If there’s a nip in the air, try a nip in your tea

The Daily Telegraph - - Weather and crosswords - By Joe Shute

Weather Watch has just re­turned from Siberia on a win­ter field trip. Ac­tu­ally it was fur­ther east than Siberia: it was Pri­morsky Krai prov­ince, which bor­ders China and North Korea and is a 10-hour flight from Moscow.

It was the week be­fore the snow starts to fall and in Pri­morsky Krai, I’m told, it comes fast. The sight of sil­ver birches lin­ing the road bent al­most dou­ble from the weight of sup­port­ing last win­ter’s drifts was all the con­fir­ma­tion re­quired.

The weather was cold, you might not be sur­prised to hear, rarely above freez­ing dur­ing the day and fall­ing to -10C at night. A few months from now tem­per­a­tures will drop to -30C, and still life will go on.

It was, though, a cu­ri­ous type of cold com­pared with that which we re­ceive here in Bri­tain – and fol­low­ing last Mon­day’s hard frost, the first of the year, ex­pect more chilly weather to come over the next few days.

In Rus­sia, even though the mer­cury sank far lower than any nor­mal win­ter’s day in Bri­tain, it strangely felt far warmer. Un­like our damp At­lantic air that wreathes it­self around your body the hu­mid­ity was al­most non-ex­is­tent.

The bo­real forests we walked through had a beau­ti­ful crisp­ness and clar­ity to the air, which chimed in my mind with a book I have re­cently read, Win­ter Birds by Lars Jon­s­son, where he seeks out birds in the depths of the cold­est months and draws them as a jolt of colour against the frost-furred land­scape.

Like Jon­s­son and the Rus­sians I am re­solved now to keep out­side as much as pos­si­ble this win­ter, to ex­plore the woods and moors around me even as the au­tumn colours fade.

Apart from dou­ble socks, there are other sur­vival tricks I’ve picked up from my visit. Drink as much tea as pos­si­ble. And don’t bat an eye­lid if some­one slips vodka into the pot.

Ex­pect to see some more hard frosts soon

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.