November 12, 2018, and Austin suddenly got very cold. I mean, not Arctic cold. Not even Edinburgh-at-Xmas cold. But for Austin, the cold is not a matter of absolute number; it’s more to do with the difficulty I seem to have in adapting to the change in temperature.

So, not cold-cold…it’s more that it is suddenly so much colder than it has been. And that change in temperature is really difficult to adapt to.

But, foolish people say, you’re from a cold place. How can you be cold here?And yes, foolish people, my homeland in the north-east of England is indeed a cold place. And do you know what we do? We wear warm clothing when it’s cold. Because it’s cold.

Well, most of us do.

Exceptions to this obvious and commonsense rule are the young people who go out drinking on the weekend (the weekend being Thursday afternoon to a non-specific period before breakfast on Monday morning). They, famously, don’t notgo out with coats and hats on. They go out wearing short-sleeved shirts or tiny dresses. And everyone else yells silently, Why don’t you have a coat on, you pillocks?

The answer, according to local folklore, is that they don’t wear coats because you have to check them in at the nightclubs. And that whole process – checking it in, keeping the ticket, not losing the ticket, not forgetting your coat – is too much for drunken northerners to manage. So, instead, they go coatless on their nights out to the Bigg Market and such.

Or maybe they are just young and foolish.

Incidentally, also according to modern legend, the Bigg Market in Newcastle (Upon Tyne…other Newcastles are available) supposedly plays a major role in the area’s sexual economy. While other towns in the area have significant issues with prostitution, the theory goes, Newcastle has less of a problem because of the Bigg Market – a local area of nightclubs and bars where people easily and frequently “meet up”, thus negating the need for professionals to cover any shortfall, as it were. 

I don’t know if it’s true. I went to the area a couple of times in my youth and it scared the hell out of me. But then, if I’m cold, I’ll put a damn coat on. And a hat. So what do I know?

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