Monday, January 14th 2013
The temperature has fallen this weekend and there is an icy chill in the air. Snow has been forecast for some time and here and there in London the pavements bear a scattering of white granular material – anti-freeze and gravel spread by local councils expecting icy conditions.
This morning I had an errand to run but before I set out, I received a message from Tigger, accompanied by a photograph. She had gone out earlier and discovered that it had snowed overnight. Nothing daunted, I put on an extra layer (over my other extra layers) and set out bravely.
I found that snow had indeed fallen overnight but it had been a typically half-hearted snowfall of the sort that is common in the city. The “Boris bikes” – bicycles for hire – in the local rack wore caps of snow. Obviously few people had felt like cycling this morning.
Cars parked in Claremont Square were all wearing a covering of snow, making them look like sugar-topped buns.
Yet there was not so much as a flake of snow on the roads or pavements, even here, in the backstreets where there is little traffic. Surfaces were slightly damp but no snow or ice remained.
There was snow on the ground in Myddelton Square Park, however, and in the front gardens of the houses. Soil and plants seemingly take longer to warm up than the asphalt and paving stones in the street.
The winter-bare trees, skeletons waiting to be given new flesh in spring, were limned with snow.
This little park is usually alive with squirrels but I didn’t see a single one this morning. They were probably lying curled up in their dreys waiting for warmer conditions. I know exactly how they feel as I too have difficulty getting up on cold mornings.
There were fewer birds than usual, though there were some foraging for food. The blackbird on the left didn’t seem too concerned by my presence but the bird on the right, which I take to be a rook, kept well away from me. Distance and the poor light made them difficult to photograph.
Having completed my errand, I was happy to head for home and warmth. Looking out of the window now, I see that it is raining. This will wash away the snow this time but will we have more? We can only wait and see.