I am extremely fortunate to have sustained such sound health - I try not to take it for granted, and I suppose I moan a bit, like everyone else, but I really am grateful. All those years of running and hill-walking and playing squash, and a natural tendency to eat sensibly have all helped, I guess, but I am lucky enough to have been assembled with a good engine. I do not know by what justice or serendipity these things happen, but thank you, anyway - whoever.
I take a minimal amount of medication - nothing alarming, but it includes a daily 5mg of Amlodipine (and if I've spelled that incorrectly then I am secretly pleased, since it is evidence that I do not worry about it enough to remember). This little pill is intended to keep my blood pressure down - whether I need it or not is the topic of a gentle debate each year with my GP. Anyway, I take it. The blood pressure is OK, and the only noticeable side-effect of the pills is that I am almost always cold. I wear thermal underwear from September to April and I have developed a very close relationship with a microwaveable bean-bag which has become one of my best friends. My wife has obtained a cunning duvet which has dissimilar weights on the two sides, so that she does not have to suffer the weight and the heat which I need these days.
In short, I am well looked after, and my problems with temperature are trivial, but I have started to take the winters personally.
Not too long ago, the Contesse presented me with a pair of heavyweight knitted bed-socks. Most kind, but I thanked her and rather hurriedly stored the things away in the pyjama drawer. Bed-socks? I had a strong feeling that I would have to get a matching night-cap, Ebenezer Scrooge model, like the wicked uncle in Kidnapped. I have no problem with bed-socks, of course, except that starting to wear them might feel like another step on a slippery slope.
When a respectable time had passed, and the winds of January were getting ever colder, I discreetly dug out the socks one night. Well, just once wouldn't do any harm, would it? I was a bit concerned that they would feel unfamiliar, and would disturb me, but I had no problems. I now recommend bed-socks wholeheartedly, have felt warmer and more relaxed in bed, and have even asked for some more. I am, of course, still playing it a bit quiet. I do not intend to appear in any advertising.
On the coldest days I tend to wear two sweaters at the moment. My faith in knitwear is restored. The Contesse passed me the following picture - as a joke, but it does make you think.
On the hobby front, I have now based and flagged a regiment of Spanish light infantry which the Mad Padre was kind enough to paint for me (thanks again, Mike) and am looking at what painting I should do next myself. I am intending to persevere with my plans for an ECW siege (loosely based on Newcastle 1644), and I'll write some preliminary stuff on that, starting later this week.