In the mornings I often listen to TBS radio while dressing for work in my tiny, fridge-like bedroom. The cold is a constant companion. Most mornings involve improvising exercises to keep blood flowing while searching for a matching sock. TBS has recently been broadcasting an advert encouraging listeners to go out with the Cold- 寒さと付き合いませんか？ The advert, made by minporen (the Japan Commercial Broadcasters Association), is promoting setsuden electricity savings.
I have been dating the Cold this winter. We meet each morning and evening in my room. Right now, we`re taking it steady. I`m unwilling to commit to anything permanent. Cold`s vigorous embrace can be overwhelming.
But there can`t be warmth without the Cold. None of the joys of earmuffs or longjohns. No hour-long soaks in hot baths. No teacakes toasted in a Devon fireplace. No walks to primary school over a snowy Devon hilltop. No nabe (winter hotpot) parties in the guesthouse kitchen. No plum blossoms brightening Tokyo`s walkways.
Perhaps I am mad. Or perhaps I am just excited: next to the Kanda river, a 5 minute walk down the hill from my guesthouse, the plum blossoms are already starting to bloom. And now the TBS weatherman has just predicted 16 degrees for this weekend, which as I mentioned in a previous post, also marks the official end of winter. Soon I`ll all be dating heat again.