Jan. 14th, 2017

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)

I seem to have picked up my mother's cold as a parting gift from the North, so the first few days back home haven't exactly been productive. I've spent most of the time curled up on the couch under a blanket, which isn't absolutely necessary, but is comforting. It's one of those colds that mostly manifests as a wracking cough, so it's a useful excuse for breaking out the hot toddies. It's just as well I bought myself a new bottle of whisky pre-Christmas as I seem to need a hot drink in reach pretty much constantly even if they don't all have to be alcoholic..

Plus we had snow on Thursday night, so I'm not planning on going out anywhere until the cold fades away and it warms up. The snow itself has mostly melted, but taking the cough outside at the moment would likely leave me puddled on the floor with the rest of the snowmelt. I was amused to find from one of the articles about snow in the papers (this is Britain after all, even the prospect of weather is headline news) that I grew up about 5 miles away from the place that sees the 5th heaviest snowfall in the UK and the heaviest in England - Copley is a little village just up the road from Bishop Auckland, but does have the local weather station. No wonder I remember a lot of snow as a kid.

Kent doesn't see anything like as much snow, often none at all in a winter, but does tend to get a fairly good dose when it does - I've waded to work through waist deep snow when I was young and stupid but that was exceptional (it was noticeable that only the Northerners and the Welsh made it in that week day, none of the locals). This batch was only a couple of inches, but was falling quite heavily for several hours. As I have a streetlight at the bottom of the back garden to backlight it falling snow makes for a very pretty effect. It seemed to be quite waterlogged as snow goes, so heavier than it might have looked, and after a couple of hours I heard a dull thud from the patio. When I went to look I found my jasmine bush had peeled itself away from the fence and was flopped over the patio chairs. Fortunately it picked itself up once the snow melted off it and there's no need for me to go out and tie it up. I was very surprised it did fall over as there's definite triffid in its breeding and it curls itself around everything.

Of course the lack of regular snow here means no one knows how to drive in it, and it fell over the Thursday rush hour. I was truly glad not to be stuck in the queue of traffic that was inching down the main road into town. I have been stuck in it in the past, when I was still working, and it was truly miserable, an hour plus to get home instead of 5-10 minutes. There were also times pre-car when I was on foot, gave up on catching a bus and outpaced the traffic, on crutches. Not missing that at all (though I got some memorable evil glares from drivers as I effectively skied past them <g>).

OTOH I do actually like snow - my dad could never understand that, but ensuring the roads were all ploughed was one of his professional responsibilities (see above re place with most snowfall in England), so I can understand his mixed feelings - and I've not had any chance to enjoy the clean crispness and nippy chill of this batch, so is it really evil of me to hope we get some more in a week or two when I'm rid of this damned cold? Of course it's not exactly practical in the chair, but my New Years resolution is to try and get back into the daily waddle, the number of times I walked more than 100m in the last year is probably into double figures, but not by much (and I measured my length on a couple of those).


davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
David Gillon

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