Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The day the snow came

Well Flora was right. The red sky in the morning was indeed a warning of bad weather to come. On Sunday we met S and C at Ashridge Forest and went for a bracing walk. We were well wrapped up and the walk was chilly but bearable and much less uncomfortable once we were among the trees. As we walked along little flakes of snow started to fall and we saw a herd of deer running into the woods for shelter, pausing to observe us before they melted into the trees.

By the time the evening came snow was falling heavily and by Monday, in common with most of the South East, we were greeted by heavy snow everywhere. The schools closed, S and C were snowed in and unable to return home and I had to find a way of getting to work. While the children were ecstatic about an unexpected day off and the prospect of tobogganing down the local hills, I was worried about how I might get to work and how I could make sure they were cared for. The latter was easily solved as S and C found themselves trapped at our house for the day. As for the former, I left for work early and made my way with exquisite care to the office, arriving in amazingly good time.

As the day progressed the snow became steadily heavier and we all looked apprehensively out of the windows, wondering what our journeys home would be like. The strange skies and threatening weather felt like some horrible metaphor for the situation we were all in as our boss called each of us separately into her office to tell us whether we still had a job or were to be made redundant. The sense of gloom, amplified by the weather, was palpable and although I was relieved to find out that my job was safe, finding out which colleagues we were to lose, some of whom I have worked with for over a decade, was heartbreaking.

It was a relief then to be allowed to leave at 3pm as the weather worsened. I reached home and found the children had enjoyed their unexpected day off. I decided to make the most of the weather and went out with C on to the Downs to take photos. We ventured into the woods which had been transformed from their rather scrubby usual appearance to an enchanted scene. Ditto the view over towards Kensworth Quarry from the ridge above. It was difficult to see where the snow stopped and the chalk began and the lights of the vehicles still moving around the quarry looked like mysterious torchlight in the mist.

It has to be said snow makes even the most quotidian things look magical but slush does not! Nor do I relish driving or trying to go about any normal business in the snow. So I am glad to see it melt, the children return to school and life become slightly more boring but infinitely more predictable.

1 comment:

Violet Fenn said...

I love reading your blog, I wish I had your commitment!
Apparently it's warmed up here this weekend - it's only going to be -5deg C tonight. Marvellous.