Sunday, 5 February 2012

Now this may come as a surprise to you...

New Pimlico Residents
There is nothing of note happening in the world apart from the Snow. So that is what this week's Kate in the Countryside is about. No punchline, no fictional dog adoption - just snowy struggles from the incapacitated capital. 

Everyone knows that the London Underground doesn't run in the snow. So as I clambered through the blizzard to a birthday party in Borough last night, full taxis passed with gay abandon. Snow can make a mockery of even the most sensible of heeled boots, so my ability to walk had taken a hit. At last an empty taxi advances into view, its light gleeful in the dark. I flag it down. 

'Hello! Bermondsey Square please?' 
'I'm not taking you to Bermondsey Square love! It's only a few yards down that way.'
I should have argued, I know that now.  His was the only empty cab for miles around. I was lost half a mile from my goal and didn't even know it. But I was weakened by snow.
'OK, thanks! Great! Thanks for your help!' The window closed before I reached 'thanks'. Who needs snow in their cab anyway?

I strode on, sustained by thoughts of snowball fights and hot drinks and cursing my lack of iPhone map. Moments from my destination, I fell splat against a bin. I almost managed to laugh.

Bonus seat padding
The morning brought another travelling conundrum. This I resourcefully solved by Boris Bike. Cycling through slush and cliché from Vauxhall to Pimlico, I was so excited by the charm of the moment that I found myself waving to complete strangers. 

Boris has obligingly stationed a bike rack right outside the front door of the Pad. So smug was my face as I replaced the bike, I almost expected someone to pelt me with snow. Mr Shop in the corner shop downstairs is not happy with the new bikes - 'What are they for anyway? Who uses them? Tourists! They'll just get themselves killed' - but Belligerently Optimistic Flatmate and I are delighted. Frankly, what could be more fun than riding without a helmet over black ice on a clunky bike that - let's face it - can't really change direction?

I raced in through the front door to share the story of my biking triumph with BOF. The Pad is a winter wonderland. The Christmas lights are still up - snow makes them less festively needy, we reason. There is also an ailing poinsettia on the windowsill, which BOF bought in a fit of festive enthusiasm. It commenced dying barely had it left Sains, but now that we're ready for it to die, it is thrusting back to life.

Outside in Pimlico the snow clears. And the deer go home.