Friday and Saturday, 18 and 19 January 2013 – London
During the week the weather forecast had been building towards a snowy end and I must admit that I was getting a wee bit excited as the doom mongers forecast cold white chaos for Britain’s transport systems. There was a report in the Metro, a free morning daily paper that the coldest winter for one hundred years was coming – and soon. If you have ever lived in England during an autumn or a winter, you will know what snow means to the trains ! And Friday was to be the day it started.
As usual I slept poorly and was awake very early; I eagerly opened the blinds with the expectation of seeing a blanket of white outside, but no, all I saw was the same old concrete and green – so back to bed, roll over and attempt more sleep. When I next looked outside there was a small smattering of white on the leaves of the bushes and top of the wall and I started to get a wee bit more excited. Over the next couple of hours the depth of the white started to grow and more and more was falling from the sky. What started as a sleety mix of snow and rain eventually turned into just snow and I knew it was finally going to happen. I smiled 🙂
I had arranged to meet a friend in Pinner, North West London. Pinner is towards the edge of the city, has some nice old buildings and there are some green fields up there as well, so we were going to go walk for a bit and I would get to see some different parts of the greater London area. We had factored in that it might snow a bit but had not really expected as much as there was. There was a pretty good covering even at Shepherds Bush station.
By the time I got Pinner the sky was dark and the snow was falling quite heavily.
We decided to sit it out for a while; I was dressed for the cold, but not really for the wet that comes with the snow melting on jeans and jacket. After a few hours over coffee and wine or two – and a fall of three or four inches, the snow finally abated enough to go for a walk around a few blocks before the dark set in and it was time to head home again. While the trains were still running !!
I lost a glove, I think it was on the tube. This is the second glove in seven days, not an auspicious start to winter. Not the brightest end to what was a very nice day.
It was a similar start to Saturday, though this time the snow failed to come at all. I will admit this was as forecasted (roll on Sunday though !). I could not be fagged getting out of bed for a run, ( in a running rut this week, I hope it ends soon !) so lazed for a while and read in bed.
I finally made it outside in the early afternoon. I wandered around to Holland Park which is closer to my house than the other big parks, though strangely I have not been there before.
This was obviously a serious mistake, it is a beautiful park, especially under a moth-eaten and holey snow blanket. It seems to be more of a peoples park than the royal parks, it had a play ground and a sports field as well as walks, trees and of course the traditional large house. The park was being well used by families sledding on the gentle slopes and lobbing snow balls at each other. It was nice, and I think nice is the right word.
As I was leaving the park I found a meman, the first meman I have seen in many many years.
A very long time ago I watched the Raymond Brigg’s “The Snowman” on video with the daughter of a friend or family member. I cannot remember who, though I vaguely recall it may have been the daughter of my cousin Pamela and I think it was 1985; it is only a vague recollection. What I do remember is how much the young child loved the movie and it was the called “the meman”. Ever since that day I have thought of snowmen as memen. Weird how some things remain in the head.
After the park I grudgingly made my way to the mall and bought another pair of gloves, pair number four. These are so much better than the last ones though, lovely soft leather – thank God the sales were still on. Hopefully this is a sign and I won’t lose one of them!
It appears I have a white balance issue between the two days of photos !