Polish winter failure

Polish winters have become spineless and effeminate and I’m getting heartily sick of it. Honestly, it’s December and I’m still wearing Hawaiian shirts and my attractively baggy knee-length shorts. It’s a rubbish winter, I’ve seen more frigid nymphomaniacs. I can forgive one, or maybe even two, limp-wristed winters over the course of, say, a decade but this is shaping up to become the third pathetic effort in a row. It just won’t do.

I want snow up to my thighs, I want blizzards so thick I can’t find my way to end of the street, I want the thrill of not knowing if I’m going to make it back from the pub alive, I want skin ripped off my fingers when I grab the handrail on the tram, I want birds falling frozen from the sky, I want ice and the opportunity to fall on my arse every three feet, I want black nights with steadily falling snow and the kind of cold that makes you wonder if the atmosphere has gone and you’re being exposed to the vacuum of space. Instead of that it’s just quite grey and a little bit chilly. I can get that in England for god’s sake.

I have a large selection of fiercely absurd hats, gloves, and scarves that I’ve collected over the years in anticipation of a proper Polish winter and I can’t use any of them. I haven’t worn gloves since 1997 and I despair of ever having the opportunity to don my proper Polish hat with ear flaps. I’ll give it another couple of weeks and then I’m going to seriously consider moving to Manitoba or Irkutsk or somewhere else where they have proper winters.

A couple of weeks ago the Polish blogosphere was briefly infested with “Oh look! It’s snowing!” posts. This was all very sweet and entertaining but it drew only a hollow laugh from this black-hearted pundit. “Enjoy it while you can” I grinned “that’s the last of the white stuff we’ll see until February.”

It’s the kids I feel sorry for (actually that’s not true, it’s me I feel sorry for, but let’s pretend) what kind of stories will they have to tell their grandchildren “Cold!? What the bloody hell do you know about cold? I remember the winter of ’08, for a couple of days there in January I had to do me coat up and put me hands in me pockets. Think on young ‘un.”*

Here is my definitive climatological analysis of the evolution of the Polish climate from rock-hard, no-nonsense, snow-up-to-your-eyebrows, arse-kicking winter to today’s weedy, pant-wetting, ‘oh-it’s-a-little-bit-chilly,’ feeble excuse for a winter.


*in the future Polish people will have adopted a cliched Yorkshire mode of speech, for some reason.

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22 thoughts on “Polish winter failure

  1. guest says:

    You want a proper winter ? how about (finally) moving your sorry *** to Zakopane for a weekend ? :)

    Yes, yes i know you are allergic to Zakopane. But still….at least you could try it. ;)

  2. Anonymous says:

    Believe me, winter gets mighty tiresome here in Canada by mid-January. I admit that December with snow is rather special

  3. basia says:

    Believe me, winter gets pretty tiresome here in Canada by mid-January. December with snow is pretty special though :).

  4. expateek says:

    Good God, man, why didn’t you wear your summer kit to the blog-meet? I could do with a man in shorts!

    Totally hysterical, with the usual side-splitting graphics. You are too much!

  5. scatts says:

    Just saw on TV weather that the last time Warsaw saw snow at Christmas was 2003. Worst places were Poznan and Wrocław where you have to go back to 1998. Best was Zakopane, of course, where they had snow last year. Have to admit I didn’t check Krakow. I never know where to look on the weather map!

    The “There’s some snow!” posts are just knee-jerk wishful thinking. Our glasses are always half full whereas yours may not be. :-)

  6. Ania says:

    And here in Warwickshire we have -4C, frost on the streets, and a bit of snow every two weeks, just to make some cars crash on the M6.

    It may mean that they will put the real fire on in Thomas Oken Tea Room in Warwick. Perfect place to spend the Sundays in, if you like English Midlands.

    My idea of Sunday – go to the capital town, plant myself in the middle of the town square, marvel a bit, make comments on the great metropolis of Warwick and how I enjoy the capital town life, giggle a bit feeling mischievous to ever call Warwick a metropolis, maybe do a small purchase in the cast iron kitchen utensils ‘shoppe’, and hide in the Tea Room away from the biting frost. Mind you, the fact that they serve Warwick Market Ale has nothing to do with it. It’s just I’m loosing any resistance to frost.

  7. scatts says:

    I have a picture of Warwick, here – http://www.pbase.com/scatts/image/100809735/large

    I can’t see you though! ;)

  8. Ania says:

    I’m that tiny! As compared with the greatness of the Metropolis ;-] (soaking up the ale, actually)

  9. Jacek Wesołowski says:

    We of Warsaw citizenry would like to fiercely protest against the snowist counterrevolutionaries. The white terror of crystallized hydrogen dioxide is no more! We will not be frosted, nor will we stand a slippery walkway! We will not suffer salt on our lawns, and we will not be intimidated by three cold balls stacked on top of each other with a carrot stuck into the top one! Nay to snowist porcupines! Nay, I say! Long live the global warming!

  10. island1 says:

    guest: NEVER!

    expateek: It’s true I am too much… or too something, I can never remember.

    Scatts: You are sacked as Poland weather correspondent for not knowing where Krakow is. Fortunately there’s an opening at the Warwick desk.

    Ania: You cruel woman, how can you mention real ale to a man stranded in Poland?

    Jacek: Fascist! Come the revolution you’ll be the first up against the wall.

  11. adthelad says:

    Hydrogen oxide, oxygen dihydride or if your cheeky dihydrogen oxide but not hydrogen dioxide :)

  12. adthelad says:

    er.. actually that’s dihydrogen monoxide if your cheeky! I must watch my typing :)

  13. Ania says:

    Fear not, Children of Britain, I’m coming to Najjaśniejsza Pomroczna for Christmas. If you were good, I can smuggle a bottle.

  14. guest says:

    Island, in Zakopane there is real ale and a mountain full of juicy british bacon.

    all you need to do is, …


  15. Jacek Wesołowski says:

    adthelad — that may be your cold, white, flaky substitute! However, our true, Polish water has four times as much fresh air in it!

    Island — the revolution has already come, and your snowist regime is giving its last breath! Fear the might of our coal-based power plants!

  16. Sylwia says:

    LOL I hope you all know that it’s… well… autumn? Winter begins on 22nd, but it doesn’t mean it’ll snow just two days later.

    I think that the whole theory of ‘December is a winter month’ comes from the Victorians who commercialised Christmas, producing postcards with Santa, who lives in the north, so he was pictured with snow in the background, and their descendants who came up with the song “White Christmas”, no doubt to mark a weather anomaly that was taken for granted. Dream on!

    My other theory is that the premature longing is caused by the Polish six seasons idea. There’s the Złota Polska Jesień (Golden Polish Autumn) that usually ends around Forefathers’ Eve, Halloween, All Saints (choose your favourite) when the proper jesień begins (‘listopad’ means ‘fall’) that tends to be pretty dark and sad, so everyone wants snow asap. But if you look up the dates in your calendar you’ll see that autumn began just a bit over a month ago. It should last around two before winter can come.

    Communist winters were nothing compared to the pre-war winters. Everything was better before the war! Ask a babcia.

  17. island1 says:

    I’m not sure, but I think it’s beginning to snow right now…

  18. michael farris says:

    As a proud winter wimp I’m not upset at all about the current weak watered down winters.

    I didn’t grow up walking on snow and ice and the latter is still a challenge.

    Yeah snow is nice if you can stay home and watch the flakes fall, it’s a lot less nice when you have to muck around in the stuff. I’m okay with snow a few times in winter (and yes, frosted bushes and trees are pretty) but let’s keep things in proportion.

    I’ve always regarded White Christmas as northern cultural imperialism (having grown up in Florida I don’t associate Christmas with snow but with slightly colder temperatures. Actually when I was growing up anything below 8 celsius was horribly cold to us and we went around in big parkas (it never got below three or four celsius).
    I don’t completely dislike non-tropical weather – my favorite time of year is fall with a (very) light nip in the air in the evenings I just don’t see the need for extremism.

    So, vive le globale warming! Down with frozen water assalting the population!

  19. anglopole says:

    Island1 – you should have lived in Poland in the 70s and 80s! In some years the temperature would drop to – 30C! I wonder how many Poles actually miss these days? I don’t. In fact, I think it’s too cold here in the UK now! :-( Looks like the infamous Polish winter has emigrated! ;-)

  20. […] periods of the ugliest weather, and naturally people complain that this year’s spring is late or winter failed. However, if they compared the weather year by year they’d notice that it’s pretty […]

  21. adventuresofterra says:

    I am enjoying this! It’s already snowed in Ohio (USA) and they had some days that have had 20F as a HIGH. NO thanks! I love the wimpy winters, bring it on Poland, I could get used to this. And I am thankful I’m not walking around with sand in my shoes because for some reason salt isn’t an option to throw down on the snow.

  22. […] Polandian put it well a few days ago: Polish winters have become spineless and effeminate and I’m getting heartily sick of it. Honestly, it’s December and I’m still wearing Hawaiian shirts and my attractively baggy knee-length shorts. It’s a rubbish winter, I’ve seen more frigid nymphomaniacs. I can forgive one, or maybe even two, limp-wristed winters over the course of, say, a decade but this is shaping up to become the third pathetic effort in a row. It just won’t do. […]

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