Bill, if I may answer for Herman, they most certainly are! I've been on the ice today, it was busy with loads of people skating and it was especially nice to see families with parents teaching 4 or 5 year olds how to skate... good to know at least one more generation will have memories of the favorite winter pastime of the Dutch
I lived in Holland in 1979 for two years - if I remember there is a famous canal race - is it 10 canals or similar? - only possible in very cold years
Today was the first day snowing in Paris, but now most of it has melted (it's about midnight when I'm writing this). Temperatures have gone from 0°C to -5°C in the last few days. Cold but definitely bearable. I hope you're doing well pictogramax!