In short, yes. Fucking cold.
But since my first, extremely naive year of soapbox dwelling, I’ve come a long way.
I hadn’t anticipated the winter of 2012 to be such a savage one, otherwise I probably would have prepared far better than I originally did. One sub-par, synthetic sleeping bag and a tatty wool blanket were the sole contents of my anti-freeze kit. All I can say with 20/20 hindsight is naivety really can be a life saver.
I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, nor did I know that 2012 would drop to -7 degrees celcius. That meant frozen hair, ice-capped balls and perma-stuck windows. Oh, and zero company because no one is going to sit through that with you just because you’re fun to hang out with.
I stupidly thought I could beat Mother Nature, that somehow I was tougher, more resilient than what she could bring to the british, winter table. Well, she served me and served me good, because I suffered like a bastard that year. Fluid started to build on my lungs, with regular, staccato coughs slipping into my sentences to replace what used to be punctuation. My bottle of olive oil became my thermostat. When that froze, which it has done on numerous occassions, I knew I was in for a tough ride. Silly boy. Nature always wins. Do you recall a time she has ever lost?
It wasn’t a complete thrashing, though. I was working in a rock climbing centre at the time and in their car park, outside the front of their industrial building, they had a large transformer-type unit, presumably owned by the National Grid. You know, the ones that say ‘Danger of Death, Keep Out’ on them.