London, like most of the country, is covered in snow. On Saturday, we set out to buy our Christmas tree. We didn't dare take the car. We'd been watching from our living room window, and we'd already seen three near misses as neighbours' wheels skidded on the ice. So we decided to brave the mini blizzard on foot.
My husband was wearing two coats, a scarf, thick gloves and his polar hood, which covers so much of his face that he looks as if he's just robbed a bank. I was wearing three woollen jumpers, legwarmers over my jeans, thermal gloves and my huge black coat, which was now so tight that my arms stuck out at right angles.
My 16-year-old daughter was wearing a short cotton skirt and a hoodie.
'What about your Dad's old raincoat?' I said. 'That would cover you from head to toe.'
She gave me a long-suffering look.
'Or something warmer on your legs?' I said.
'I'm wearing socks under my boots,' she said.
'I was thinking more about your thighs,' I said.
'Thighs?' she said, mystified. 'Why are you thinking about my thighs?'
On our return (with the tree, which is enormous - I think the snow blinded me to its outrageous proportions), I tried in vain to stamp the feeling back into my toes. My fingers were white.
My daughter, in her light summer wardrobe, looked pink-cheeked, but otherwise completely normal.
'I don't understand,' I said to my husband, as I wrapped my frozen hands round a cup of tea. 'The cold doesn't seem to affect her at all.'
'It's because she's young,' he said. 'She's got better circulation.'
Is there anything good about getting old?
I suppose, as my optician once said, it's better than the alternative.
Catch up with previous Surviving Teenagers here.
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