lesson learned...

there are two things to avoid when living in colder climes... frostbite and being driven crazy by all the grey. i have already failed at the former, but i am waging war with the latter (which i will talk about next time around). my story begins during the first real snowfall of the season, some weeks ago. what started out as a quick trip to the market ended up as a hard-learned lesson in remembering to always grab a pair of gloves before leaving home (or to swallow my pride and accept the pair of gloves being offered to me in the middle of a snowstorm).

grant it, this was mild as frostbite goes, and there was no talk of amputating any vital parts, but it was a highly unpleasant experience and a lousy way to end the year.

there was no real discomfort immediately following the initial exposure, aside from the customary spell of pins-and-needles once i got indoors. the worst part came about a week or so later when the dry, itchy feeling that had been mounting suddenly erupted into a sensation like having my hands doused in napalm and set ablaze. i literally woke from a dead-sleep one night, already in tears. luckily, that truly painful part lasted only a couple days, and the worst of it was abated by liberal application of Glysomed (note the green container in the background).

i carried one of their disc-shaped containers around with me for days, reapplying the super-rich cream to my hands every ten or fifteen minutes, which proved far more effective than all of the painkillers combined. there may have also been a couple weeks of hypersensitivity to hot (or even warmish) things, so i was relegated to bathing in cold water... in the Winter... in Quebec. sigh!

then my hands started peeling big time, but the pain was (thankfully) gone by that point, so it was a welcome relief to watch my body shrug off all that damaged skin. my favorite animator suggested that this is as close as i will ever come to understanding sunburn.

my re-surfaced fingertips looked like i had just emerged from a long bath, but they eventually filled out. i was not sure if my fingerprints would be identifiable in that condition, so i decided against finally crossing "brief stint as a cat burglar" off my bucket-list... which, i admit,  is an odd fantasy for someone who gets dizzy standing on a kitchen step ladder. see that? brand new skin!!!

the palms were the last to peel, but they are almost fully-recovered...


so, what did i learn from this experience?

him: you have a drawer full of knitted gloves. why don't you just keep a pair in your coat pocket and in each of your bags, so you always have them handy.
me: i know.
him: i even offered to give you my gloves that day. why didn't you take them?
me: i know, i know, i know.
him: why am i even bothering? you never listen to anything i say.
me: i know!

yep. pretty much.

[what follows is a lengthy aside/rant about what i am currently watching. you have been warned.]

i love love LOVE cozy mysteries and detective stories in general, and i look forward to the post-holiday season when all of the (mostly British) shows i enjoy are back on the air. i am also (slowly) getting around to a few titles i missed over the years. to that end, i am (re)watching all of Inspector Morse in preparation for starting in on Inspector Lewis (sequel about Morse's right-hand man). i did manage to push my OCD to the side just long enough to get through the first two seasons of Endeavour (prequel about Morse's younger days), but i was eventually overcome by the intense need to watch the original series (in order, without skipping a single episode), so that too will resume once i am done with Morse.

i watched some of the original series over the years, but i was never a fan. Morse is, in my humble opinion, a lousy detective and a deeply uninteresting character. the series is set in the world of the over-educated who seem to pass the day spouting quotes from classic literature (preferably in the original Latin) at the slightest provocation, lest anyone forget for a moment that they belong to that privileged set. it is the mental masturbation equivalent of throwing up gangs signs, and equally pathetic to boot.

beyond that, Morse seems to lack any real system or investigative method that underpins his work, and he ends up stumbling upon the truth more often than actually carrying out his role as a top-detective. then there is his lecherous obsession with any woman who crosses his path during the course of an investigation, most of whom seem to get arrested for one thing or another by the end of the episode. worst. detective. ever.

i am forcing myself through the remaining episodes (currently in the middle of season five), but i am looking forward to putting it behind me and moving on to Lewis' adventures, because he has always been a far better cop/detective and a more plausible character. i also plan to eventually re-watch all of The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (wholly unrelated to Morse, but a far-superior attempt at employing class differences as the subtext of storytelling without turning the main character into a grade-A jerk), which i binge-watched and thoroughly enjoyed several years ago.

then there is the stack of Ngaio Marsh books i need to get back to reading, and i also want to finish the Ruth Rendell novels before watching that  television series. it should be noted that i was in the middle of one of her mysteries—An Unkindness of Ravens—way back when i was contemplating a title for this blog, and i kept coming back to a list of colorful collective nouns... so it is really all her fault.