Kerry McLean: It may be cold but you'll never find me in a tights spot... with my 10-deniers twisting around my legs and the crotch at my knees
It came as no surprise to me last week when I heard on the news that we'd experienced the coldest night of the year so far.
I had my suspicions that it might just be a record-breaker of an evening when I foolishly took the dog out for a walk without hat or gloves and by the time I returned home, had lost all feeling in my extremities. It took a good 10 minutes for me to thaw out and for the blood to return to my nose and ears, and it made me think of that old saying, that if your ears are burning it's because someone is talking about you.
From the near glow in the dark rosy red hue of mine, half the country must have been gossiping about me. It's not even as though the dog was grateful for me braving the elements.
She's definitely a fair weather exerciser who hates going for a walk in even mildly inclement weather. If you don't own a dog, you may not be aware of just how strongly they can make their feelings felt and my own girl spent the full 30 minutes of our promenade throwing dirty looks over her shoulder at me, as she dragged me around our usual night-time route at breakneck speed, only to abandon me in the hall when we got back to the house so that she could race to my husband for a cuddle and a warm up before I could get near him.
If she could have magically discovered the power of speech at that exact moment, I get a feeling that my reputation would have been left in tatters and I wouldn't have been able to repeat what she said pre-watershed.
Having experienced the freezing temperatures for myself I knew it was cold but I suspected the temperature had definitely dropped below zero when I spotted my two teenagers heading out to school with coats on. Granted, I'd been braying at them since breakfast to bring their coats with them but, as any parent of teenagers can tell you, that doesn't normally result in them actually doing what I say or sporting any sort of warm or waterproof clothing.
For every wee girl you spot out and about on a wintry Saturday afternoon in the shops, wearing nothing but a crop top and a pair of leggings made of cotton so thin you can see the streaky fake tan through them, there's at least one parent at home who has gone hoarse from pleading with her to wrap up warm but all to no avail.
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The same goes for the young fellas with their light, canvas shoes worn with no socks. My toes feel cold even thinking about that.
Which is why it was such a shock to spot my two adequately dressed for the weather. Plus, not only was my daughter wearing a coat, she was also wearing tights. When I saw her hosiery, I actually got a little fearful that perhaps the second ice age might be upon us and I just hadn't heard about it yet.
You see, my eldest loathes tights and I can't blame her. It was always the one item of clothing that I dreaded having to put on in my own school days. I hated the static-y feeling of the nylon on my legs, the uncomfortable sensation of them twisting around and the sense, as the day went on, of the waistband slip sliding it's way downwards until the crotch would end up somewhere near your knees, leaving you looking like a really bad, 10-denier tribute to MC Hammer and his billowy, parachute trousers from the early 1990s.
I used to spend half of my time at school hiking my tights back up to their original starting position and lamenting the fact that we weren't allowed to wear trousers.
I'm sure it's the reason why I can count on one hand the number of times that I've worn a skirt or a dress since leaving school and with this cold weather, it's not a situation that's going to change anytime soon.
In fact, it's so cold that I've treated myself to a set of lovely new floral thermals. My fashion style may not be hot, but at least I am!