Saturday, February 10, 2007

Snow days

Inclement weather brings people togetherIf you read pretty much any blog based in the UK you'll know by now that we got snow this week. Those of you playing along at home are thinking: "OK, and?"

That's it. We got snow. Dear Lord, we got snow. In Minnesota, this would have been the type of snow one could knock off a windshield ("windscreen" for those of you playing along over here) with one hand; most people wouldn't even bother to put on their gloves. Here, though, snow is a big thing that means locking all the doors and refusing to go to work. On Thursday and Friday, Rachel was told to stay home from work*, allowing plenty of time for reading and Yahtzee. I foolishly wasted my time by attempting to go to classes.

The train tracks run just a few yards from the house and I'm able to hear the trains when they shuffle by. On Thursday, much to my surprise, they were running on time (when I say "on time" what I mean, of course, is "not more than 20 minutes late"), so I thought perhaps that the rest of Cardiff would be up and running and headed off to classes.

The snow made for an unusually jubilant mood amongst the Arriva's regular sufferers passengers. In the picture above, the Danescourt platform looks abandoned, but there are, in fact, 6-8 people squeezed into the shelter on the right -- all of them laughing and chatting, in contrast to the usual mode of staring bleakly at the tracks.

Of the four lectures I had on Thursday, three were cancelled. On campus the kids were walking as if gravity could no longer be trusted -- holding onto railings, walls, trees, and just about anything else in an effort to stay put. Walking by them made me feel as if I was in that Monty Python sketch where they attempt to ascend the high street ("main street" for those of you playing along at home).

And I am apparently one of less than a dozen Cardiff University students who have managed to figure out that when it's cold, you should put on a coat. There were a shockingly large number of boneheaded fellas attempting to walk around in their pansy pastel polo shirts (it is fashionable at the moment for guys to wear light yellow, light blue and pink shirts -- I'm not buying. It is also stupidly popular to wear clothing with Americana things written on it, e.g., "Joe's Cafe." The other day, I really did see a bloke wearing a shirt that said simply: "CENTERFIELDER"), their hands shoved in their pockets, desperately trying to pretend to one another that the first stages of frostbite weren't setting in.

*Remember kids, you want to study extra hard so that one day you can grow up to work for the National Public Health Service; they treat their employees rather well.


Neal said...

I should just quit reading any posting that has to do with how cold it is at such-and-such a place. I end up just biting my tongue (is that the correct phrase when typing?) the whole time.
On the other hand, I can comment about the color pink. It should never been seen on men's clothing, houses, cars, or money.

Dave Morris said...

We hardly get snow around this latitude anymore. It is nice that you got some there, bet it made you at leats a little homesick.

Bugail Aberdyfi said...

I'm with you on this one Chris. So goddamn stupid when it comes to snow. A mere snowflake falling through the sky will set off a going home frenzy.

I had a friend of mine was told to go home at 11:30am on Friday. But she didn't leave until 2:30pm because a major government office sent all of their staff home and it caused a traffic jam in the area.

Curly said...

The amount of girls wearing their short denim skirts out in the cold amazed me, but I liked it. I love the ones that are obviously so overjoyed to get an opportunity to wear that fabulous new winter hat they bought the other week.

I also saw several blokes wearing sandals, in the snow.

Curly said...

And while I'm hear, I'll repeat what I was saying around the office on Friday lunchtime

"People are thick and stupid"

This is related to Bugails comment. Everyone decided to leave Cardiff at exactly the same time, that time was when the snow was melting. The roads were screwed, people got angry at everyone else and the emergency vehicles couldn't get anywhere rapidly.

Curly said...

Wrong kind of 'here'. Dammit, people ARE thick and stupid, I'm a person too it seems.

Wierdo said...

Yes I was one of the people who didn't go to lectures because of the snow. But it was just an excuse. Any old. The day before it old lazyness that stopped me going.

But I was wearing apt clothes. I built a kick-ass 9 foot snowman, had many a snowball fight, went sledging and still wasnt cold.


Unknown said...

Do you know, that in Tesco on Wednesday evening, people were buying silly quantities of staple food. Can YOUR freezer hold 16 loaves of sliced white bread?!

I'm with you on this one Chris.

P.S. I was very impressed with my wheelspins (was cycling at the time)...for every turn of the pedal, the wheels were turning about a quarter...!

Astrid said...

Yeah, God must have been so annoyed that he spilled all of his cocaine! I hope he will do it again though, but then when I have my day off!