Half term is going ok – well as ok as being cold everyday can be.

We enjoyed the zoo yesterday and seeing rhinos made up for the ridiculously low temperature. The park was good this morning. The girls in a large swan on a boating lake very nearly offset the pain in my ears, but not quite. Tomorrow I’m focusing on the indoors. Probably a museum and a library, because I am sick to death of wearing a bobble hat.

The cold in the house is also causing difficulties, not least because it’s hard to maintain the a temperature of 24-27 degrees for a tank full of millipedes when the heating goes off at night. I imagine them huddled together for warmth, hundreds of little feet up against the heat pad, praying for morning to come.

We were going to Lincolnshire to see family this weekend and didn’t feel that financially we could leave the heating on for four days solid when we weren’t even at home. So, of course the millipedes had to come with us – because who doesn’t go on holiday with four arthropods? (It should have been five but one mysteriously disappeared and may be living under the floorboards.)

Tank surrounded by hot water bottles and balanced on P’s knees, we drove down to Lincolnshire with the car heating on full. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so hot whilst driving, of that the millipedes have ever been so toasty. They appeared to have some kind of millipede party, especially when we threw in a piece of cucumber skin as buffet food.

We ferried the millipedes from one set of grandparents house to another, each time sweating in the car and wondering if millipedes get travel sick. After two different millipede mini-breaks they made it back to Sheffield alive. This was despite a detour to Cresswell Crags, so T could get some fresh air because she actually was feeling sick. The things we do. Back home they are down to a solid 19 degrees and back to tunnelling for warmth. I’m left thinking it may have been a little overkill to take them with us.

We had drawn the line at bringing the Triop at least. He had to stay home and take his chances with the plummeting house temperature and the large chunk of carrot we threw in the tank. We clearly win at looking after weird creatures.

But of ourse, on top of all this general nippiness there is another problem that I just might have to mention one more time.

I’m still chuffing coughing – 13 weeks and counting. I have pulled yet another muscle in my chest and back from spluttering. Plus, I still can’t hold a note – singing along to anything in the car is painful, especially for the passengers. I’m tired a lot and doing physical things is a real effort.

I simply can’t go back to the GP – being told to go away and take paracetamol three times is enough. Thankfully we’ve already established that I’m not seriously ill (apparently the GP was sending me for an x-ray to “rule lung cancer out” which was a little alarming – I think he needs to work on his bedside manner). It’s probably just yet another virus that’s hit me, one after the other. Maybe I’m going to cough for the rest of my life – a bit like that man who never stopped hiccoughing.

Ah well, I’ll soldier on. Maybe when the temperature rises I’ll stop coughing and the millipedes will breathe a collective sigh of relief. Roll on Spring.

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