A washout of a summer, the warmest October day in 100 years... the weather doesn’t seem to have any idea what time of year it is! Yet it’s less than a week until British Summer Time ends and winter officially begins.
At 2am on Sunday 30th October 2011, the clocks will go back by one hour, so ensure that you set a reminder or you may very well wake up more than a little confused on Sunday morning (especially if you’ve celebrated Halloween the night before!)
This also means that the evenings will be getting darker and colder, so thebestof Haverhill has some top tips for staying safe and sound this winter:
Don’t go out alone
We’re not talking about having to arrange a ‘buddy system’ every time you pop to the local shop, but at least let someone else in the house know if you’re popping out.
And of course, if you are planning a longer walk, try to walk with friends – or at least another person.
Stick to routes you know
If you want to try out that shortcut for the first time, do it in the day – don’t wait until it’s dark to see if you can save five minutes! Keep to routes you know well so there’s less chance of getting lost and don’t get tempted to cut across the field or park – stick to well-lit, busy streets as much as possible.
Walk facing the traffic
Remember that potential threats in the dark are not just humans – vehicles may not see you walking along that country lane. Ideally, avoid wearing all black, walk facing the traffic and if you’re in a rural area that isn’t well-lit, ensure you have a torch with you.
Keep your phone and keys close by
Don’t tempt any potential thieves by holding your mobile out for the whole world to see, but keep your phone and keys in an easy-to-reach pocket so you can get into your house quickly.
Don’t be embarrassed to take action
If you feel nervous or threatened by someone potentially following you, don’t panic but cross the road. If this person does follow you, make your way to a busier street or group of people as quickly as possible. And don’t be afraid to call out for help or phone 999 if you feel as if you’re in danger.
Trust your instincts – if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.