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Cold Chills

Dear friend,

Yesterday in London a strong wind blew in off the North Sea (that foreboding stretch of dark water between these fair isles and Scandinavia).

The temperature of the North Sea is barely above freezing at this time of year – come to think of it, it is barely above freezing at any time of the year, so the east wind is a cold one, even if it is usually accompanied by a deceptively clear blue sky and bright sunshine.

We’re lucky that the prevailing wind here is from the much more temperate south west – and we don’t have to contend with this Siberian monster too often.

But I suppose this lulls us into a false sense of security.

As I scurried outside in search of a lunchtime sandwich, the icy breeze blew straight through me. It worked fast.

By the time I got back to the office I wasn’t feeling that great.

And by the evening I managed to nod off halfway through a performance of the Woman In Black, a supposedly terrifying ghost story set as a West End play.

Chilling’ read the reviews – but the only chilling I got was another blast from the frozen wastes on my way back to the subway. I had even felt cold inside the theatre, normally a stiflingly hot place at the best of times.

So you may have guessed I am not well in body and am writing this from home as I try to wrap up warm and recover from my aching chills.

But there’s nothing wrong with my mind, I don’t think.

I know that as a journalist I shouldn’t say this, but the news can be such a distraction, that at most times it is best ignored. But some news is genuinely interesting.

The Brazilian market is finally open - after at least 30 years of news stories speculating about when and how this might happen. This is a big deal.

Brazil is an amazing country – and for westerners in many ways it is more amazing and exciting and offers more opportunities than China or India.

It’s a vast democracy with huge natural resources and not too many problems with natural catastrophes (barring the odd tropical storm popping up where it shouldn’t!)

In typical Brazilian style they made us sweat for it (and made this editor look like a fool in the process! But you knew that anyway, dear reader) but pretty soon this market will go from just three to at least thirteen reinsurers.

But now that the place is open - it looks like it’s genuinely open and ready for business with no holding back. These Brazilians know how to party.

And sitting in a northern country that still hasn’t got round to having a spring day this year, I can but fantasise about that other east wind – the one from the South Atlantic, cooling and caressing a sun-kissed tropical Brazilian beach.

No wonder the Brazilian regulators were having trouble processing the applications!

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