s seemed like a total blur – and now I’m working once again it’s becoming an increasingly precious commodity.
The days are also getting noticeably shorter – which makes the whole feeling more acute, and I’m cold.
Maybe this is making be feel a little somber this evening. The summer is evaporating and I’m just not used to feeling this way.
In my last job I had a huge fan on my desk and it was running all the time – even in the dead of winter or late at night. I used to joke with colleagues that I’d be sweating if I was locked in a freezer in the middle of the arctic circle – and it was probably quite close to the truth.
Yesterday’s clothing gifts were indeed timely. The warm jacket I was given has come in very useful. So has Peaky (my hat – not to be confused with feeling ‘peeky’) and my thermal gloves.
When I arrived in Leamington yesterday morning I’d already walked three and a half miles, but by the time I reached Jephson Gardens I was struggling to feel my fingers. It still looked lovely though. Despite the chilly temperatures there were still signs of life in the flower beds.
I’d come into town not only to meet my brother – but to have a look around the Leamington food festival.
I’m not entirely sure whether this was purely to prove to myself that I could go there without indulging or because of some twisted need to masochistically surround myself with cakes, jams, burgers, hog roasts, artisan alcohols, delicious looking olives and bread.
There were tasty things everywhere.
Probably the only stall that I could have truly taken advantage of was the speciality mushroom stand – which had some jaw-droppingly lovely (and allegedly very tasty according to the salesman) mushrooms of all shapes, sizes and colours.
Honestly if money wasn’t an object (which it most certainly IS) I’d have bought the lot – and not just because at heart I’m a FUN-GUY.
(Author is unrepentant and still tittering to himself despite his awful joke)
However – as nice as all the yum-yums looked, when I walked away from the assorted saprotrophs in the drizzling rain I couldn’t get over how the cold seemed to be penetrating my bones.
It didn’t seem to matter how fast I walked either. I just couldn’t shake the sensation.
This has been following me all day today as well. At work I’ve been putting my hands under my arms to warm them up so that I can type on my keyboard, and in between calls I’ve been holding tightly onto my coffee.
In my air conditioned office I’ve begun to realise that I’m no longer capable of withstanding cool temperatures in the way that I used to. As I walked home (in four layers of clothing) I began thinking about this, and it was still on my mind as I prepared a salad for dinner.
When I’d finished eating I then started looking at some old pictures (which often makes me feel a bit sad when I see myself struggling) to see if I could find any of my hands.
When I found the one below I can see clearly why things are different now.
Taken several years ago, and far from my heaviest weight, I’m holding my friend’s newborn baby. She was (and still is) a beautiful little girl with perfectly clear little eyes, and teeny tiny little immaculate hands and feet. I remember being absolutely entranced by how she stared right into my eyes and flatly refused to blink.
Amongst the happy thoughts I’ve got of that day I then remember that I couldn’t put her on my lap because I didn’t have one, and that my friend had to hand her to me because I was like a beached whale on his sofa.
I can see the redness in my cheeks and I know that I was boiling because their house had the central heating on.
Despite this though I can imagine why little children at the time seemed to like me so much. I was both extremely warm and probably insanely comfortable to perch upon.
Fast forwarding to tonight and looking at my arms and hands now I’m struck by how swollen they look in the picture and I’m amazed at how different they seem currently.
I’m still not used to seeing the veins and musculature that’s always been in my arms, but has remained hidden from view for so long that they now look alien to me.
I can’t forget the moment (still fairly recently) when I saw the muscles in my right forearm move for the first time, and recoiled in shock, thinking there was something wrong.
It looked like an alien was moving around under my skin.
Now I can also see the underlying structure of the bones in my fingers and it’s clear that when veins are closer to the surface and there’s less insulation that inevitably I’m going to get colder quicker.
I’m not sure how I feel about this. The girl who currently sits next to me at work had roasting hands when we compared temperatures earlier today.
In the past I’ve always had (what I felt were) reassuringly warm hands – and to now have the absolute opposite of this is just plain odd. To make matters worse I’ve also not worn my fleece lined slippers for many many months, and tonight when I pulled them from storage I noticed that they’re now as loose as hell and falling off my feet.
There’s no denying it internet. This increasingly insulation free boy is going to have to consider investing in some new thermal undergarments if he’s going to avoid looking like an character from Game of Thrones when winter draws in…