When I went out the balcony this morning with my kettle of hot water I was surprised to find that the dish of water I put out for the birds was still water. For the last week or so it has been frozen solid. I guess this means that a thaw is on the way.
Despite the inconvenience of the snow and the hazard of walking anywhere, I was quite saddened by this. Secretly I'm hoping for more snow and ice, as I've been quite enjoying the enforced rest and crafting time. Most of the pavements on the main roads around here have been clear for a couple of days, but our car park and local roads still retain quite a bit of snow. But the cold has also made it unappealing to venture out except for the essentials, and has given me a new lease of life indoors!
I've still been going out - to work last week, and to shop for me and my elderly neighbour in the last couple of days - but I've not gone anywhere else really, being confined to barracks and adhering to the advice to not travel 'unless absolutely necessary'. It has been quite liberating to be able to spend so much time reading, knitting, weaving and cooking without feeling like I should be out there 'making the most' of my free time.
In London of course we are very lucky that - apart from Southeastern Trains giving up any attempt to run a full train service at the first sign of snow, and putting into play their 'emergency timetable' (just two trains an hour in the rush hour! Where normally there would be about six!) - things pretty quickly get back to normal.
Other friends of mine are not so lucky, but it's interesting to compare how people cope with the snow, with being housebound, and even just with their own interpretation of what it means.
One friend told me she was 'completely snowbound' - how can this be, I thought, when she lives next door to a large supermarket and only a few minutes' walk to the centre of the small town. What she actually meant was that she couldn't get the car out to drive anywhere!
On the other hand, another friend was truly snowbound in a small village on the edge of the Somerset Levels. She was rather peeved that she could still get to work as she works in the same village, but had no mail for days and was relying on the village shop and leftover christmas chocolates for nourishment!
A report on the radio yesterday said that local shops had experienced a boom in sales, so at least there has been a silver lining for someone apart from me!
The National Archives
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