Snow what?

Sorry about the title! But, really, I couldn’t write a blog without mentioning the snow, could I? And it has made a real difference to my plans this week.

On Monday I took my car in to get a new aerial and have a headlight fixed – my headlights keep failing. They were pleased; said they had found what was making them go wrong. So, I got in my car to drive to Plymouth – and the headlight still wasn’t working. Grr! all the way to Plymouth on one headlight, but I got there ok.

I was staying in the Invicta Hotel, a 3-star establishment; obviously, I paid a very cheap rate through laterooms. Now, all I ask for when I stay overnight is a good bed, a good shower, and some brown toast. The pillow end of the bed was about six inches from the wall, so when I tried to sit up in bed, I couldn’t prop the pillows up properly, and the pillow kept sliding down in the night. I tried to push the bed up a bit, but couldn’t. The shower was rubbish – a lukewarm trickle – and they had no brown bread for toast. I waited so long for the white toast that in the end I gave up. As I left, they asked if I had enjoyed my stay. It was a shame, really; it could be a nice place to stay, but not in that room, on that night.

Anyway, by the time I left it was snowing hard in Plymouth, but I got to the library ok, and it soon stopped. The course I was running went really well, and only two people were deterred by the snow.

By Wednesday, of course, it was everywhere, and looked lovely. I built a snow sculpture – a kind of spire – in my garden, and took all the Christmas decorations down, and answered loads of emails and phone calls. Oh – and finally I’ve found a guy – actually the one who was my first choice – to play the third part in my one-act play, so that’s definitely going ahead, and I’ve planned the rehearsal schedule.

Thursday was meant to be a prison day. I started the car, cleared the snow off it, loaded it up, and tried to move. It just slipped. And then I noticed that the temperature gauge was on maximum – not a good sign at all – so I unloaded it all and resigned myself to a day in. I did spend quite a long time during the day trying to dig a path out, but my drive is gravel and very hard to clear, and I was getting a bad back, so had to stop.

So that was that – I was at home for the rest of the week, until yesterday when I finally got the drive cleared; it was easier by then, because the gravel had frozen solid. Thursday’s, Friday’s and Monday’s events all cancelled! So – I’ve caught up, with pretty well everything. The 8 days book has been finished, and now I’m waiting for the first two copies from Lulu publishing; I’ve done lots of research for my LitFest project; I’ve written up the feedback from the course; started an abstract about the hospital project for a conference; cleared out lots of old emails; prepared for the interview on Tuesday for the schools work (although that might be cancelled too); sorted out some clothes; and written up a case study – a piece of work that has been on my to-do list since last July.

And I’ve booked my holiday – hooray! Siathos again, but a different place, much nearer my favourite beach.

Getting all this stuff done, and postponing lots of meetings etc. to February, has mean that I now have some time – so I’ve started work on decorating the porch. I’ve done the filling, and later I’ll apply some damp-proof paint; tomorrow I’ll do the white paint, and on Tuesday I’ll paint the black beams. I should finish it on Wednesday.

It has been strange, all this. I’ve got enough food in my house for a three-month siege, so that hasn’t been a concern. I have nearly run out of cat litter, though. I asked a kind friend with a 4×4 to try to get me some, but apparently there’s none on the supermarket shelves, because people are using it as grit under their car wheels. I think you shold have to take a photo of your cat to be allowed to buy cat litter! What am I to do?

The oddest thing has been that I have alwasy considered myself to be a resourceful, capable person, never deterred from doing anything by a bit of weather, but this week I’ve had to face the fact that sometimes physical things just intervene. I could not clear my drive enough to get the car out, and that was that. I feel much better now I know I can get the car checked tomorrow, and knowing that I have caught up on so much work. I can look back on the week and think – ok, so plans were changed; I’ve been stuck at home, but snow what? It all looks so lovely out there, and anything that hasn’t been done this week will get done another time; it really doesn’t matter.

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