Spring and thoughts of Wanderly Wagon



Torino- Italy

Cold Hands, Cold Hands Cold Hands Cold Hands, COooooooold HHHHAAAAANNNNNNDS…. Sing it like a fooball chant and it will distract you from the fact that your hands are getting numb, that your body has done a quick cost benefit analysis and decided to stop supplying your digits with its lovely warm blood. At least, thats what worked for us in Iran and Turkey. When Cooooold Hands and Feet developed into cold shoulders knees and toes we’d pull out the ultimate pick me up: a few bars of the Bosco theme tune also sung in the Millwall style(for those who aren’t familiar with RTE’s midday schedule circa 1989 here’s the wikipedia explanation)    

Truth is, its been a fecking long winter. It was in Kyrgyzstan early November that I was first shocked into the brittle significance of the minus symbol on the Centigrade table. And ever since we’ve been trying to escape entropic inevitiblity, wearing too many clothes, lighting big fires, blagging our way indoors and drinking the odd nip of local hooch. When that didn’t work we’d sing the cold hands chant.  

The minus C’s are bloody cold, especially if you’re moving at 30kmph and your clothes are damp and greasy and all you’ve been drinking is the frozen slush puppy from your water bottle. I realise now that I never quite understood this before this winter.

I don’t mean to moan, or bang on about how hard it was, or rather, how soft I am.

Just to impress that until you spend all day every day outside in a winter, until winter gets into your bones, something that you can’t get away from, that rules your every move and descision its simply an inconvenience. An awkward time when you have to turn on the lights earlier and run from the heated car to the heated house.

I’ve never anticipated a spring with such zeal before. Checking trees for buds, hedgerows for flowers and canvasing locals for their vote on when the weather would turn for the better. 

For the month of March we got the odd tease, a crocus here, a bird’s song there. A few times the mercury rose enough to let us get our legs out and stock up on Vitamin D. Then we’d wake up to snow or iced up roads and we’d put on all of our clothes again and sing our football chants to numb our minds to the numb extremities. 

Finally, after a detour to visit KTM in Austria we crossed the Alps via the Brenner Pass and dropped into a fresh new world of springtime in Italy. Now birds tweet, the air smells of flowers, vines and fruit trees are fecundly decorated with buds, and best of all we don’t look like forty coats(that’s another reference to the quality children’s programs on RTE at 3 o’clock circa 1989).   

Spring! I’m loving it.



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