Friday, January 08, 2010

You Can Tell By The Way I Use My Walk

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.


25 comments:

Completely Alienne said...

David Sylvian! There's a name from the past; now I am going to have to dust off the Japan vinyl collection to remind myself.

It is hilly round here and all the local kids have been toboganning down on trays and the like so that the paths are as slippery as ski jump runs so I am sticking to slow and careful. You might break a leg, but you could have some fun first I suppose.
PS I saw Jayne Torvill a few months ago. She got on the London bound train I was travelling on and sat across the aisle from me.

Steve said...

Completely Alienne: his solo stuff is a lot more sombre than anything he produced with Japan but I rate both highly being an eighties boy. Jayne Torvill: now there's an enigma. I could never work out whether I fancied her or not. She was a bit horsey but had amazing legs and any girl who can twirl on a sixpence has got to be worth her weight in gold.

Rol said...

You need a bit of Beach Boys.

We all need a bit of Beach Boys.

Steve said...

Rol: If I break my neck to "Barbara Ann" I'm going to sue.

ArtSparker said...

Black ice with evil intent.

Mark said...

I've been learning the banjo - be funny to walk to banjo music - lots of little steps maybe

Steve said...

ArtSparker: I need to get me a Jedi snow shovel...

Mark: do you have a ladder and are you any good at "cleanin' windus"...?

Deirdre said...

Oh the embarrassment! Just went a over t walking home..lying there flat on my back like a beached whale, and very kindly about 5 people came over to pick me up...but as they told me not to move one of them said 'here's the ambulance' which worried me greatly..had I been knocked unconscious? I did'nt think so...apparently a passing ambulance had seen me go and pulled over....anyhoo I'm fine....and Steve I thought of you yesterday as I was in Leamington at my Aunts funeral and at St Peters ....and then up at the cemetery...Leamington had quite a bit of snow...the cemetery sky was bright blue, the snow was white and the flowers so colourful...but
another January with a funeral...so sad.

Löst Jimmy said...

Although Victory Mansions was already languishing under snow for a week before I sought refuge at the in'laws, read out'laws in Mexico I can not say I am missing it over there. No doubt there will be plenty awaiting my return in a week's time...Keep warm.

Mind you it is not so warm over here either, just tipping the 6C which is cold for this place I can tell you...

Steve said...

Deirdre: a passing ambulance? How lucky is that? I only get the bin men...!

Sorry to hear about your aunt. Funerals seem to be sadly accumulative, don't they?

Steve said...

Löst Jimmy: a balmy 6 degrees C, eh? Sounds bloody great to me. Don't worry though, we'll save plenty of the white stuff ready for your return. Alas I am not talking about Charlie.

Clippy Mat said...

stop with the Leonard Cohen. You should not even try to walk whilst listening to Mr. C. You must be prone, in a darkened room with a wet cloth over your eyes and be sure to lock up all of the sharp implements first.
and
It snows here a lot.
We are used to it.
but we don't like it.
that's all.
;-)

Gypsy said...

I saw Britains terrible weather on the news last night and they had vision of people all falling over in front of each other thus causing a pile up. They unkindly had it accompanied by Benny Hill music if I recall.

I hope you start to thaw out soon. It's going to be about 108 here today and 110 for two days after that. Want me to send you some of that because you're welcome to it :)

missbehaving said...

I saw on the news a chap going down his local HIgh Street on skis.
Maybe that's they way to go for the foreseeable future.
And all those poor poor people snowed into a pub for 3 days... that's just sad ;)

Owen said...

So much for global warming... I'm thinking a ticket to Mogadischu (sp?) sounds pretty good right about now... just imagine all those endless Somalian beaches, with precious few tourists to encumber the view ?? Well, you could try some "Grateful Dead" on the iPod, that would keep you sliding along in a mellow frame of mind... stay warm ! and stay upright ! But you're a good upstanding citizen, so I'm sure you'll be ok...

Steve said...

Clippy Matt: you're right. What was I thinking? Listening to Cohen when there was a risk of the streetlighting alleviating the endless darkness...

Gypsy: if you could just skim a bit of the top and send it over I'd be really grateful!

Owen: sliding about...? Hmm. Maybe I ought to try a bit of slide guitar and just go with the flow...?

Steve said...

MissBehaving: snowed into a pub? How awful! They must have got through the pork pies by now and have started on the whippets...

Gina said...

Even I am snowed in now - well, my car is. Not even 4WD monsters have made it up my hill this morning. We are heading out to ski it before they do arrive and churn it up.

You've got to stop wearing the stilettos, though Steve and get yourself some proper footwear. We march everywhere in our Finnish studded snowboots. Well, they aren't studded with Finnish people obviously but from Finland and def a good investment!

Amazing how long the snow is lasting. I love it - but I shall keep quiet about that as I know no-one else does!

Steve said...

Gina: the stilettos are fine... it's wearing fishnets in this weather that is playing havoc with me varicose veins...! If this is the shape of winter's (or the world) to come then maybe I really should invest in some Finnish snow boots. Or even a survival guide run by the Innuits...

The Poet Laura-eate said...

I trudge two miles through the snow to my local Sainsburys this afternoon. In virtual darkness owing to vultures picking the shelves clean and repeated power cuts - I thought I'd walked to Russia by mistake!

No salt has been used on the side roads where I live whatsoever. It would be foolhardy indeed to get the car out, not least with such freezing temperatures and more of the white stuff on the way.

You are right about its perseverence though Steve. My University actually SHUT for two days last week, which was much appreciated on my part.

TheUndertaker said...

We just heard on the radio here (in the heat, I might add), that the temp in northern parts of the UK is the same as at the South Pole (our neighbour).
Although there is summer there, we must be talking at least -29 C. That's about -20 F. Go you guys and your thermals!
Surely there is something in between Metallica and Leonard Cohen? Please? Pretty please?

Steve said...

Laura: I'm astounded at all the politico-speak of "unprecedented conditions" - like we've never had a winter in this country before! Sounds like things are worse in Oxford than in Leamo - we've got lighting and fuel though a trip to Tesco today will prove whether we have baked beans or not...

The Undertaker: I'm prepared to compromise with a little Kate Bush... the family of penguins I have adopted seem to appreciate her at any rate.

The Sagittarian said...

Oh boy, it does sound rather dire (and looks it too from the news coverage we're getting down here). I shall not take my sunny days for granted, you can rest assured of that. With each ray of sun, with each kilowatt of heat I shall take it for England! Cin cin.

Steve said...

Amanda: it does my old frozen bones good to know that you are suffering the heat on my behalf... I shall turn the gas fire up to 6 and think of you!

Actually, it's turned milder here today and everything is dripping well... this could be the start of a thaw...!

A Write Blog said...

One thing I've noticed as the years have gone by;

How people are less inclined to clear the drives and footpaths around their homes.

We've religiously kept our drive clear.

Few others have. Some haven't even removed the snow from their cars which are parked outside because their garages are full of crap.