If anyone thought London had got off lightly with the snow, they would have been disappointed this morning to find that it had snowed again overnight. In fact some more flakes fell during the day. Comfortable as I was at home in the warm with tea and coffee on tap, I thought I really ought to go out and experience it for myself. Am I a glutton for punishment, or what? 🙂
I first went to the Angel crossroads which is such an important junction that if the weather were causing any problems they would be obvious here. I found that the road had been cleared by the wheels of the traffic, though snowed lingered on the pavements, despite the large number of passers-by, and had even been trodden into a hard crust of ice in many places.
I paid a visit to an old friend, the Angel clock on its triangle at the meeting of Goswell Road and City Road. It was now telling the correct time (they had never changed it to reflect summer time) and looked quite happy with its cap of snow.
By now I felt like looking for some “proper snow” and thought I knew where to find it, in Claremont Square. Separated from the main road only by a closed off street, the square is a relatively quiet backwater. Most London squares have a park or garden at the centre. Claremont Square is unusual in having a reservoir.
Being in town, it’s a covered reservoir of course, but people are not allowed inside the stout iron railings. (I poked the camera through for the above picture.) So it has become something of a haven for wild life, including squirrels, wood pigeons and other birds.
Hidden from the main road by the reservoir, this part of the square forms a quiet street. The pavements were thick with snow here and most of the cars had not moved since the overnight fall, though patches clear of snow showed that some had been driven away.
The houses here go back to the Victorian or even the Georgian era and in front of each is a round iron lid covering the “coal hole” where coal merchants would tip their latest delivery into the bunker underneath the pavement. These bunkers are now used for storage and I noticed that each iron roundel was clear: the metal conducted the warmth up from below and melted the snow.
The children’s playground next to St Mark’s church was, unsurprisingly, deserted. In the park next to it, there were only two people, one a dog walker, but…
… by the time I entered the park, even they had disappeared and it was empty.
I think the snow-covered benches told the story quite eloquently enough.
It was very quiet. I saw no squirrels and no birds; no one in the park or in Myddelton Square of which it forms the centre. Except for the postman. The postman was out and about lending a touch of normality to the scene.
Otherwise, as in Claremont Square, so here in Myddelton Square, with its row of hibernating cars.
The snow on the cars was so pristine and unblemished that the idea of disturbing it seemed almost sacrilegious.
To handle the camera, I wear gloves that open to free my fingers. By now my hands were so cold that they were hurting and my fingers were too numb to operate the fastener on the camera pouch. I had to keep stopping the blow on my hands to get the feeling back. I think for Christmas I am going to buy myself a pair of battery-heated gloves!
I did notice one thing that pleased me, however. Since I last wrote about the “timeless clock” of St Mark’s, it has been repaired and is now working. That was something I did not expect and it cheered me quite a bit. As you know, I love clocks and hate to see a dead one.
Back on the main road, the traffic looked much the same as usual. Ignore the crust of icy snow on the pavement and it could almost be a typical weekday on Pentonville Road.
As for me, I was only too happy to go indoors and warm the feeling back into my numb fingers! Summer cannot come quickly enough for me.