Saturday, 18 December 2010

All White on the Night

Last evening I picked a careful route to the bus stop on lightish snow which was beginning to freeze.  It was very cold but the bus turned up on time and off I went to choir rehearsal.  Two and a half hours later, back home courtesy of a lift from a kindly local chorister we were first of all unable to open the door of her car, it was frozen all round the edge, and then had to scrape frost off the inside of the windows.

The temperature was around minus 8 at this time.

This morning it was much much colder and I very gingerly picked my way once more to the bus stop. and waited and waited......after about 25 minutes, shivering and turning pale blue had decided to go back home and call a taxi when a neighbour stopped his car and gave me a lift into St. M's.  When we had completed our gift-wrapping for the "punters" for the free Christmas Day lunch someone suddenly noticed it was snowing - quite hard.

This time I was taking no chances and called a taxi which crept and crawled in the snow which was getting thicker every minute.  Home in the warm  watching the heaviest snow-fall for many years I suddenly wondered why we do this every year.  Somehow we always forget that Christmas might just have to be put on hold if the weather so decides.

I am old enough to remember well the 1963 great freeze and the awful disruption that caused and also (please don't do the maths) the truly terrible winter of 1947.  I was one of four small children and we spent at least 2 months living in the kitchen of our freezing semi in Birmingham.  The snow lasted from mid-December to the end of February.  Coal supplies (no central heating then), ran out.  There were almost daily power-cuts, gas supplies were nearly exhausted and transport at a standstill.  By comparison this is negligible.

Somehow people seem to contrive to do most of the things they really want to do, however difficult, while failing totally to do the things that are expected of them.

I do so hope we won't have to let our Christmas Day guests down.  We'll see!.

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