25 November 2005

Weathering It

I was up at bloody 6:15 am this morning, aware that there'd been some severe weather warnings for nearby counties, and worried (despite the fact that the worst the Met Office had predicted for us here in Bristol was light rain) that there might be overnight snow or ice which would make it distinctly unsafe to take the moped to work.

It's generally a really bad idea to propel yourself along wet, slippery, unstable surfaces at speed on two wheels, and when the weather gets untenable I generally take the 7:01 train from our nearby branchline station to Bristol Temple Meads, then a bus to work. This morning there was no need to do that: when I checked outside the house at 6:50 there was no ice or frost and it clearly hadn't snowed overnight. What's more, the Met Office was now claiming that Bristol could expect happy sunny skies throughout the day.

Hurrah, I thought, aware that this meant I had another twenty-five minutes before I needed to take the bike to work.

Twenty minutes later -- and thus nine minutes after the local train had left -- I stepped out of the house into a bloody snowstorm. The damn stuff was coming down out of the sky in huge weltering blobs, lathering the ground like the runoff from some Olympian shampooing session.

This is England (I thought) for God's sake, not Newfoundland! It doesn't snow in November. Snow threatens to come during the last two weeks of December, actually arrives in the first week of January in time for everyone to say what a shame it was that we didn't have a white Christmas, and then buggers off again for the year apart from two freak flurries in the middle of February.

Now this had happened I didn't know what to think any more.

I had to get the bus into town -- which involved standing in an open-plan bus "shelter" next to a snogging couple and getting fresh snow blown in my face -- and then another bus out to St Brad's -- which involved sitting directly in front of a man who was ranting with disturbing eloquence at his ex-girlfriend over the phone and occasionally thumping the window -- and arrive later than usual at work -- which involved running around and panicking to get everything sorted out in time for the library to open at 8:30.

By that time, of course, the snow had stopped, and the clear and sunny skies which we've been enjoying since then had set in. In fact the adverse weather lasted for precisely the duration of my usual motorcycle journey to work.

I could have got here sooner if I'd just waited for the damn snow-shower to finish, and then left on the bloody moped.

Although admittedly I would have then skidded and died on the recently snow-greased roads, so it mightn't have been such a good plan.

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