Passing feather-footed through the plashy fens of life, sniffing out curiosities, amusing trifles and scandals from the worlds of culture, politics, news and sport
Saturday, December 18, 2010
We had a spectacular blizzard in Blackheath this morning, the snow mounding up on the tree next door so quickly and so heavily that the boughs bent dangerously down towards the ground.
With the snow comes a wonderful silence. No trains pass along the tracks at the foot of the garden, no cars come sliding down the road in front. The satellite signal is disrupted so the TV is turned off and my eight-week-old daughter and I sit in blissful peace listening to carols through iTunes.
All very Narnia-like, although farther into Kent it has fallen so deep and crisp and even that, according to my cousin in Tonbridge Wells, it is more Scott of the Antarctic than The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Roads are chaotic throughout the southeast; airports closed. My friend Richard was due to fly to Turkey from Heathrow this morning. He made it out, a couple of hours before the runways were shut, but his luggage did not follow. How long he will have to wait to be reunited with his trousers is a point for debate.
At least they sell trousers in Istanbul. Of more concern to Richard is the fact that they don't sell gravy granules. In his luggage was a box of Bisto so that he could make gravy to go with his Christmas dinner next weekend. Already denied of pigs in blankets by his wife's religion, the possible absence of Bisto is too much to bear.
Miracles come true at Christmas, of course, and Richard may yet have something beefy to pour on his bird next Saturday. There's more chance of that miracle coming off than England snatching victory in the third Ashes Test after a dismal performance last night.
Well done Australia - particularly Mitchell Johnson and Mike Hussey, the two local boys - for getting back into the series. 1-1 and on to Melbourne. Let's hope that when England open their Christmas presents, the bowlers are gifted a better control of length and Kevin Pietersen rediscovers his brain.