Chilly tales and winter warmers

PUBLISHED: 00:16 23 December 2010 | UPDATED: 18:19 20 February 2013

Anne Diamond advises us to keep cosy, but not too hot!

The weather outside is frightful, as they sing in the famous Christmas song. In Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and some parts of Hampshire, weve had plenty of reasons to invest in thermal underwear. I even caught one of my sons wearing his pyjama bottoms under his school uniform (clean ones, you understand!) and rugby socks under his army cadet boots.
Over what we call the festive and New Year season, its easy to forget those that havent even got a roof over their heads the unfortunate fellow human beings whose predicament coincides with one of the coldest snaps since records began.
Thats why we should be grateful for the charities, everyone from the Samaritans, to the Launchpad Reading organisation (which houses 105 local people whove become homeless) and countless other groups up and down our area, whose volunteers bother to lend a hand, often with a cup of soup in it!
Lastly, be very careful! Im not thinking so much of the slipping and sliding in the icy conditions but the snuggling and cuddling. Apparently, snow at the start of 2010 caused a baby boom.
The Royal Berkshire hospital has seen its busiest time since 2007, a rise of about 10 per cent nine months after the cold snap. In October, an extra 50 babies were born, and in November, 499 babies were brought into the world up from 473 the previous year.
Its a phenomenon thats well known the rising numbers of women who are delivering babies conceived during the snowy months.
Theyre called Snow Babies and theyve been overcrowding the labour wards around the country. So beware if the next few cold weeks make you want to hibernate. You could end up with a long-lasting legacy. Meanwhile, have a wonderful New Year.

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