Remember Winter? We used to have Winters once, before our industrial policies kick-started inexorable global warming. Well, our weather boffins tell us that a brief spell of proper Winter is on its way. There may even be snow. Don't be scared - many other countries survive Winter relatively unscathed each year. However, just in case you're worried by the threat of total whiteout, here are some top tips to help you through the imminent cold spell.
Do • Wear a woolly hat to preserve body warmth, because everybody else will be and nobody will laugh at you, honest.
• Get out that sledge you've been meaning to use since 1987. You can put it away unused later.
• Pop round and check that an elderly neighbour isn't sitting in their back garden wearing only a dressing gown.
• Make sure that, in national news coverage, six snowflakes in London are given higher priority than six-foot drifts in Northumberland.
• Hunt down that free plastic ice scraper that Reader's Digest sent you last year.
• Make the most of all the free heating available in shopping malls, cinemas, trains and your neighbour's house.
• Zip up your parka really tight, and make that furry hood stick forward like a snorkel.
• Take time out to remind yourself how negative numbers work.
• Bore your grandchildren rigid by telling them that it always used to be like this when you were a kid.
• Add sugar to your birdbath to lower the temperature at which the water in it freezes.
• Stay indoors and wait for the entire UK transport network to suddenly grind to a halt.
Don't • Stock up on tins of warming soup, because that means going out in the cold to buy them.
• Sleep with your windows open.
• Use the snow to make snowmen, unless you balance this by building an equivalent number of snowwomen.
• Run out of anti-freeze and end up joining the community of broken-down vehicles on the hard shoulder of your local motorway.
• Moan that you can't get to the airport to fly off on your skiing holiday.
• Wonder why that nice man who sells the Big Issue seems to have suddenly disappeared.
• Try to cross the road in the slipstream of one of our gritter lorries.
• Read tomorrow's newspapers - use them instead to protect your car's windscreen from frost.
• Go outside and lick the salt off the pavement.
• Be surprised if nothing much happens and the whole thing's a complete anti-climax.