Monday, February 02, 2009

Holy Crap - it's snowing! Cue immediate doom and catastrophe.

The much promised snow has arrived and to celebrate, the whole of the South East has plunged into hysterical chaos. I shit you not. London is carnage - enter at your own risk. Let's face it, if you *do* go in, there is no guarantee you'll ever get out again. Alive. Or at least for a few hours. You'll probably be hungry anyway. And a bit cold.

The day started promisingly. Get to station and find train only 5 minutes late, despite coming in from the Cotswolds, which seems to have some sort of doom-ray effect on train scheduling at the best of times. A commuter comes off the phone - he has discovered that there is No Tube. There is some muttering, people with lap tops look this up. He is fear-mongering - there is Some Tube. Or, to be precise, the Victoria Line. Which is notable because it is *absolutely no use* to 90% of the commuters on the train. But, there are also No Buses. Muttering gets louder and a bit more hysterical. Some people exit the train at the next stop, having happily discovered they don't need to go to work. Then - Paddington station is closed! Oh, the panic! Where will we end up? Stranded at Slough? Luckily, this only refers to the underground, which is pretty helpful. Will have to walk to the City.

Only problem is that I have no idea how to walk to the City. My geography of London only exists through the map of the Underground. Someone helpfully directs me. Should take an hour. Hah! HAAAAH. 45 minutes later, am still delicately tripping along Oxford St as the pavement and roads resemble a giant ice rink. Give up and attempt the central line. Takes another 20mins to get on tube and am wedged into someone's armpit. This, I think cheerfully, is more like a normal day on the central line. Jolly good. Emerge to voicemail from a colleague telling me to give up and go home. At 10am. After an hour and an half of valiant struggling. Apparently colleagues in far away places like Marylebone and Clapham have decided they can't get in. Have small but violent fit outside of the Royal Exchange. Tramp back to tube station in vile mood and narrowly avoid being speared in the eye by icicles falling off the ledges of trendy glass buildings. Spend another 2.5 hours getting home again. Prepare to make same pointless pilgrimage tomorrow.

What is truly wonderful (or terrifying, depending how you look at it) is that everyone else tramping the streets of London is also having a similar experience, so the capital is like somewhere that has been infected by a virus inducing temporary but violent tourette-like outbursts. Awesome.

On the plus side, I took some great photos with my phone of the snowy City. If I could work out how to upload them, I totally would. But, you know. Meh. It's snow. In London. You can imagine it.

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