Life on Tapp: Heeding advice I might even start to walk like a penguin
Blaise Tapp writes: During the height of the below freezing temperatures last week, the NHS up in Scotland, pushed the message that the best way to avoid slipping on icy surfaces is to adopt the distinctive waddle of everyone’s favourite flightless bird.
There were even helpful video guides made which, in case some members of the public hadn’t ever enjoyed an Attenborough documentary, featured health workers informing us how penguins get around on a daily basis.
Of course there was the obligatory cyber storm in a teacup with laptop ninjas everywhere asking why the NHS doesn’t have anything better to do and why they certainly wouldn’t be doing anything as ridiculous as mimicking an Emperor when venturing outside.
Given that most of these angry online commenters exist almost entirely in their elderly mum’s box room, winter safety advice is wasted on them.
These days I lap up advice like this and while I haven’t felt the need to ‘do the penguin’ yet, there’s every chance that I will give it whirl if the pavements round our way start to resemble an ice rink.
I think it must be an age thing as this is the first winter I can remember being cold all the time, even when the thermostat is cranked up high enough to trouble the bank manager.
It wasn’t that long ago that I was revelling in my northerness by only ever wearing a coat if the storm outside had been given a silly name and I had been known to do the school run in a pair of shorts before the first snowdrop of the year had appeared.
Not anymore. These days, I finally understand why my granny was so keen on wearing lots of layers and won’t leave the house without a coat which resembles a sleeping bag, a flat cap that’s a cross between Peaky Blinders and Fred Dibnah and, of course, sensible gloves.
My recent birthday brought with it the very welcome arrival of a new pair of slippers and something called an oodie – a wearable blanket with a hood – which have both come in very handy so far this year. I
’ve reached that age when I routinely tut at teenagers – including my own – who refuse to wear anything warm and waterproof when venturing out.
It’s taken me the best part of 50 years but I’ve finally become a sensible, weather obsessed grown up.