October is inexorably here: again this year our autumn-time routine will have to take into account the unpredictable weather, and I feel unprepared on all fronts:
Not to worry, I tell myself, it’s standard practice, the same thing goes on in every Milanese apartment at this time of year, when the heating is still switched off and it’s colder indoors than out.
And while the weather forecasters start placing wagers on what the winter of 2017-2018 will be like, you should start worrying about how to deal with the problem of the cold after the sun has set. That’s right, because if during the day you can manage to keep yourself busy between work, the gym and drinks, forgetting for a second the cold that has started to make itself felt, and not too timidly at that, in the evenings you have to face a hostile climate – even at home.
Take advantage of the approaching cold season to spend more time at home and throw yourself into those dozy activities that you’ve been setting aside for months. You’re finally allowed to binge-watch the latest season of your favourite TV series or finish that book you left off halfway through this summer, between swims.
A record playing in the background, kids that play peacefully, lights creating a warm ambience, a hot cup of herbal tea and easy chatter on the sofa: if nothing else, the cold season is wonderfully evocative.
Right now your heating is off, the radiators stare at you impassive and ice-cold and you find yourself huddled on the sofa, wrapped like a silkworm in a huge woollen blanket, while the penetrating cold makes you feel that even the most trivial activity is a punishment.
This scene is far too familiar: while one hand is clumsily trying to hold a cup of piping hot herbal tea, the other digs its way through heaps of blanket until it lands on the computer. A click on the keyboard, another click switches the Bluetooth on, and hey presto that film that you’ve had in your Netflix wish-list for months can begin.
And just while you’re about to slide your hands back under the blanket and look forward to two hours of pure bliss, you realise that you don’t have any cushions to lean against, and that you’ve forgotten your ginger snaps, then the phone rings in the other room and then...
Half an hour has gone, in the meantime you’ve tried to get the show back on the road – still trying to avoid feeling cold – and then it’s time to go to bed. Instead of falling asleep counting sheep, you might as well get a head start on those Christmas presents, so you can at least get that done early for once (or at least you can try).
Give up: tonight the cold has got the better of you, once again. So, when will they turn the heating on in my building?
Spalvieri Del Ciotto
Simon Key Bertman
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