It’s a sad and depressing state of affairs when your first thought on discovering that it has snowed in the night is ‘now how the hell am I going to get to work?’. So, when the other half excitedly suggested I look out the window this morning (he walks to work, the bastard), my first thought was ‘Gosh doesn’t everything look pretty in the snow.’ My _second_ thought was ‘now how the hell am I going to get to work?’
The answer was – slowly. For a start I had to leave the bike at home. Bikes don’t mix with ice and snow. The longest second of my life was the second that extended between my applying my brakes the last time I tried cycling on the snow, and my landing in a heap on the ground – giving me plenty of time to remember just exactly why that was a bad idea. It seems the same sort of thing applies to trains. The first announcement I heard as I got to Vauxhall was that the 6:49 was delayed due to slippery rails, and after that the information system simply gave up the ghost and merely announced ‘Welcome to Vauxhall’ and the chap on the platform retreated into his little office and started making defensive and pointless announcements along the lines of ‘trains are delayed or cancelled and we don’t know either so don’t ask’ so we stopped knocking on his door and letting all the cold air in. Twenty minutes of this did begin to chip away at my sense of childlike wonder at the miracle of snow, but I tried to keep reminding myself that it was pretty, and finally a train appeared that could stop and we piled on and made our cautious way to work.
I wasn’t the only one keeping my spirits up. The train was crowded but good naturedly so. As people crammed themselves on at Clapham Junction I heard the following exchange: ‘Squeeze up a bit!’ ‘Say please!’ ‘sorry, squeeze up a bit, please, thank you’, and people did squeeze up a bit. And as we pulled out of the station at Barnes Bridge I saw that someone had made the most of the waiting time and built themselves a snowman.
Things were back to normal this evening – the trains were back, and the snow had vanished. On the whole, despite the chaos, I think I’d rather have the snow.
And it was pretty…
… even Vauxhall*
* Our Elephant & Castle correspondent reports that it will take more than a bit of snow to transform the Elephant, however