Yesterday, for reasons I’ll write about some other time, I had to drive up to Newark.
It’s not a horrific drive, about 90 minutes usually, and pretty easy. Straight up the A1 , and then down the M1 to come home.
Yesterday though, was bloody vile. About halfway through the drive up, it started to snow – not super-heavy, but enough to make things interesting in the still-quite-dark winter morning.
It was at this point that I discovered that my car’s heating had packed up. Fuck.
By the time I stopped at Newark, it was snowing fairly heavily, and starting to settle.
When I came out to go home, the car had a good three or four inches of snow all over it, and the roads were full of it as well. The start of the drive home was emphatically Not Fun, although for me that was mainly because it was bloody cold inside the car, and no heating meant it was also steaming up a bit. The real Not Fun was more in the purview of other drivers who couldn’t handle snowy roads and/or hadn’t put lights on, and were generally utter fucksticks.
The M1 was OK – once I got down past Leicester the snow turned to heavy rain, and then it was just a slog through shitty weather and shitty traffic.
All in, the temperature (according to my car) rose by five full degrees (Centigrade) in the hundred miles between Newark and Home.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had a drive where I was actually thankful to get out at the end of it. But that was definitely one of them.
It’s that time of the year again where the roads are filthy, and all the grut ends up on cars. I’m not quite sure how it all works out – I think it’s a combination of grit/salt for expected sub-zero temperatures, plus rain lifting and loosening the daily-wear dirt off the tarmac and making it airborne.
It surprises me how dirty everything gets, and also how unaware people are of how vile their cars are – I regularly see lots with their number plates completely obscured and unreadable because of that caked-on junk.
Personally, I don’t get that – regardless of how well one drives, why draw the attention of any passing police, and give them a reason to stop you?
Admittedly, last week when I was driving home one night I did think I’d had a headlamp blow, as there was considerably less light/illumination than usual – but I checked when I got home, and it was just congealed gunk on the lenses. Easy to sort (and I took the car to the car wash the next day) but still, I don’t get why/how people leave their cars to get into a state where you could pretty much scrape off layers of dirt…
Today the UK got hit by Storm Ciara – nothing in the scale of American weather and so on, but still, enough to be entertaining
Among other things, it meant that there was a record-breaking subsonic crossing of the Atlantic – just under five hours, arriving at Heathrow a full 80 minutes ahead of schedule – because of the storm’s effect on the Jetstream.
Fortunately, the area I live in wasn’t too affected – we had several trees come down and so on, but they were all apparently cleared away pretty quickly, and a couple of trucks on the M1 were blown over, which must make life interesting. However, other areas were hit far harder, with some winds over 90mph, as well as flooding and so on.
Thankfully, I wasn’t doing much today. I had thought I was back down in London to see a play, but it turned out that is actually on a different day/weekend completely. And I can’t deny, I’m really quite pleased about that.
At last, today we’ve had some rain for the first time in ages. It’s been lovely.
The heat’s supposed to be coming back next week, but for now it’s just nice to not be roasting away.
Maybe I’ll even get some sleep tonight…
January is a funny old month in some ways – and particularly so when I look at how it affects my SAD and so on.
As usual, this January has been grey. Different degrees of grey admittedly, including some brighter/lighter grey days, and a fair bundle of darker ones.
Grey days are the ones that affect me the most, regardless of the degree. I find that a grey week with no sight of the sun really affects me – I still get out for fresh air and some daylight, but a few days without direct sunlight and it leaves me feeling far flatter and more tired than usual.
As it is, I’ve found more and more that I can deal with shorter days (although obviously I notice them, and they affect me) so long as they’re bright, and have sight of sunlight. The days now are getting longer – almost imperceptibly, but they are. But with this weeks lack of sun, it’s actually been a far tougher week to get through.
Hopefully the coming week will have more chances for some decent daylight.
Yesterday, the weather effectively enforced a day off for me, doing nothing outside. Nothing major, but we had a fair amount (for the UK) of snow overnight, which led to lots of issues with accidents, blocked roads, etc. etc. For my own village, the two main roads out were completely blocked – one by a jack-knifed lorry, and the other just by drivers failing to get up the hills.
So technically it wasn’t the weather itself, so much as the sheer number of people who can’t bloody drive in snow. But still, day off.
In honesty, it was much needed. As I’ve said before, I’ve been ridiculously busy for the last two years – I’ve just counted up, and I’ve had stuff booked in for 48 weeks of 2017 (I’ve counted up til the end of the month) and even on those four ‘free’ ones I was still doing stuff – and December hadn’t provided any real change in that. That’s nothing short of barmy.
So anyway, I’d spent Saturday in London with a mix of food and theatre stuff, so it’s not like it’s been a write-off of a weekend, or anything like that. But a day of doing sod-all – barely going outside, catching up on recorded TV etc., doing some reading, etc. etc. – was definitely A Good Plan.
Whether I feel better for it is still to be determined, but regardless, it was a good day.
On Sunday the clocks went back an hour (in the UK, at least) and like flicking a switch, all of a sudden it’s become colder.
This morning there was also the first air-frost on the car, necessitating that classic “Where the shit did I put that scraper?” question.
Most of the trees have dropped their leaves in the last week or so – it’s all been a bit sudden.
And how the hell is it already nearly November, for chuff’s sake? Seems like it was only last week that it was March and the clocks were going forward…