Over the past week, the United Kingdom has experienced its biggest snowfall in nearly 20 years. Though I don't miss the severe (-40 C) cold back home, I have missed the snow. Especially during Christmas and New Years, which didn't feel real to me at all without the white stuff. So when the weather people began to forecast that blizzards from Russia were on route to hit the UK, I was really excited, though skeptical. Over here a big snow fall is a light smattering that has melted into slush within minutes of landing. My expectations were not high.
On Sunday night the temperatures dropped to around freezing. I took the train from Cardiff to London and by the time we rolled into Paddington Station there was already a bit of snow falling. And then it snowed more and more until London was in the throes of a genuine blizzard, even by Canadian standards. By morning there was about a foot and a half of lovely, clean white snow. What was most amazing was how excited everyone was about it. Kids were out playing, people were walking their very excited dogs. It was an event.
The problem? London is a sissy and is not well equipped to deal with snow. By Monday morning all city buses were suspended and even the underground was mostly shut down. I was lucky and managed to get on the one train leaving the station for the Soho office. I was also lucky in that I was able to get a train back at the end of the day and didn't have to spend the night in said freezing cold office. It is bizarre to me that an underground train is incapable of running because of snow above ground. Lots of people have been complaining about London's lack of preparedness for the storm, but I found the whole thing endearing. London, I have a bit of a crush on you.
After Monday the worst of the storm seemed to be over and by Tuesday almost everything was at least functioning in London. Last night I took the train to Bath for a networking event and all things weather related seemed clear, until I went to leave. At about 10 pm, Bath was suddenly engulfed in an 'extreme weather event' (what they call snow here) and the train back to Cardiff was suspended so I ended up staying the night in the Royal Hotel, which was far from royal but well located across from the train station, where I scampered to catch my ride back to Cardiff at 7:30 am. As I sit here, I am still wearing the same clothes as I was yesterday, my hair is barely brushed and my teeth haven't been cleaned since yesterday morning. I am lovely. On a positive note, I did get to see the snow covered British countryside roll by this morning on the train and it was perfect. Snow here feels different than in Canada. Maybe it's the way it clings to the buildings that have been here for hundreds of years. I don't know, but it was beautiful.
This whirlwind week continues with a dance party tomorrow night where an acquaintance is DJing, then back to London on Saturday for another dance party that night, then a comedy show on Sunday night and then back to Cardiff Monday or Tuesday. Then back to London on Thursday so that I can fly out to Paris on Friday morning. Yay me! If it doesn't kill me, it's bound to be fun!!
Also, to all of you still in Canadiana... I've booked my tickets home and am planning a bit of a whirlwind trip of visiting people. I am flying into Calgary on June 27th and am planning a few days around there visiting and maybe take a day to go to Banff (Lindsay, I hope you're around!!), then to Regina for Canada Day (July 1st) where I'll be for about a week. Then Toronto (Crystal!) from July 8th to 11th, when I fly back to London. So you better be around bitches! Put me in your calendars!!
(Photos are from here. I forgot my stupid camera in Cardiff. Sniff.)