Clare Teal: Emerald isle turns white as our tour braves the Arctic blast

Top of the milk to you all.

We have left our flat and Fluffy the goldfish in the capable hands of friends and are on tour with the fabulous young conductor John Wilson and the legendary RT concert orchestra and so you find me relaxing on the 10.30 from Belfast to Dublin with a custard danish and a "just add water" cappuccino. Curiously the young man who served it thought I might need eight milk thimble thingies to go with it! It is a very beautiful day. The sky is clear and blue and the countryside has a healthy covering of snow including the sheep and cows. Due to the inclement weather Ireland is still at a semi-standstill, some airports and railway stations are closed and a lot of roads impassable, so it was a miracle last night's concert went ahead at all.

Midway through the first verse of Mel Torme's Christmas Song – (why he didn't call it "The Chestnuts Roasting Song" I don't know) I had to laugh singing "and folks dressed up like Eskimos," I then looked down at my skimpy top and the goose bumps on my arms and thought "yeah, who has got the right idea here?"

Tonight we play at the Concert Hall in Dublin and I can hear the Guinness calling from here, although I'd be lying if I said I hadn't already tried it. We actually flew into Dubbers on Sunday and spent a very pleasant afternoon shopping on Grafton Street.

As the last shop closed at 7pm and the temperature dropped to minus eight we headed back to the hotel restaurant. The only thing on the menu was an extortionate three-course Christmas dinner. It was pretty terrible – nearly as bad as the Christmas panpipe music permeating every nook and cranny of the hotel. As Muddy says, you can put three sprouts on a fancy cocktail stick, but at the end of the day, they're still sprouts. The Guinness Yule Log had a similar consistency – and probably taste – to loft insulation.

By the time you'll be

reading this we should be on our way to the beautiful Wexford Opera House and from there onto Galway, but unless they manage to clear the roads we may well have to stay in Dublin drinking Guinness and Jamiesons and shopping.

It's a hard life – Cheers!