Thursday, 24 December 2009

Winter Wonderlands

So I've been away for a while for various dull reasons that I won't go into. I haven't been riding my bike that's for sure. Not until the other day anyway, the snow seems to draw me out from my cosy little hideaway. Maybe because it's not quite so cosy at the moment due to the lack of central heating, large gaps around the new windows and bare walls. Oh well, at least it's not cold, eh...
Snowy houses

We've had loads of snow down here and I only just managed to get home after my night shift on Friday morning. It was my last day at work until tonight so I was desperate to get home no matter what the weather was. Unlike the last time it snowed heavily in London and I decided to take full advantage of ITV's hospitality...

Back in February, whilst still working in central London I'd driven home on the Sunday night through treacherous conditions and was due back in Monday morning. I left extra early, around 5am and started off down the M1 which was down to one lane. Luckily there was very little traffic, apart from the abandoned cars on the side of the road. Central London was even worse and I had a very surreal moment driving into the middle of a city, in a snow storm, passing a pair of giraffes!

Taking full advantage of the lack of traffic and the virgin snow in Regent's Park I attempted to write my name across the road using only my car. I was never very good at etch-a-sketch and failed miserably at the bottom of the 'R'. The rest of the trip was like a scene out of a disaster movie with cars (mainly BMW's) strewn around the deserted streets having had their journeys rudely interrupted by various lampposts, railings, buildings and other cars.
Snowy London South Bank, Feb 2009

Conditions didn't improve throughout the day and I still had to be at work the following day. Chancing a third and then fourth journey in this weather, remembering the 17 accidents I'd passed on the previous two trips and having a vivid memory of ending up sideways between a set of traffic lights and sliding out into the middle of the cross-roads earlier in the day, just seemed to be pushing my luck a little. So as was the tradition back in the good old days of TV, the company stumped up for some hotel rooms - the last great perk of ITV.

So a snowy ride/slide/snow diving session, some mulled wine and a warm mince pie were the order of the day on Sunday and it was starting to feel like Christmas. (Plus a quick stop to build Bob the Snowman). All I have to do now is negotiate the black ice to get to work this evening and for the first time in many years I will be spending Christmas day at home.
Surly and the Snowman


simondbarnes said...

Woohoo, excellent. I thought you'd disappeared from the face of the earth. Welcome back :)

M&J said...

Glad you're back - thought maybe organising Kielder had finished you off! Hope 2010 is another monster year for you (in a good way).

Me said...

It's good to be back! Got a bit side tracked with event stuff, and the Kielder was a pretty rocky ride for a few months, but all worth it :-)