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Jane Bates: Who wants a picnic in the bleak mid-winter? 

Picnics should mean wasps and sunburn, not sub-zero temperatures and hypothermia, says Jane Bates 

Picnics should mean wasps and sunburn, not sub-zero temperatures and hypothermia, says Jane Bates

A picnic? I said, with a shriek of horror. It was my husbands birthday, and the coldest day of winter so far. Even the icicles had icicles on them, and he wanted a picnic.

To a nesh southerner like me, a picnic means wasps and sunburn, not hypothermia. But he is the kind of stalwart northerner who says Eee, luxury! when he sees an inside lavatory.

My husband was not the only hardy soul I encountered that week. A patient in his eighties, an old countryman, intended walking 14 miles from his home in the back of beyond to the hospital, have his cataract operation, and walk 14 miles back again. In the depths of winter, and in the dark.

Dangers of the cold

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