It's been a fairly mild winter so far but that came to an end this weekend. Yesterday's high was -31C and today's is set to be -36C. When I left for work this morning it was -40: the temperature at which both Americans and Canadians can agree - it's cold.
When I woke up on Sunday morning, I knew it was cold before I crawled out of bed. I don't think the furnace turned off once all night and the light peeking through my bedroom blinds had a certain edge to it that is hard to describe. When I did finally get up, this is what the world looked like:
Beautiful, yes, but all that condensation in the air tells me that furnaces and wood stoves in my neighbourhood were running full tilt.
I am not as nutty as my bike-wife who went out on Sunday. You can read what it's like to ride a bicycle at -40 on her blog. I instead chose to sit inside by the fire with the Mr and my in-laws. But this morning I had to return to work and venture outside for more than five minutes.
I contemplated my -40 work attire carefully. I usually like to try and look halfway decent while at my place of employment and in cold weather that often means a dress. It's amazing just how much clothing one can layer underneath this practical women's garment.
I begin with tights, long underwear, and knee-high wool socks on the bottom.
Then it's a tank top, a long-sleeved wool shirt and a sweater dress on top:
And finally, winter dress boots and a chunky wool cardigan sweater as the last of the inside layers.
Top it off with a long down jacket and a second-hand fur hat (yes, I am conflicted about fur but damn it is warm) and you too would survive outside on a Yukon winter's day.