Image: Adapted from Canva Pro

My thoughts have frozen this week. As I write, the outside temperature has dropped to minus eleven degrees Celsius. I am sitting at my writing desk, with a hot water bottle on my lap, thinking back to the summer months when the thermometer peaked at forty degrees Celsius. Although this cold snap has hit the UK early, there is still a long way to go before we reach the chaos that covered Britain in the winter of 1963.

The Big Freeze of 1963

Being one year-old at the time, I don’t remember anything about the coldest winter on record since 1740. My parents and grandparents always used the winter of 1963 as a barometer for any subsequent snaps of wintry weather, ‘nothing like what we had to suffer in the big freeze.’

Between December 1963 and February 1964, the temperatures plunged for weeks on end. The lowest temperature recorded was in Braemar, Scotland; the thermometer dropping to minus 22.2 degrees Celsius. Snow covered most of Britain for three months, as rivers, canals, and even the sea froze.

Cold Weather and Creativity

There is a positive side to this chill. According to scientists, cold weather can change the way we think and alter how we approach creativity. When the weather is warmer, we are better at creative drawing and categorizing objects. In the cold, we become more adept at recognizing metaphors, thinking of new names for pasta, and planning abstract gift ideas.

I am still undecided about the skill of pasta naming, but the planning abstract gift ideas could not have come at a better time. With only nine sleeps until Christmas Day, I had better start putting some thought and energy into buying some Christmas presents. This cold snap is due to end in a few days. Perhaps I will put another log on the fire and wait till then.

Have you got any tips to get through a freeze? I would love to hear them.

Have a warm weekend.

20 thoughts on “Frozen

  1. Oh, I like how you’re thinking, it’s 38 degrees Fahrenheit/3 degrees Celsius here, much too cold to venture outside for Christmas shopping. Ha, ha, no, I need to get moving, I’ve definitely fallen behind. It is interesting how we mark natural events – cold snaps, snowstorms, floods, etc. – to mark the rest of time! But, yes, sending you warm thoughts that this current chill soon moves on or that you have a chance to move to the Caribbean or somewhere sunny and warm !

    1. Thanks, Brian. Things are set to get a little warmer this weekend. I don’t know if I could cope with the heat of the Caribbean. Somewhere where the temperature is 20 degrees Celsius all year round would suit me. Have good weekend and thank you for your thoughts.

  2. Whoa – that’s cold. I love the tie you write about between creativity and warmth – how interesting.

    I don’t have any tips – but sending lots of warmth thoughts your way!

    1. Thank you, Wynne. It is interesting about how temperature changes can affect our mindset and creativity. I am still thinking of names for pasta. 😂 Have a great weekend.

  3. Wish you well, Davy. Try to stay indoors and keep that hot water bottle close. Heat can be exhausting and cold can be depressing. I’ll have to think about the differences in creativity. That’s a very interesting angle. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Terveen. The forecast is that the cold snap is going to leave in the next few days. Perhaps I will time for some warmer creativity.🙂 Like you, I never thought of how temperature affects how we think. Have a good weekend.

  4. Being five when we had the 1963 big freeze, I don’t remember much, if anything, about it. This week in the UK, has been bitterly cold, as you said. Last night, where I am, it was -9C, not quite as cold as where you are (I’m in the South East of England). At least, some of the snow has begun to melt today, although it’s going to be -6C tonight, but getting warmer from tomorrow. Having said that, I read that the north of the country is going to be in for another freezing spell sometime this week. I hope it won’t affect you, Dave. It’s interesting that you say our creativity alters with the weather. I hadn’t heard this before. I’ll have to give that some more thought. Stay warm, Dave. Refill that hot water bottle before you go to bed.

    1. Thank you for your thoughts and kind words, Ellie. I live in the south, but we are in a valley and seem to get a few degrees temperature difference from the rest of England. Fortunately, it is starting to warm up, although I think the water bottle will be with me until the Spring. 😂 Have a safe and warm weekend.

  5. Here in the middle of the US, we are headed for our first really cold week of the season. The forecast calls for a high of 9 degrees by next weekend. I’m glad to read that the cold may boost my creativity. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Davy! 🙂 Alicia

    1. Thank you, Alicia, and a Merry Christmas to you and yours also. The weather today has gone up to 16 degrees Celsius. It is bonkers from minus 11 degrees Celsius to this.

  6. Hope you’re doing better now as we’re above freezing 😁. I must agree the thought of pasta naming gave me a few giggles. I am surprised at the connection between temperature and thought processes

    1. I’m not sure how reliable this research was, Brenda. I would struggle to use it as a primary source. Although I do think the effect of temperature on the brain, and creativity, does have some merit. Thank you for your thoughts.

  7. Now that’s an interesting piece of trivia. Maybe that’s why I’ve always loved cold weather. Maybe I’m born to be the king of pasta-naming. What a ravioli-ation!

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