Friday, January 30, 2004


It just doesn't snow like it used to. In the old days you'd get four feet of snow overnight and in the morning you'd wake up to it being bright and sunny. You'd get your wellies on and jump into the nearest snow drift, stand in it up to your neck for hours and not feel the cold at all.

Now snow is grey and slushy and icey, and you get stuck in your car for hours. It took me two hours to drive the half hour journey home on Wednesday night. My dad managed four and a half hours to do the 17 miles from High Wycombe to Thame.

My mum phoned us, clearly worried, at about 8.30. I knew she was worried, because she said "I'm not worried". She was pretty justified, Dad's somewhat demob happy as he careers towards the end of his career on into blissful retirement. He's usually at home by 4.30. His non-appearance was a bit out of character, to exacerbate things further, he didn't have his mobile phone.

Eventually, having trailed a host of websites trying to ascertain something more than 'all roads are hazardous and should be avoided' he appeared. Mum phoned to say he was back and put him on to tell the whole saga.

It had taken an hour to get out of the car park, he said. The traction control and ABS on the Mini is a winner, he said. The conditions were so bad, when he got to Sainsbury's to buy some cigars, the door froze up, he said.

The fact that a pack of cigars took priority over everything else (including my aged mother) didn't seem to strike him as in any way odd.


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