Sunday, January 5, 2014

winter cold from the past

With reports of such cold temperatures around the country, I offer this from Miss Read's Christmas Book:

Sunday, Christmas Day, 1870

As I lay awake praying in the early morning I thought I heard a sound of distant bells. It was an intense frost. I sat down in my bath upon a sheet of thick ice which broke in the middle into large pieces whilst sharp points and jagged edges stuck all round the sides of the tub like chevaux de frise, not particularly comforting to the naked thighs and loins, for the keen ice cut like broken glass. The ice water stung and scorched like fire. I had to collect the floating pieces of ice and pile them on a chair before I could use the sponge and then I had to thaw the sponge in my hands for it was a mass of ice. The morning was most brilliant. Walked to the Sunday School with Gibbins and the road sparkled with millions of rainbows, the seven colours gleaming in every glittering point of hoar frost. The Church was very cold in spite of two roaring stove fires.

                                     -   Francis Kilvert,  Diary, 1870-1879

Now that's something I could never do.


  1. Brrr! I am sooooo thankful for indoor plumbing, hot water, and my cozy house. Wonderful excerpt, Lisa; I really enjoyed it. : )

  2. Sat most of the day in our study which now hosts an old pellet stove (thanks to the man that sold it to us for cheap)...not much of an outside season for me. Trying to stay warm and well and soak in His goodness.

    mama to 8
    one homemade and 7 adopted

  3. Oh my goodness, I never EVER could stand that - I'm such a wimp, I wouldn't hike on that cold cold day of 30 degree weather...I can't even imagine this kind of cold. What perspective this gives me, thanks Lisa!

  4. I couldn't do that either. I like a warm shower too much!

  5. Oh my! I had to read this twice to believe it!

    Thanks for sharing this book. I would like to read it too! I love to read about winter and christmas especially in days gone by.

    1. Ramona, the book contains excerpts about Christmas from many different sources, all of Miss Read's choosing - her favorite quotes, etc. It's very nice.