Countdown No 3: Overcoming the weather with Cerys Matthews – Baby, It’s Cold Outside



For just over an hour in March we walked through the wind as it ripped across us on top of the Sugar Loaf. It had been cold and now it was a lot lot colder. We were on the Brecon Beacons Three Peaks Trial that had been reduced to One and Half Peaks due to probably the coldest weather experienced for the event in 50 years.

I don’t know you, but when I’m going through something that could be unpleasant or is a little gruelling I try to turn my mind to happy memories, happy thoughts to get through it. There’s no pyschobabble involved here, I’ve been following this line since I was about nine when I was confronted with the dentist’s drill. While that sound kicks in, my thoughts would purposefully drift to great football moments – a classic goal, a magic moment of skill. And I’d hold on to these thoughts while the drill ground it’s way through whatever business it needed to do. By my late teens I had a good stock of football moments to get me through most dental moments sastisfactorilly and a few other pains besides.

So while bracing myself against the bitter Welsh wind I was trying to dispell the inevitable uncharitable thoughts about the country with one or two of those happy memories. Clearly, I had Brighton’s Play Off victory at Cardiff in 2004 to fall back on but that was a different much warmer day so if felt inappropriate.

Instead I decided to adopt a Welsh artist for the day having left it wide open at that stage. Tom Jones? No, we’ve already been there and again he’s always been a man for sunnier climes. Manic Street Preachers? The Alarrm? Neither appealed at this stage. And then the voice of Cerys Matthews – former singer of Catatonia, and now a Radio presenter – came to mind and I had the happy memories that I needed to get me up the mountain and on to the less turbulent descent.  So a round of Chardonnay got me through the climb.

And then the peak and the real icy wind at which the song came to mind.  The seasonal duet from Cerys and Tom.  Baby, It’s Cold Outside.  Fortunately the bitter wind cleared my renditions away quickly so no one but me ever heard.

So true.  So seasonal.  So…enjoy