Today, the temperature finally rose above 0º C and stayed there. It even seemed warm after ten days not only below 0ºC, but sometimes as much as 11º below. That is the coldest I remember feeling in my whole life.
Every day, the thermometer of the level of freeze was the fountain in the Place du Temple.
Of course, I do not own a pair of long-johns (or wooly underwear) so layers were the only solution. Layers are also more convenient if one goes into a warm place for any length of time: they can be taken off gradually. It is what I call the intelligence of onions. And just as I put layers on to go out, the fountain, with daily minus temperatures, put on layers of glittering ice.
Every day it was the same routine: over the panties and bra went the short-sleeved t-shirt; then the long-sleeved one. After that, came the turtle-neck pull over and then the button down sweater, on top of which I donned the overcoat, woolen scarf, thermal gloves and knit bonnet. There were moments when I would have been thankful for a ski mask of the kind the terrorists wear when presenting their petitions by video.
Indoors it was also necessary to wrap oneself up so as to avoid stiffness of the fingers while typing.
It was surprising that not everything froze, especially when the temperature dropped one night down to -11º C, but most of the plants and trees that usually keep their green in the winter seemed more than able to survive. Every day, as I walked (or rather waddled in all the clothing) on my way to the Café, I would wonder at the changes in the fountain; what a delight that they had left the water on.
Today, little by little, the fountain recovers its liquidity; I don three layers less of clothing to take our afternoon walk, and Salomé is not submitted to the torture of having her overcoat slipped on before leaving the house. It might be a sign that spring will begin to come now. There is a delicate drizzle, something I call “misting”, with droplets so fine that it is perfectly all right to walk without an umbrella.
And, until spring does decide to visit Salies, I have jump-started it on my window sill.
AND FOR EVERYONE OUT THERE ON THE NET,
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY