It’s been around -6 all week. Today was -8. Highs of -10 are predicted for Monday and Tuesday. They said last winter was the coldest, snowiest winter in 50 years. They say this winter will be worse. Luckily there hasn’t been a lot of snow yet. A small amount fell about a week ago and has been tossed around like sand in the wind ever since. It’s a strange, dry cold, which makes sense of the way arctic climates can be described as deserts. It’s so cold that the windscreen doesn’t frost up. That’s also a blessing because scraping thick ice from the outside and the inside of the windscreen and praying that it will remain transparent enough to drive safely is a very unpleasant start to the morning.

Today I went into town to lodge some paperwork and get a haircut, and I made the executive decision that it’s the last time I venture out without thermal underwear. I’ve invested in wool socks, which make the winter boots come into their own. I bought a thick dressing-gown and warm pyjamas, and have been regularly using a hair dryer for the first time in my life. Wet hair is just not an option at the moment. Michael has started laying more insulation in our loft, and we are sleeping in the spare room because it’s much better insulated than our bedroom. (Though that’s next on the list.)

We don’t let the kittens out much because they come back with cracked and blistered paws.

The harbour is already frozen over and today the sun gleamed on its grey and shiny surface.

The Norwegians say there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.


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