Colder, more wind, & a good deal of light & rather damp snow. Tom Ridley says the best way of thawing out pipes is to run a blowlamp along them.

12 eggs (best for some months past).

Said to have been 21° frost yesterday.




[1] 21° frost equals 11°F. The weather was so cold that the Thames froze for the first time since 1888. Peter Davison

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11 Responses to 21.1.40

  1. Not that it is all that important:
    -21°C = -5.8°F

    (F-32) * 5 / 9 = Degrees Celsius
    (C*9) / 5 + 32= Degrees Fahrenheit

  2. The Ridger says:

    Two things. In 1940 the UK was on the Fahrenheit scale, so Celsius doesn’t come into it at all. And degrees of frost is not degrees. It’s how many degrees below freezing it is. So 21 degrees of frost is 32 – 21 = 11.

    Which is freaking cold.

  3. Michael says:

    It’s 14 degrees of frost here in Boston this morning, which is about usual for this time of year. COLD yes, but the night sky is crisp and clear and the snow crunchy underfoot. And our pipes are insulated. Tom Ridley ever mention wrapping your pipes to keep them thawed Eric?

  4. Okay, I get it, instead of saying, “It is 11 degrees outside,” they said, “It is 21 degrees below 32 degrees outside.”

    Pardon my ignorance.

  5. The Ridger says:

    Tom Ridley prefers after-the-fact to preventative maintenance, it would seem.

  6. Steve says:

    When it comes to prevention, one would think he’d be working on preventing dishes of water from freezing in the kitchen sink! Meanwhile, I still don’t understand why the pipes don’t break when they freeze…surely they’re not made of lead. Or maybe we’ll be hearing about leaking pipes once everything thaws.

    I like the “degrees of frost” concept. It’s like centigrade/Celsius (freezing=zero), but with Fahrenheit-sized degrees, I guess.

  7. Greg says:

    My wife’s working-class father’s house in Germany, built in the late 1930s, had all the pipes (inside, thank you) nicely wrapped in long strips of what seem to be rags and felt and horsehair. Looks terrible, but worked quite well– probably better than the foam stuff I replaced it with. But we already knew that the Germans started out with a clear technical advantage.

  8. Here it is cold. 12 C below zero.
    The pipes freeze, but not burst.
    The place where I am is Germany near Berlin.
    It is cold



  9. J Harold Hutchinson says:

    Born January 29 1924. Lived from age 4 to 15 in a small four room house with back shed like porch without heat. Large kitchen range and heater in living room. Very little snow in Calgary in January. Very cold for the first part of month, warming up with Chinook winds around 15th, then down to minus 30 by 29th. Darn cold F. Indoor plumbing only for kitchen sink which drained into ditch and froze every winter. Dad wrapped the end of a stick with strips of rag dipped in pig fat, then lit it to make a torch of sorts. Out door plumbing very cold to sit on.
    Ten of us. Six girls at home and my brother and me plus parents.
    Chickens and cow as well as horses survived quite well. Lots of eggs.

  10. Stephen says:

    J Harold Hutchinson: outstanding!
    Here in Canberra it is 39C and aircon on the fritz.
    I could use some frozen pipes right now.

  11. susanne says:

    well I wondered when would anyone notice about the woodpigeon.
    This seems significant to me, but can´t work out why properly..

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