My beloved winter friend

Winter has finally arrived, and rather suddenly.

Halloween 2014 in the UK was the warmest on record, with temperatures in London of 23C. Yet only 6 days later temperatures plummeted to freezing. Thursday morning I was confronted with an iced up car.

What I needed was my best winter friend.

My leather gloves? Well, they are indeed very handy (no pun intended) in this weather, much more so than woolly gloves, which instantly get wet upon touching the car door handle, and then are rendered useless. Really, what is the point of woolly gloves in the cold and damp UK climate? They always get wet very quickly, and once they are wet, you hands get cold. About as useful as a chocolate fire guard.

So yes, I value my leather gloves on a cold morning and I didn’t suffer when opening my car door.

My woolly hat? Very useful for me, being bald. Not that I get a cold head – no, my head normally feels ok; but I suffer from Raynaulds syndrome, and when my body temperature drops – without me often realising it and thinking I’m reasonably warm – my fingers and toes turn to ice and go white (post coming up about this soon). Very annoying, not to mention rather uncomfortable. Wearing a woolly hat though seems to stop the heat escaping from my body through the top of my head; my core temperature stays higher and my ‘pinkys’ remain, well, pink.

No, my most favourite winter friend is my trusted, rusty old scraper.

The best scraper in the world.

Well, let’s put it another way – it’s a scraper that actually works.

Icy mornings are a pain to all car commuters; first thing in the morning, in the dark, still half asleep, the last thing you want to do is work your way around you car trying to get the ice off. Some people prefer to get in and wait in the car for it to warm up, but this is quite time consuming. Most of us get up as late as we possibly can to ensure we get adequate sleep before setting off for work; we don’t have spare time to be hanging around. I have to get up at 6.30am as it is; I’m not getting up any earlier to sit around in a cold car thankyouverymuch!

Many will choose the de-icer spray route.

I find de-icer annoying for many reasons, such as:

  • If you leave the can in the car, it rolls around and rattles irritatingly
  • If you don’t leave it in the car, you can never find it (and you’ve already locked up the house)
  • If you leave it in the car, the can is absolutely freezing to the touch
  • You always seem to run out at the worst time
  • It absolutely stinks
  • The nozzle very often gets blocked and the spray is a useless dribble
  • It can damage your paintwork
  • It ends up all over your hands – bad for skin, and cold
  • It quite often just doesn’t work – you end up with a sludge on your windscreen that then freezes again into a lumpy mess

No. I’ll use a scraper.

But scrapers are useless. Well, most standard plastic scrapers, that is. They will simply leave two marks on your window where the two far edges scrape a thin sliver of ice off. Rubbish.

But I have a superscraper.

When I passed my driving test in 1995 at the age of seventeen and my Dad bought me my first car (a bright Orange 1 litre Metro – see my car history), I was also handed his spare scraper.

It was a rusty piece of metal with a rubber end.

I wasn’t overly enthusiastic.

He assured me that I’d apprecriate it when the time comes – and he was right.

It’s the only scraper I’ve ever used that actually works.

It may sound over the top, but I loved that little scraper. It took seconds to scrape off the ice, and did so in clean, clear sweeps. On the rare occasions I didn’t have it for some reason, and was forced to use a standard plastic scraper, I would dispair. My fingers would be frozen and the view through the windscreen barely adequate to see the road.

When I lost it I was gutted. I faced a couple of winters struggling to clear icy windscreens. I tried lots of different plastic scrapers but they were all pratically useless. They’d scrape off only a thin layer; or leave thin trails in the ice; or they would simply snap. I reverted to the de-icer spray, which I hate, as per my above points.

When my Dad passed away unexpectedly over a couple of years ago, it took me some time to get over the shock. After some time, we all went through the usual motions, and I agreed to arrange disposing of his car.

I found his ice scraper in there.

I was happy to share any inheritence and possessions fairly and equally with my brother.

Not the scraper – that was mine.

I am the eldest so I think I can justify my actions 🙂

So, for the last couple of winters I have laughed in the face of the icy windscreens again.

This morning, the first icy windscreen of the season, was no different, and my windows were clear in seconds.

I hear now that you can buy ‘better’ scrapers made out of materials other than plastic. I suppose I could try one. But whilst as have ol’ Rusty, I’m quite happy.

Here is a beautiful picture of my beloved winter friend for you to drool over.

The best windscreen scraper in the world - ol' Rusty
The best windscreen scraper in the world – ol’ Rusty

I hope you enjoyed.

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