Why, when I were a lad we were regularly found frozen dead on doorstep and they buried us in pauper’s grave…
And so it goes. We’ve all seen the Monty Python Skit or read the Ephraim Kishon book from which they pinched their comedy idea – the curmudgeons telling you how tough they had it in their youth. Never mind if you are uncomfortable or distressed now – they were distressed before you and you have no right to complain.
But it is winter and we are cold and no amount of chiding makes us warmer. We would gladly exchange the sneers for woollen hats. Or at least welcome the chance to put the scoffers into a furnace and heat the rest of the house.
I came from a place that made cold for export. Western Canada in Blizzard Season could be memorable…but Canadians were smart. We insulated our houses, double glazed our windows, put a furnace in the basement, and dressed in several layers of plaid wool before we ventured out into Polar Bear Central. As a result, most of us could retain enough body warmth and enthusiasm to play ice hockey or vote for Trudeaus. Of course, eventually the country said ” Puck You ” to Pierre, and eventually will do the same to Dusky Justin when it is safe to do so. But in the meantime the citizens are smart enough to know the difference between frozen and comfortable.
Here it is different. Someone long ago decided winter would be miserable as a useful training exercise for summer – which they planned to be miserable as well. This was the British Way – mostly promoted by Britons who were desperate to get back to the Old Country. Insulation? Furnaces? Glazed windows? Pshaw! If huddling around a gas ring in Glastonbury was good enough for Grandfather, it is good enough for everyone else.
Thus the open fireplaces with wide chimneys, pneumonia holes at every corner of the room, and wide windows. No recognition at all that Australia is not the land of summer sunshine all year round.
I have finally come to the conclusion that it is worthwhile adopting native customs. In my case the natives of Baffin Bay are my model and the rest of you can sleep outside in the shed.