22 December 2009
Bad weather? Don't get cross, get New Cross
The snow finally arrived in central London last night. Not the fluffy cotton-wool snow that they use to film Dr Who Christmas Specials in May, but wet, slushy, gluey snow, like iced jellyfish smoothie.
If you can wade through the slush to New Cross you might still have time to buy a Christmas tree, though how they got a dozen of them on that bike to their stall beats me.
Yesterday round town was just gravel-chucking drizzly and fairly quiet. The traffic lights were out at Aldwych (below right), and I wondered if it was a naked-streets experiment. No, a harassed-looking mechanic jabbing a junction box with a screwdriver told me. It's a technical fault. There was so little traffic compared to normal that you couldn't assess whether it was flowing more freely or not. Perhaps everyone was still stuck on a Eurostar.
And if you are venturing out in a car today, do BE PREPARED. That means having your speech ready for when Radio Five Live interviews you as you're stuck on the Basingstoke ring road during that absolutely necessary trip to browse mobile phone shells at Carphone Warehouse. Remember to blame everyone else: (1) 'the gridlock', not the traffic (2) 'the council', and their abject failure to put down grit, lay down salt, and control weather systems (3) other drivers (4) Gordon Brown. And, of course, moan that 'we get a bit of snow and the country grinds to a halt'. J
New Cross is home not just to last-minute Christmas trees, but also the Prokofiev Archive. If he had been English, no doubt his Troika would have been a ride on a gritting lorry. More like Shostakovich, then... hmm. Perhaps I should get out more. I would if the weather weren't so bad.