In case you haven’t noticed, the weather hasn’t been great. The Beast from The East (oh how I hate a media applied nouns; the second worst thing about Brexit, in my opinion, aside from the entire thing being a shower of absolute shite, is the term ‘Brexit’. I actually said, when I rolled over that fateful day and my wife told me the referendum results were in, that it was bad and that They – the media – were calling it Brexit, that I hoped the term didn’t catch on. Spoiler, it did) hit and it hit hard.
I was with the rest of the Naysayers. A bit of snow and this bloody country grinds to a halt! You won’t catch me taking any excuse for a day off and labelling it a Snow Day, instagramming snaps of me in 50 layers with a little rosy face against a backdrop of the powdery white stuff. No No No.
So when I arrived at the station on the final day of February to a train (that wasn’t mine) blocking the track for mine because down the line a train was frozen to the actual track I rolled my eyes. Against my wife’s advice I would drive. How bad could it be? The motorway would be fine.
I knew I’d made a mistake not ten miles into the journey. Traffic was crawling and the snow was heavy. Steady away, I told myself as the screen wash actually froze to my windscreen before the windscreen wipers could clear the salt-obscured window. The other side of the motorway was progressing even more slowly than the one I was on, but that’d clear in no time, no doubt.
The journey to work took a mammoth 4 hours. I was late and news that the motorway I had to use to get home was closed meant I had to leave early. I decided, seeing the clear-isa roads in the city centre that the A-roads would be fine. Satnav would get me home and in future I would definitely listen to my wife.
Only the A-roads were closed. I didn’t know any routes but my satnav would surely get me home. I switched on the traffic announcements, which were about as much use as a chocolate fireguard. They told me that every route I’d already tried and failed to get through were blocked or closed and not to travel unless necessary. It got pretty hairy as it became dark and, while I creeped along a road that borders the Saddleworth Moors (although I didn’t know it at that time; all I could see left and right, forward and backwards was a cover of white) I cried on the phone. I should have listened.
After over five hours in the car I turned around to head back to the city, struggling in the now compacted and slippery snow and still barely able to see in front of me. The trains were chaotic; cancellations and delays. I was cold and tired and cried in the station. Gloopy tears and barely stifled sobs while my shoulders shook and people looked at me thinking ‘it’s only a cancelled train, love’. By the time I got home, seven hours after I left work, I was tired and emotional.
My wife managed to refrain from those four little words while, I’m only slightly ashamed to say, I ate a couple of slices of pizza in the bath.
I told you so.
As I write, snow is again tumbling down heavily outside my window. This time I’m not in front of a steering wheel but a Mac, accompanied by a hot water bottle and a brew.