1 January 2018

New Year

It snowed in Austin on New Year’s Eve. I’ve lived in New England and driven in a snowstorm in Minnesota in mid winter, so the weather was no big deal for me, but driving home at around 02:30 there were numerous vehicle wrecks surrounded by flashing lights.

I saw an interview with John Cleese where he said that the one thing on his bucket list is never wanting to be cold again. Cleese grew up living in boarding school. I never experienced that, but I certainly remember cold. My parents were always busy climbing their way up the property ladder by buying a subpar house they could just about afford, and improving it. At one point I had a toilet at the head of my bed, because my bedroom was going to be the bathroom when the work was completed. It wasn’t plumbed in or in any way useful at that stage, just decorative. Like many English houses, that one was built with no window insulation of note — just a single pane of glass between me and snowy winter days. I remember there would be ice on the inside of the window.

John Cleese said that after his childhood, one of his major motivations was to arrange his life so that he never had to be cold again. That’s why he now lives in Los Angeles. Similarly, I appreciate that this morning’s -1.5℃ temperature is the coldest I’m likely to experience in Austin, Texas. And of course, the house — being “green” construction — was delightfully warm inside in spite of the weather.

So 2017 has finally disappeared around the U-bend and 2018 is here. I have no predictions to make at this point, and if I had a New Year’s Resolution I wouldn’t tell you about it, but it looks as if one thing I’ll be doing in 2018 is traveling more. We’re off to a parrot festival / conference later this month (special subject: The Budgerigar), and later in the year we’re going to Hawaii. I’m sure I’ll write about both.

© mathew 2017