Bloody typical: “This bus is on diversion”, a few flakes of snow and the whole country grinds to a halt – we’ve only known it’s coming for the past month! They should send these blokes to Switzerland to learn how to drive in the snow – they’re up and down mountains and through snowdrifts every day over there!’ ‘Oh they’d love that wouldn’t they’ I replied to my bus journey companion and then asked ‘What do you think of my new snowboots? I’m feeling particularly smug today given that I just got them in the sale yesterday!’ ‘Very nice’, he replied. ‘I worked on building sites for 30 years – I know all about keeping your feet warm. Of course we couldn’t really get warm in those steel capped boots, didn’t matter how many pairs of socks you put on. I mean if your feet, your hands and your head are cold – that’s it, you’re finished’.
I marched down a snowy street to work with no problem in my waterproof, ice pick soled, fur lined boots. ‘There’s no gritting anywhere on this street, can you believe it?’ said my colleague, as I walked through the door. ‘We knew it was coming – ridiculous!’
A customer called: ‘I need a really warm jumper, have you got that one that was in Tatler last November – you know – the one with Harry on the front?’ ‘Not anymore’ I replied, ‘How’s the snow where you are?’ ‘Ooooh, we’re snowed in here in the Cotswolds, can’t get to my shop in Cheltenham. My son came to pick me up in his 4 x 4 but he got stuck! Can you believe it – in a 4 x 4!’
At lunchtime I eyed up the chorizo in the supermarket. Hmmmm, a nice cassoulet I thought, a few chickpeas some garlic and what else? I reached the checkout – trolley fully laden. My phone rang ‘Where are you?’ said Oncle. ‘I’m in Waitrose panic buying – I didn’t want to feel left out’. We chuckled, ‘Well I’m not heading home – I’m completely snowed in there, no flights going out and the car clocking up the euros in the car park. I’d like to make a stew but there isn’t a saucepan big enough here – do you think I should risk heading into John Lewis to get one?’
The cashier rang the cans of soups and everything else in. I noticed a lady at the till next to me with a huge packet of minced beef. ‘I’m stockpiling’ I said. ‘Yes, I’m going to make a huge big lot of Spaghetti Bolognese this evening – can’t wait! She replied.
We shut up shop early. One or two after work warming drinks later I stepped out of a taxi onto crisp snow with all my bounty. A group of friends walked past throwing snowballs, laughing. I marvelled at the imprint of my new snowboots, the picturesque scene and headed inside to hunker down.