Posted Monday night, January 1, 2017.
One of Dickens’ great talents was that no matter how bad the weather really was, he could make it feel so much worse. He could also make it funny. Here’s poor Toby Veck, whose job as a ticket-porter keeps him outside all day in all weather, dealing with a winter wind:
And a breezy, goose-skinned, blue-nosed, red-eyed, stony-toed, tooth-chattering place it was, to wait in, in the winter-time, as Toby Veck well knew. The wind came tearing round the corner—especially the east wind—as if it had sallied forth, express, from the confines of the earth, to have a blow at Toby. And oftentimes it seemed to come upon him sooner than it had expected, for bouncing round the corner, and passing Toby, it would suddenly wheel round again, as if it cried ‘Why, here he is!’ Incontinently his little white apron would be caught up over his head like a naughty boy’s garments, and his feeble little cane would be seen to wrestle and struggle unavailingly in his hand, and his legs would undergo tremendous agitation, and Toby himself all aslant, and facing now in this direction, now in that, would be so banged and buffeted, and touzled, and worried, and hustled, and lifted off his feet, as to render it a state of things but one degree removed from a positive miracle, that he wasn’t carried up bodily into the air as a colony of frogs or snails or other very portable creatures sometimes are, and rained down again, to the great astonishment of the natives, on some strange corner of the world where ticket-porters are unknown.
---from The Chimes by Charles Dickens.
By the way, The Chimes is usually collected with Dickens' Christmas stories, but it's a New Year's story. (With goblins.) So from Charles Dickens, Toby Veck, the goblins, and all of us here in Mannionville---:Mrs M, Ken, Oliver, and myself---Happy New Year!