This is how cold the winters get in New York: today I burnt my fingers and thumbs on the wind. I actually have minor frost bite.

The funny thing about the weather in here is that it rarely feels as cold as it says on the news. Most of the time, it’s a dry cold – very different from the damp English chill that sinks into your bones.

This is what I was thinking when I got on my bike today to meet some new friends for lunch. Minus six degrees centigrade? Ah, it’ll be fine once I get going.

Big mistake. Huge.

Because newbie cyclist that I am, I didn’t account for the wind chill factor. I was out for 90 minutes, and it took 10 minutes to calm down and defrost once I got back inside.

How stupid do I feel? Very. Not least because I also can’t help feeling a tiny bit proud of myself for getting out of the house in this weather. It’s only going to get colder, after all…