…and inside it’s not much bloody warmer if your desk is flush to a window that you can’t close. DAMN YOU ENCROACHING VEGETATION! I will have my revenge*.
This is a blog post about keeping warm, as endless amounts of background reading, which is what my PhD is at the moment, is probably not that interesting. Those who have been to the University of Exeter, or indeed any place of hilly inclination (see what I did there) will understand the problems faced by a pedestrian in the winter. For those unaware of these difficulties, I shall now describe my usual walk to campus.
It’s cold out; you suit up for the elements. Hat, scarf, gloves, coat. Then on goes the backpack, containing laptop and charger and lunch (or as I like to call them heaviest brick, lighter brick and edible brick). Thus prepared, you brace yourself and open the door to the cold. Tucking your hands into your pockets and attempting to hunch your shoulders you stride off into the brisk morning air.
Thus phase one of your journey is complete – preparation – time for phase two, the calm before the storm. You stroll along the generally level terrain until you reach campus. By this point you feel warm again, pleasant even. You make the mistake of looking up.
Oh god, is that the Laver building? All the way up there? You reluctantly start phase three – the climb. Your body temperature rises. Before long the gloves are off, followed by the hat. The backpack threatens to tumble you backwards down the hill and prevents you from removing your coat without a full stop and drop operation. The scarf is loosened. Your coat unzipped. But it’s too late – by the time you reach the summit you are red as an embarrassed beetroot with a sunburn.
Anyone familiar with the Laver building will know that this is not the end of your struggle, for the ground floor of said building is actually Level 2. More steps await you, intrepid explorer, as you push feebly on the door. Step, step, step. You pant like a buffalo. You pass fresh-looking people hurrying about their business in a generally non-sweaty way. They glance at you in concern. Head down, you press on. Nearly there now.
With fumbling hands you take out the keys to the office. Hot and sweaty fingers have a motor meltdown from the exertion and drop the entire bunch loudly on the floor. The lecturer teaching next door falters. Your face tries to flush but there’s nowhere left to go red. But you’ve done it, you’ve finally unlocked the door, you collapse in your sweltering office ripping off layer upon layer of clothing.
Within 20 minutes you’re freezing cold and dressed like this…
…and drinking copious amounts of tea to stay warm. At least it’s downhill on the way back.
*OH MY GOD since writing this last night there is now a man outside my office window CLEARING THE FOLIAGE. I kid you not. It’s a little bit awkward because he’s right in front of my face so I can’t look outside. But I did wave excitedly at him when I got in.
AHHH I CAN SHUT MY WINDOW THE LORD HATH SPOKEN he ripped the plants out and now it even latches!!!!!! There is still some foliage inside, I think it’s become self-sufficient though.