Wednesday, 23 December 2009

blooming cold

With the snow fall the other night, there was plenty of evidence of our local foxes; there were prints up and down the road and the back garden. Though I have yet to hear foxes screaming in the night in this part of the city; while my friend in Clifton says that she has heard them often, recently. It's a good sound for the winter, a feral sound cutting through the night.

The roads are icy, so I've been walking or cycling when I want to get to places; Uncle Jim always reckoned that the best vehicle for snow is a motorcycle combination, and when I had a combi I had to agree with him. The narrow wheels cut through the snow more readily than wide car tyres; and you can do controlled pirouettes down the road, if it takes your fancy... sadly, the combi's long gone, and I rather missed it, these last few days.

I finally got the Trav warmed up and defrosted ready for some vital errands, yesterday. Stuck a big piece of cardboard down the front of the radiator, to help keep the temperature up, and scraped and wiped until the windows were finally clear; there was as much ice on the inside as there was on the outside.

Then I looked up and saw that blue sky was appearing above me, and realised that the fog was lifting (or rather, descending), which would hopefully leave the house riding above a sea of mist over the city. So I dashed up onto the roof...

Out and about, there was solid traffic converging on the city centre as people got into a spending frenzy for Christmas.

I was approached by two women, one with a pram, asking for money. I think they were Romanian gypsies. I gave one of them two pounds. She then retreated, and the one with the pram continued asking for money, pushing forward a piece of paper explaining how needy she was and gesturing to the baby. I told her that I'd given the money for both of them. A cropped-headed young man angrily said, "You shouldn't give them anything- they were here yesterday." Which produced mixed feelings; I wanted to do the opposite of what he'd said, because he was hateful; but I also resented being asked for more.


  1. Dru, that shot from the roof is magical. Are you going to use that for your christmas cards next year?

    As for the beggers... I have to admit that I stopped giving to people on the street when I was in Uni. I used to give (sealed) food or drinks in place of cash and more often than not it was turned down...


  2. It's difficult to know about giving. They might have been there the day before, but as we all know money doesn't go very far - especially when there are mean people around like him.

    It is a beautiful picture, makes me shiver. It's funny how a photo can 'look cold'

    I remember having to clear a snow drift out from a car when I was young, just one little hole....

  3. I was just mentioning to the Mrs that I want a motorcycle combination! Specifically so I can ride in 'orrible weather. Hopefully next year will bring me some more money (more? I'll start with "some"!) and I'll be able to get a combo.

    There's no answer to the beggars. There never has been!

    Once, on the Q train into Brooklyn, a young woman was pleading for money for food for her and her baby. Another woman, older and quite stern, said she would be perfectly happy to take her to the supermarket and pay for some groceries. The young lass tried arguing about that, but then disappeared at the next stop.

    I basically learned not to give during the crack epidemic, in the early '90's. It was just going to feed a drug habit. What people do is their business, but living up the street from a crack-house, I knew far more about the destruction than I wanted to know! All those quarters and dollars ended up in the pockets of drug pushers. So I basically stopped giving.

    Ending on a cheerful note:
    I, too, like the picture! :-)

  4. ...OF COURSE you should have mixed feelings about the
    Parsimonious Guy and the Women Wanting Money. The best we can do is continue having mixed feelings about these things - she said with a hopeless shrug. Would universal mixed-feelings make the world come to a standstill or would it spin faster?

    The only things we CAN be absolute about are rescuing burnt gingerbread and climbing a roof to get the sun through the fog.


    Happy Snowy Lovely Chrissie Days.

  5. I try to draw my Christmas cards, Stace, as it gives me a definite deadline and an excuse to be extremely angsty...

    I like best to look at my winter photos in the summer, Anji. The pain of the cold seems less real from a distance. *continues to shiver*. It would be nice to have some real snowdrifts, but not likely in Bristol. Back in Wales the road would sometimes disappear entirely.

    You got me thinking there, Carolyn Ann, and I Googled Dnepr, which was always my motorcycle combination object of desire, what with two wheel drive and machine gun mount on the sidecar. Not really v sensible on British roads, what with sidecar on wrong side. I had a Jawa/Velorex combi, which was about the most reliable of all my bikes and huge fun.

    As you see, I'm not mentioning the beggars. There's never a right answer, and sometimes I get oppressed by the feeling that whatever I do I'm wrong.


    I suppose some people who have certitude might be in the right, Fed, but I guess that having mixed feelings but doing something is just about a viable option.

    Happy Christmas, everyone!