Thursday, 5 February 2009


I thought we'd have afternoon tea in the garden! (Shot today at 10.09am.)

I had a slightly eerie feeling, while ranting in my last post, that things would sneak back and bite me in the arse.  (Or ass, if you hang out on the west side of the Atlantic.)  And they have.

I woke up ludicrously early this morning, full of joyful anticipation of today's Press Event at the Royal Horticultural Society's Lawrence Hall, London.  I had several rendez-vous (?vouses?) arranged and was expecting a jolly and informative day.   Duly, I set off for the 24 mile drive to my nearest railway station noticing, in passing, that it was snowing hard, with a few inches already accumulated.  'This won't bother us up here,' I muttered to my wife, as I left.  'We're not wimps, like that lah-di-dah Home Counties lot.  Anyway, it'll probably melt as it falls'

Nearly three hours later, after avoiding ambulances, jack-knifed lorries and little old ladies in Fiestas cruising at 10mph sideways, I managed to turn round and get home again.  My car computer helfpfully informed me that I had averaged almost 11 miles per hour.  

The main road resembled a scene from the Coen Bros classic film Fargo - yer actual Arctic white-out. There were even rumours of polar bears and I'm sure I spotted some twitchers looking for such rare vagrant species as snowy owls or ptarmigan.

Just when we need it most, our county council seems to have run out of grit/salt which is hardly surprising, since they've been spreading it almost nightly since October, whenever there's been the slightest whisper of a possible frost.  Clearly, the geezer in charge of transport is not a Wise Virgin.   Anyway, by the time I'd got home, the snow lay very deep, moderately crisp and surprisingly even.  I'm glad to be home for bonus free day but sad to miss friends I hoped to bump into in London.

But the main reason for this interim post is to say 'Sorry!'  To those at whom I scoffed, down south, I offer a heartfelt apology.  You clearly aren't wimps - but I still can't understand why the Tube conked out and why schools stayed closed for two days running.

I really will post the story about the birchwoods - possibly even later today!!   Meanwhile, keep warm!


  1. Some hoisting and a couple of petards involved here, I think.
    We have about six inches but a very grey sky which tends to suck the life from the snow.

  2. Too funny! (Especially the bit about the old ladies in Fiestas). It may comfort you that here in the land of much ice and snow, we routinely encounter such phenomena also, even though we're supposed to know how to drive. Only our old ladies tend to be in Dodge Neons or ancient K-Cars. The good news for you is that it will likely melt much more quickly than it will here. We're at around 3 feet deep and counting...
    And some of us lot on this side of the big water also say arse, probably because of our UK ancestry. Used to reduce my grandmother to giggles when I said it. I just think it's a much more biting insult with that extra Arggggg in it. :-)

  3. I think it's probably 'rendez-vice' (or, it would most of the time)!
    Oh, here's where I should pipe up and say, "major wimp here". I freeze up at about 20*C and I cant imagine walking about even indoors when the white stuff is falling. I've seen it just twice in my life but was too cold to enjoy it. I think I'd rather enjoy it on Christmas cards, thank you very much . Or better still, in posts like this, of bloggers who've lived to tell the tale!

  4. I think my scoffing on Monday has resulted in the delivery of my own personal snow cloud here this morning. However I've just returned from a very refreshing tramp through the snow. The children round here have made snowmen AND snowpets!

  5. We had a foot of snow in December. I remember thinking "Stop snow, stop!", because a couple of my plants died and I needeed to brush snow off the palm trees several times a day... Now,looking at your picture, I want snow again!

  6. No scoffing here but a great deal of wishing for one snow fall! I have been saying this for days now...I am cured of wishing for the white stuff. It is much more then the romantic fluffy stuff; it is down right dangerous to get out with inexperienced drivers taking to the roads to get groceries here in the middle south of the US. Glad you were safe getting home!


  7. It's been quite amusing to watch how po-faced and humourless the media have got about the snow thing; the kids love it. (Been watching snow fights out of the window....)But no, its the economy, drone drone yawn yawn...... I think that snow should replace the pound as currency. (well they both melt to nothing ,ha ha lol )

  8. consider your bottom comprehensively bitten. Hah!
    (from one of those softy southerners)

    totally agree about the Underground though...

  9. PS have now realised I am becoming unreasonably curmudgeonly about this whole snow business so it's my turn to apologise to you.

    Normal middlingly sunny disposition will be resumed shortly.

  10. Your earlier post is what's known in these parts as "tempting fate." But just think of the bragging rights you've gained! Think of the stories that will begin, "I remember back in aught-nine..."

  11. I thought of you this morning, Nigel, as I listened to reports about forty-mile-long traffic jams outside Madrid; apparently during the last big storm over your way, the wind blew the lid off a stadium somewhere in Spain, killing four children. That'll teach you to scoff. The ghosts of innocents shall haunt you forever.

    Your drive sounds like quite a penance, though. Hope you manage to climb down off that petard without too much damage.