If I had a quid every time a stranger initiated small talk about the weather this week then I’d be about £8 better off.

It has been rather nasty though – nasty to the point that I was expecting the RSPCA calling round because I’d been out ‘flying’ my Jack Russell on a lead.

I’d heard all the hype about hurricanes and 80mph storms on the news but I wasn’t worried. Personally I can clock up speeds well in excess of 80mph when I’m down to my last two fags.

I didn’t really know how bad it had become until poor Emma joined me at work on the late shift on Monday.

Her little face was bright red and she was sporting several scarves, gloves and one of those waterproof ponchos you get when you’re going on the log flume at the Pleasure Beach.

“Ooooh lovey!” She squeaked in her Essex accent.

“I’ve never seen anything like that! It’s like a real tropical storm! Extreme weather!”

“It’s actually a mild October for us, you’ll get used to it,” I reassure the bubbly redhead. Just make sure you’re stocked up on bread and milk.”

At the same time in walked Kara wearing a T-shirt. A born and bred Maryport lass, she kicked open the staff room door clutching eight pints of milk and two loaves under each arm.

“Afternoon ladies,” Kara chirped as she cleared everyone’s sandwiches out of the communal fridge to make room for her own supplies.

“How are you two not freezing?!” southern Emma barked.

“It must be below zero AND it looks as though all the houses are going to uproot and fly off!”

“It’s not the Wizard of Oz , Em,” I answered.

“This is nothing, really. Just good old Cumbrian weather.”

Emma still seemed distraught and the fact that I was so unfazed probably wasn’t helping things. You should have seen the look of terror on her face when T-shirt Kara and I announced we were going out the back for a smoke.

To be fair the weather wasn’t too great and a few times Kara had to grab hold of my ankles and pull me back down to earth when a huge gust of wind hit us.

I could hear my phone beeping to signal a new message but it was during a particularly huge bout of wind that it became dislodged from my pocket and I helplessly watched it fly over towards a skip.

“Shhheeelllleeeyyyyy?! Are you ok?! You didn’t text back?!” I could hear Emma scream from behind the door.

I opened it to find Emma recreating what can only be described as Nanook of the North, clad in all of my workmates’ jackets and waving a stick about. I only hoped she wasn’t going to utilise it as a spear to fix me to the ground if I flew off again.

“My phone!!!” I screamed, pointing at the skip.

“It’s gone! Don’t go out in this weather, it’s suicide!”

“I’m dead without it!” I shouted back as I started towards the skip.

The fact that my baggy ‘clown pants’ were catching all the breeze made for a more dramatic look as I dived into the skip. I did however, emerge victorious, clutching my slime-covered Samsung in my now blue hand.

Emma looked horrified and close to tears.

“Well, lass,” I smiled.

“Looks like from now on I’m gonna have to wear me BIG coat.”