Spring Unsprung

It’s pelting down. There has been lightning and almost simultaneous thunder. MasterB is hiding under a chair. We are experiencing all the seasons at the moment.

Spring is unsprung.

Yesterday it snowed.

It wasn’t for long and it didn’t settle, but still it made me remember 1979 when Margaret Thatcher was elected. I came home from Italy via France to vote against her. The first time I was able to vote in a national election. My vote was symbolic. She got in. But I have always felt the snow was an omen. It’s going to take a long time for this country to recover from Thatcherism, and the road is not linear.
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Cold Cats

There was a sprinkling of snow this morning. Maybe it was forecast, I don’t know. It soon vanished and today has been a bit warmer thank goodness. Not exactly balmy, so don’t imagine us out and about in summer frocks, fanning ourselves to keep cool. It’s still multiple layer weather, and when I head out again to work in a few minutes I shall swap what I am wearing for clothes with greater insulation.

Last night I was up and down the stairs repeatedly as MasterB tried to decide whether he wanted to go out or not. On the whole he thought not. I believe his decision was complicated by the need to pee, as once he had achieved that objective in the litter tray, he seemed much calmer about the whole business.

Pink Nose

Pink Nose

He had had a trying afternoon. I had come home shortly after lunchtime and Cookie was there to greet me, even hoisting her tail into the upright position. Her humans must have been out. I was her passport to warmth and a snack. She wanted to settle and sleep. Her presence was like a wasp sting to MasterB. He walked backwards and forwards; played rough games with a feathered toy and the rug; meowed at me in demanding tones.
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It was a cold day in London, but sunny. By lunchtime, the trees and bushes that had begun the day pretty, their branches topped with a festive layer of snow, were bare again and the pavements were clear. But just twenty minutes out of Liverpool Street on the Stansted Express, fields stretched whitely and the snow had a more settled look. Horses, wearing warm blankets, stood grouped together, and watched the passing train. At the edge of one field, just inside the gate, was a wicker shopping basket, empty and incongruous.
At check-in, I explained my foot troubles, and my boarding status was upgraded to priority. That didn’t speed up the passage through security. Slow minutes in a winding queue. I stood on one leg, and hoped I wouldn’t have to take my boots off.
Back in the day, air travel was considered glamorous, but a lot has changed from those select, elegant few walking across the Tarmac at Croydon airport to the hoards standing in their socks and rethreading their belts at Stansted.
Flights to Belfast are from one of the more distant gates. I made my way down there slowly. My plan was to be in the right area long before the gate was announced. It worked. Soon I was comfortably settled in a near deserted seating area. Gradually it filled up. Flights to Belfast and Glasgow were leaving at the same time. Glasgow passengers were called first. Belfast passengers remained seated. Then some silent signal spread through the passengers and they hurried to form a bunched queue. I sat on.
When the flight was called, I joined the parents with toddlers and pushchairs to board slightly ahead of the hoard.
It was a two second advantage. More able passengers raced behind us and surged passed us. Those who had been first were now in the middle.
By some miracle, I got a window seat at the front of the plane. The sun was setting as we took off, and the countryside below looked enchanting; even the snaking lines of headlights on the dark roads. The snow lay bright and undisturbed in fields outlined by black trees and hedges. I sat back and relaxed.



Just about finished my packing; long sleeved t shirts, a fleece, a cardigan. I’ll wear a jumper. The wash bag always used to be the most complicated item, but now I find it’s increasingly about electricals. So far I have mobile ‘phone, iPod, iPad, kindle, pocket Olympus, plus all their chargers and other accessories. Not sure about the hair dryer.
Not Cat is at the Cattery. He was growling when I left, so obviously not happy about the whole thing. My friend drove me in my car. The same friend who drove me with Cat’s dead body to the vet back in March.
While I tried to persuade Not Cat he was going to have a lovely time, pointing out the comfy bed, the heat lamp and the treat I was leaving him, she walked around with the Cattery owner admiring cats in residence and hearing their stories.
In the garden, the hens had gone to bed. They are ex-battery, and the last lot of such the Cattery will have now that battery hens are banned. I would like to buy their eggs at the end of a holiday, but most are already spoken for by house and choir.
Tom, the huge black cat who dominates the house, was waiting for us when we went back inside. We gave him a quick cuddle and went back to the car. The snow that had started during our drive was coming down in determined fashion.
It looks like it means to settle.
Thank goodness I am off to warmer Ireland.

Replay: Snow Afloat

This is turning into three post Sunday. Yesterday I reposted something from Janaury 2010 on my old blog. This is the post from the following day. It’s even more appropriate now as it snowed here overnight.

Boats covered in the white stuff under a clear blue sky in early morning. A Photographer’s Dream.

Snow was not forecast. Minus one centigrade does not mean snow.

I slept extremely well. Warm and cosy under my flannelette quilt cover. Until Cat woke me up because he was hungry. It was about four in the morning. I looked out of the window at next door’s boat and thought it looked a bit fuzzy. That bothered me, so I kept on looking and it gradually dawned on my sleepy brain that it was ice and snow that interrupted the outline.

I went back to bed. Continue reading