I found myself suddenly thinking of Jenny Alme today; almost every time it snows she crosses my mind. Jenny and I went to high school together. I liked hanging out with her because when she laughed she would pull a face that made her look like the most proper lady in all the Upper Midwest. That's not to say, though, that she would let propriety stand in the way of a good time.
One evening, on our way back from a night out, I suddenly got it into my head to go sledding. That's the way I roll, homies. Sometimes playa's just gotta get his sled on. To that end, in those days I kept two plastic sleds tucked behind the bench seat of my 1969 F250 pickup truck. I can't remember what we had been doing that night. I think perhaps we had been to see the orchestra, because both of us were dressed up. In other words, we weren't exactly wearing sledding-appropriate clothing. This became most obvious when Jenny finished her first run down the hill. Turns out, it is really hard to walk up a snow-covered hill while wearing heels.
"Well, just get in your sled and I'll pull you up," I said, holding out my hand for her to give me her sled's rope.
"Don't be silly," she said.
She pulled off her shoes and trudged up the hill in stockinged feet.
"Whoa," I shouted. "Alme! You are so cool! I guess we'll give up this plan, though.
"Nah. Hand me your keys," she said.
My truck was parked right at the top of the hill (the one just south of 98th and Abbott, for those of you playing along in Bloomington Rock City). I assumed she planned to sit in the truck and allow me one more run. But upon reaching the bottom of the hill I turned to see her barrelling toward me. She had just needed to put her shoes away. The two of us carried on sledding for another half hour.
That night, a new rule was written for the sort of woman I go for. Before then, I had already established the rule that a love interest must be the sort of woman I can push into a creek. In other words, she has to be of good humour and pretty enough that she still looks good without makeup. But thanks to Alme, I added: A love interest must possess a certain hardiness. Be bonnie or be gone.
Today would have been a good day to head out looking for love, because the Snowpocalypse arrived in Cardiff. Unfortunately it was a day that showed a sizeable number of people to be wanting. If infrastructure networks were women, it would be time to move on to greener pastures. Early in the day, it took me an hour and a half to get from Penarth to Danescourt on the train -- usually a 47-minute journey. In the afternoon, Cardiff Bus decided to just stop trying. And most ridiculously, Cardiff's winter carnival was cancelled, because of winter weather.
A number of Cardiff drivers were also scratched from the list of possible sweethearts. Very few people managed to process that pushing the accelerator to the floor doesn't actually further your cause when on ice.
Admittedly, they were not helped by the fact that the British deal with snow on the roads by doing little more than staring at it. They do not plow it. From time to time they will toss about a bit of salt and dirt, but that product costs money; and councils are run by people who understand how to maintain a bureaucracy, not how to respond to variables. Since this snow was not scheduled several months in advance the country is flummoxed. Wales' snow-removal policy is to wait for it to melt.
Hey, Norway: y'all always do quite well at biathlon in the Olympic Winter Games. Now's your chance to invade Wales. Actually, please do that. I'm pretty sure y'all could run S4C more effectively than the buffoons we've got at the moment.
But whereas the weather caused all kinds of headaches for people with jobs, for the genially unemployed, such as myself, it was an opportunity to head outside and reminisce about snow forts, the kings and queens of St. Paul, and the awesome girls we once knew. I took a few pictures while out and about. My favourites are below, but you can find a few more on my Flickr page.
The River Taff, near Llandaff Rowing Club.
Looking at the Llandaff weir through trees.
How one can claim private fishing in an area where the River Taff runs through public land, I do not know. I have long wanted to buy a fishing reel solely for the purpose of seeing if these signs are enforced.
Bridge crossing over Blackweir to Pontcanna Fields
(For those of you playing along at home, a "weir" is a small dam)
The cemetery at Llandaff Cathedral.
Llandaff Cathedral hides at the bottom of a hill.