The first few days were picturesque.
The next few were conversation-starting as one swapped horror stories of journeys to or from work. The following few were community-building as people pushed stuck cars, swept footpaths, helped the elderly with their shopping. Now it’s just a pain in the arse, regardless of whether you keep falling on yours or not.
I left my office yesterday at 4.45 and arrived home at ten past ten. I live 19 miles from my office, and this is the 21st Century. Ugg the Caveman, before he invented the wheel, could have travelled quicker pushing his cart on its four coaster-shaped appendages. Lot and his family could have travelled quicker, even while carrying Mrs Lot after her unfortunate glance over her shoulder. Moby Dick could travelled quicker, even if it was stranded on land like a, like a, like a beached whale.
And don’t tell me it’s because it’s winter. The Ice-Age travelled quicker than we did, and winter was pretty well when it did most of its travelling.
Students of flora and fauna must find the whole thing fascinating. Summer brings out strawberries, wasps and women in bikinis. Winter brings out snowdrops, polar bears (no, I know not here, but give it a few years) and gobshites-who-hate-driving-in-snow-but-do-it-anyway.
My bus left Dublin at five yesterday and eventually had to abandon us five miles from Greystones at 8.25. A bus is heavy enough and has large enough wheels to drive through the snow, and there is a Bus-Only lane virtually the whole way, so it should have been a piece of piss. Unfortunately the sudden onset of winter (in fairness, it’s not surprising people don’t expect it, it only comes once very four seasons) means a certain type of self-centred cretin will decide that the rules of the road do not apply in bad weather and will drive in said Bus-Only lane, at a speed which suggests that the lane itself is a piece of piss, which has frozen solid. The cretin will, of course, put on his hazard lights, so that’s ok then.
At each junction cars will drive out in front of the bus rather than have to stop and try and start again. The fact that the bus that they’ve planted themselves in front of might have problems of its own stopping, but might instead crush their car like a steamroller crushing Wile E Coyote does not seem to occur to them.
Had the road ahead been at clear as it should have been then we’d have reached Windgates hill between Bray and Greystones long before it became impassable. Instead we spent three hours behind people who Bambi on ice would have laughed at. Indeed, had Bambi on ice been wearing fish as flip-flops and riding a pogo-stick, he would still have laughed at them. By the time they’d all crawled off the road into their hopefully slippery driveways (may their chrysanthemums be crushed) the hill (it has the same gradient, by the way, as the side of the Empire State Building) was closed to traffic. On the first Monday of this Ice Age (was it really only November 29th?) I’d walked home from Windgates, but that was from the top. This time I was starting from the bottom on the Bray side, a fine, bracing five-mile walk. I must gleefully report that community spirit still survives, as half way down the Greystones side I was saved by an angel in a wingéd chariot, cleverly taking human shape as an old man in glasses and a fifteen year-old Micra, who drove me the rest of the way home.
Today saw me travel by train. The first one this morning broke down and we’d to change train, and the one I came home on this evening was so crowded that I
enjoyed endured intimacies that I haven’t felt since my disco days.
So all in all, I’m fed up with it.
You’ll notice I’ve turned off the bloody snow on the blog. Somehow it just didn’t seem funny anymore.