Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Snow, snow, thick, thick, snow.

My sister's driveway in Esgair, Cynwyl Elfed, Wales (today)
I remember very clearly, as a child, that if ever there was snow in the offing from a weather forecast, my father would writhe in his armchair, oaths were muttered and several new swear words were learnt by myself and my sisters. And, as a child, I could never understand my poor father's anguish. This was snow we were talking about! Snow! The most wonderful weather ever invented. Snow! You could do so much with it, like make a snowman for a start. And then make a snowball and throw it at someone. hundreds of other things. And yet my poor father would stand at the window, watching the fat white flakes cascading from the sullen black sky, slowly shaking his head and only cheering himself up by occasionally berating the passing dog or cat with a stumping mallet. (I jest). However, my sisters and myself would be in rapture to this gift from the sky. But looking back some thirty-odd years hence, and I can see exactly what my Father was wailing and gnashing his teeth over. Snow means one thing and one thing only. A pain in the you-know-what. It makes travel virtually impossible. At the merest sight of a flake of snow, all the idiots coming crawling out the woodwork and storm the nearest shop panic buying anything they can lay their hands on. I remember some years back visiting my parents in Mountnessing and over night there was a heavy fall of snow. My mother was a little short of milk (about 5' 4" to be precise) and she asked me if I'd walk up to the little shop in the village and get a pint. I duly did this, only to find the shop a heaving mass of humanity with people clutching bottles of Vimto and packets of pearl barley as if they were hand outs from UN feeding stations in a war torn area of Africa. The rather lovely young lady who worked in the shop at the time (the deliciously named Anna-Marie Herretierre de la Roche - you don't get names like that in places like Lidl these days) nearly wet herself laughing when I asked if she had any milk left. That had sold out shortly after the previous nights weather forecast, along with Cliff Richard LP's, dried grouting paste and all other essentials for a happy life.
So here I am in 2009, standing at the window, looking at the fat flakes of snow tumbling from the Bible black sky, grumbling to myself and wishing I had something to berate with a stumpers mallet. Never mind, Eamon Holmes might be on telly later - I can punch the TV screen then. So all Henry shows for this week have been postponed. My two apperances in Norfolk have been put back to March and my appearance at Blackbrook School in Taunton is now going to be at the end of February.
And just what did happen to Anna-Marie Herretierre de la Roche? I hope she married someone with an equally exciting surname.

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