The 1st of June signalled the start of winter and it would be fair to write that we have had some hum dinger frosts during the first week whereby the temperature got below 0°C and down to -5.
The water freezes in the pipes meaning having filled containers the night before at the ready; the de-humidifier in the awning freezes up meaning having to bring it indoors to de-frost; the awning zipper freezes up meaning we have to tip water from the jug (kettle) to loosen it up to be able to unfasten; and a towel has to be placed over the car windscreen because the heater takes a kilometre or two for warm air to blow through.
The morning ritual to shower, shave and shampoo still must go on hesitantly. The walk from caravan to ablutions with jack frost underfoot echos a crunch noise that drowns out the morning song of roosters in the distance. Nasal juice drips profusely from the cold air and if left un-wiped, forms icicles pointing at the ground. Vapours exhaled from the mouth is instant steam.
The shower takes a couple of minutes to push through the heat of water so getting naked has to be precise. Stepping off the mat onto the cold concrete floor invites chill blains if you get it wrong but the technique has been crafted and mastered over the warmer months. So has showering with the neighbour, however neither of us will ever admit to having hypothermia to exact the act of body to body contact as part of a rescue!
One has to hover the buttocks above the porcelain if needing to sit, the bum chill blains are even worse!
Now, the spider that decided to come in from the cold without telling us and take up squatting rights in a blue bin just inside the door had me shit myself! It was obviously curled up in the foetal position from the cold when I departed but had certainly spread its wings, I mean legs when I returned to have me scream a bark of blasphemy in the hope Claire would come running and rescue me.
Nope, she didn’t!
As I stood there in my soiled underpants crustily freezing up, I questioned how Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries had missed it at the border. What was worse was that the beast was between me and the napalm I needed to extinguish its existence. The laughter from inside the caravan didn’t help my self-confidence neither!
Well I manned up and faced my fears. I crunched over to me shower neighbour and asked politely for help with the situation. It wasn’t long before the eight legged monster was a stiff somewhere out on the grass adjacent.
Calm returned soon after a second shower, as did the heat around the campground becoming the butt of everyone’s banter on the frosty mornings following! I would hasten to bet that others like me now check shoes and boots before putting them on.
As I would they keep their spider spray at the door wearing a blanket so as not to freeze up!
Let’s hope for a speedy winter, not a spidy one!