OK, North Americans, look away now. I am sick of this winter. It has run and run and it has been freezing for months. The Alaskans in the children’s school laugh at us and I saw Alaskan father yesterday wearing no coat which means he must be very hardy (he also speaks very good Irish – these Alaskans full of surprises – it’s not just Sarah Palin, you know). My mother says that it is the coldest winter she remembers since 1947 when her February birthday party was blighted by snow. A friend of mine whose mother is from Belfast says that the winter of ’47 was so cold that the snow didn’t melt until May. Bah.