Despite the utter contempt for snow-worriers and ice-cowards exhibited in my previous post I must admit that conditions here in the UK are possibly a little worse than those I was so glibly making light of. There are talks nationally of fuel rationing and billions of pounds lost from the UK economy. Things are beginning to sound dire. Or rather, more dire. And even here in quiet old backwater Leamo we have the odd snow drift that occasionally reaches a height of 2 inches or more and the odd bush that has been felled by the sheer weight of snow upon it.
I’ve been trying to phone Ray Mears but he stopped taking my calls sometime before Christmas.
What is most noticeable though about this current instance of bad weather is the persistence of the white stuff. Over the last few years any snow that has fallen in these parts has disappeared again within 24 hours or so. Like it’s been a mere token gesture. A quick hello and then it’s gone.
Not so on this occasion. Three days later all the snow remains in full force and has slowly transformed itself into ice so hard and slippy I’m amazed I haven’t seen Dean dragging Torvill along the pavements by her frilly forearms.
Walking has suddenly become an extreme sport. It takes the utmost concentration to remain upright on one’s feet – let alone placing one foot in front of the other and perambulating normally.
Now, when I walk about town I am wont to plug myself into my MP3 player and lose myself in some bangin’ tunes, innit?
Because of the snow I find I am having to modify and adjust my normal playlist. Fast music, you see, makes me walk fast. It gets the old heart rate going and I end up scurrying around at supersonic speed.
Speed and ice do not mix. Not unless you can allow for a sudden and unexpected lowering of your eye-level to the pavement and a braking distance of 5 to 6 feet.
So I am having to select all the ballady, slower stuff so that my walking speed slips into a funereal march that ticks all the health and safety boxes for walking in hazardous conditions.
The droning tones of Leonard Cohen and David Sylvian have so far protected me from pratfalls and broken limbs of varying degrees of severity.
I ought to be grateful...
But the sublimated extreme sportsman in me is dying to load up a bit of Metallica and go for it.
I could probably take out half the population of Leamington if I pogoed properly.