Thursday, December 23, 2010

Travel plans

Snow Patrol

We have normalised into a snowbound, blinding white lifetime experience. Cold is the new warm, drafts are the new summer breezes and slides are the new steadies. Everything takes longer, traffic moves occasionally and when it does it seems to be in slow motion and on the verge of imminent collision. Travel has become a tense, peculiar experience, like in some perpetual frozen water flume or via Flybe. Our arrival anywhere is uncertain with the only certainty being the ever decreasing temperatures exploring the plummeting minus scales. Coal fires struggle against the freezing air, spitting weak willed heat in the great chasm of cold that surrounds and envelopes all like a silent cold breath of death.

The beauty and wonder that we once observed in snow flakes and winter frosting now mocks us and holds us in it’s icy grip, enthralled not by the artistry and intricacy of pattern but by the choking power of this white blanket of suffocation. We remain stuck in our tracks, no traction, no action, only the cruel depth of unfathomable cold that holds the germs and bacteria at bay, that stops the virus spreading and chills the tiny birds as they fall to earth in the stillness of the early morning air.

Meanwhile the public blame the politicians, BAA, the Royal Mail and the authorities who can only blame the un-forecast weather, the recession, the general lack of funding and the climate’s changes on all of their predecessors. Of course nobody is wholly responsible, we are unable to plan for the unexpected and the unthinkable and such planning, if it ever existed would quickly be dismissed as unaffordable and unrealistic so why bother? Ditch the mathematical models, the speculation, let the cold wash over you and rush away, like bank statements or exam results the numbers are only scribbles on a page or symbols on a dial, they are not excuses for misery or inaction. Embrace the perverse non warmth and uncertainty of the new ice age, it will only last until the next lunar eclipse, the next schizophrenic volcanic episode or the outcome of the next unsatisfactory general election.


Playing games in the dark is too risky, a court has ruled and the darkness and any associated play that may take place in it has been outlawed forever. Lady Justice Smith and Lord Justice Ward have dismissed an appeal by the Boy Scouts over a £7000 compensation claim. So no more games in the dark for the Scouts or any other character building organisation that might seek to remove the young from their tedious and tame lives, now incessantly lived in a pointless cotton wool wrapped and video screen glare. Apparently “Playing in the dark creates an unacceptable risk” if you are young and live in Castle Bromwich in the West Midlands.


Because it’s cold all of the time basic things like food consumption and sleep form the majority of the day’s highlights. Today is steak bridie and donut day, an annual event when, on the cusp of Christmas celebrations and other vague and misunderstood Solstice pursuits we have a Stephen’s lunch and an unrelated quiz. The nourishment elements outstrip the quiz - generally I perform quite poorly in the quiz but perform rather well in the bridie and donut consumption. There is no prize for that only the warm and unseen glow of internal smugness. Merry Bridiemess.

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