The South Island has woken to the second morning in a row of sub–zero temperatures.
. . . It was -6.4degC in Queenstown at 6.30am and -8.1degC in Alexandra, while Wanaka was -3.7degC and Oamaru was -3.1degC. Dunedin was -0.5degC.
Omarama was sitting at -20degC while Tara Hills near Twizel was -18.9degC about 6.30am.
The all time record low is – 25.6degC, recorded in Ranfurly in 1903. . .
This is winter as it used to be.
Breaking ice on puddles and skating on icy patches on footpaths as we walked to school was a regular occurrence.
Back then it was cold outside and in.
We lived in uninsulated houses with little heating. We had a fire in the kitchen and in the very depths of winter a kerosene heater was lit in the hall to take the chill off the bedrooms before we went to bed.
It was colder still for my mother who was one on nine children in a house with too few bedrooms to accommodate them. The oldest ones slept on an open veranda winter and summer.
Children sleeping in conditions like that now would almost certainly be reported to welfare agencies.
Back then it wasn’t unusual although temperatures were regularly lower.
Were cold-related illnesses also normal and not reported, or has something else changed that people in cold houses and the health problems resulting from that have become news?