Tag Archives: winter

Autumn sickness

11 Oct

Although I love the colour of autumn and the cooler days, it definitely is time when all the bugs and sicknesses are coming out.

I didn’t feel well at the weekend and I spent most of the weekend in my pajamas feeling sorry for myself and thinking that I really should do something productive, but then not having the energy to do anything. It felt like a complete waste of a weekend, but I did manage to watch a couple of episodes of The Big Bang Theory on More4 that I haven’t seen before.

Quite a lot of people are starting to get sick. It doesn’t help when people come into the office when they are clearly unwell. I don’t want to hear your mucus-y cough or your sniffles, so please stay at home! All this means is that the sniffles get past around the whole office. You can recover far more quickly at home and stop yourself from becoming unpopular at the same time.

I used to feel so guilty about not coming into work sick. With age comes wisdom and I have slowly realised that it’s not worth it. You can recover at home a lot better and I can be unpopular in the office without using bacteria warfare. I once worked for a company, who had a policy, that if an employee was sick, they would drive you home so you could recover. If you drove into work, someone would drive your car, while another member of staff followed, so that your car was parked outside your house and you didn’t have to worry about collecting it at a later date.

One thing that, in my opinion, increases the rate of autumn and winter sickness is that sometimes the weather is deceptive. It might look sunny outside, so you don’t put on a huge number of layers. Two seconds after closing the door behind you and you have already turned into Frosty the Snowman. Autumnal weather especially makes it very difficult to decide what items of clothing are weather appropriate.

Another issue that crops up around this time of year in Switzerland is the temperature in the trams. For some unknown reason, the woman-698964_1920thermostat is cranked up to a level that would make the Devil feel a little too warm. Outside the tram, the temperature is mild but bearable. The minute you step on the tram the heat smacks you around the face.

Desperately trying to remove your scarf and undo your coat, it feels like you just stepped into a sauna fully-clothed. What makes it worse, especially during rush hour, is a tram full of people, whose combined body temperature pushes up the mercury even more. It won’t be too long before the trams in rush hour have condensation streaking down the windows. Yuck!

This is obviously one of the cons of using public transport. Of course, if one person in the humid atmosphere of the tram has a sniffle, then we all get it. It might be best just to stay at home.

Winter has arrived

30 Nov

At the risk of sounding like an old woman, hasn’t it gone cold all of a sudden? The weather has definitely turned and winter is here. Until the end of last week the weather was beginning to get a bit colder and I was managing to survive without hat, gloves, scarf and winter coat but I have finally admitted defeat!

I dug out my hat and gloves this weekend and got out one of my winter coats and I am glad that I did this morning. It was so cold that I was praying that God would be merciful and the train would arrive a few minutes early so that I could be inside the warmth of the train.

The problem with wrapping up warm in the morning is that the trains and tram are heated too much. First world problems, right? I need the hat, gloves, scarf and winter coat to walk from my flat to the train station in the morning but after that it is just uncomfortable to wear them on public transport. I start surreptitiously striping off before I pass out.

It is particularly grim when you see trams driving past with the windows completely misted up with condensation. You know that these trams are packed with people wearing too many clothes for them to be comfortable in any shape or form and are now sweating uncomfortably in close proximity of strangers.

I remember when I first moved over to Switzerland. Moving to another place at the end of autumn/start of winter is never a good idea but 8 weeks after I moved to Switzerland, I remember waiting at the bus stop in the morning and it being -8 degrees (that is minus 8 at the end of November). My colleagues assured me that this was the coldest winter that they could remember for 5 or 6 years and it wasn’t always this cold in November; I wasn’t sure if I should believe them or not.

It turns out that they were right. I haven’t experienced a winter that was as cold as my first one here since then. I have a feeling that this winter will be really cold though. Ski resorts have already been opened for a few weeks already because there is enough snow.

However, a colder winters in Switzerland doesn’t mean “snow days” as it does in England. For anyone who is unaware what a snow day is, this is when you wake up in the morning, see the snow and decide not to risk going into work because it will be far too dangerous. The amount of snow doesn’t really matter: 10cm, 1cm or a light dusting are all acceptable amounts of snow for phoning your boss to tell them that you’re just not prepared to risk it.

And we don’t have them in Switzerland because it’s winter and so they are prepared for the possibility of snow. And, yes, the trains run on time as usual.winter-234721_1920