Sunday, 19 December 2010

The Joneses have a conversation - Algonquin Round Table or Old Peoples' Home? You decide

So, it's snowed a bit then.  Again.  We had a small amount on Friday and then it stopped overnight, and then the next morning (i.e., yesterday), between 8.15am and about lunchtime at least 5 inches of it got dumped on us.  The organiser of my final craft fair of the year rang to cancel it - hooray!  I don't relish having to get up at 6am at the best of times but in the depths of freezing wintery temperatures with the added frisson of the chance of an impromptu sliding car crash with additional visit to A&E thrown in it was not appealing at all!

Mid morning I went out to feed the birds and was quite surprised at how, well, 'warm' is not the right word really so 'not as cold as I was expecting' will have to suffice.  It was so still, like the world was holding its breath, and the snow was loose and powdery, truly like giant drifts of icing sugar.  It was utterly delightful. I got my camera and took some photos of the garden:

As always, there was a robin, waiting for its breakfast of dried mealworms.  Their breasts seem extraordinarily red at this time of year - I've no idea if that's deliberate or just the perceived contrast with the black and white of nature's winter colour scheme.  Anyway, it had a feed and flew off just as I pressed the button in the second picture - an action shot!

I cleared a path up the steps and into the garden in the vain hope that Sylvester could find his way out there to 'use the facilities' rather than leaving stinky great deposits in the litter tray as he currently is.  Stupid human - of course he's not going to freeze his ring off outside when we've provided a convenient and warm alternative.  And as soon as my back was turned, little Bruno from next door appeared, off to hang around the feeding station to hassle the birds (click on the pictures to embiggen):

(I took the following quite interesting self-portrait as I was heading back in - it's me reflected in the double glazed door that leads onto the bridge.  You can see the garden behind but also into the sitting room, with our Christmas Tree on the left, Sylvester on the rug and the snowy hill in the distance between the two houses opposite):

I came back in and suggested to TLH that I rather fancied actually going out for a walk in it, perhaps to make a snowman, but definitely with my camera, maybe to the nearby favoured sledging hillside to photograph suicidal teenagers hurtling down the slope on plastic trays.  "I have a better idea", he said, "Let's walk into town and go to the pub!"  A much better idea!

There were plenty of people walking around, all wrapped up and - shock! horror! - actually acknowledging each other as they passed.  Complete strangers talking to each other!  Cats and dogs sleeping together!

There were no cars so we walked down the middle of the road.  In fact, we sort of live on the side of a hill and the road that goes up it behind our house had been closed by the police.  Presumably it's easier to do that than actually get the gritter lorries out....

Anyway, we walked along this road - view looking towards the town:

And looking back, 180 degrees, along the same road in the direction we'd just come from:

We rounded the corner at the end of this road and went along another, really quite posh street - big houses on one side with panoramic views over the town and hills in the distance:

This road takes you down to another that runs above the railway line and has tank traps beside it, with a lovely view towards the church if you stand in just the right place:

It probably took us about 45 minutes to walk into town, possibly longer, as you can't race along on such a snowy surface.  We wondered if the pub would be open but of course it was - they even had a wedding reception going on in the big back room.  Pints were drunk, lunch was consumed and a most convivial time was had by all.

Now, I may have referred to this in the past but I can't be arsed to go back and check so if I'm repeating myself then you'll just have to suck it up and deal with it.  TLH's hearing is not top-notch and I swear it's getting worse.  He says I speak too quietly these days but, as far as I'm concerned, I'm the same volume I've always been.  Admittedly I don't exactly whisper but I'm not exactly foghorn class either.  But neither is he, I think he talks quite quietly and occasionally we have conversations where we mishear each other.  These conversations always and without fail turn out to be more interesting than the one we were trying to have.  I never, ever remember what we say but I shall endeavour henceforth to write down the most noteworthy ones because, honestly?, to those who overhear us, we must sound like we really need to be in the care of the community.  This is the one in the pub:

     TLH: Let me take a photo of you in the pub, to prove that we were here.

     Me: Ooh, no.  I'm far too self-conscious, there's too many people around.

     TLH: "As self-conscious as someone reading Kerrangg!"?

     Me: There's someone reading the Koran?  In the pub?

You see?  FAR more interesting.  We'd decided we'd probably drunk enough by then and headed off into town where we rather surprisingly managed to finish our Christmas shopping and wandered off towards home through the park close to the church in the picture above and that runs beside the River Wey and through the Lammas Lands:

It was a fab walk and I'm really glad we got out of the house.  Anyway, I hope it's not too horrendous where you are, and if I don't manage to post again before next weekend, I really hope you all have a lovely Christmas and no-one gets too drunk and shouty.


Harper said...

Sometimes when it is icy cold here in Colorado I hope it will snow because after the snow the weather is, as you say while not warm, warmer. As well, it is so lovely. Beautiful photos.

And mishearing -- a friend who is deaf in one ear was part of a birth control conversation where someone suggested that your lover might put in your diaphragm and she exclaimed in horror (and very loudly), "Your mother puts in your diaphragm?!!" Doubt I'd remember the conversation without that.

Mrs Jones said...

Hi Harper - My second Colorado commenter! And thank you for your kind comments. I seriously think misheard conversations are the best mostly because they're so surreal and interesting.

Anonymous said...

Some lovely photos there, Mrs Jones! And I can empathize with you on the misheard conversations: although my hearing is (likely) just fine, I do have difficulty understanding people who speak very quickly. So most of the time, when I'm trying to have a chat with someone like that, I just make up what they're saying and reply according to what I've imagined. It's way more fun!