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Snowed in

December 27, 2021

It started, as the weather folks predicted, on Christmas Eve. 

I was just about to head out to hand deliver my last Christmas cards, but a short drive before that to the post boxes convinced me I was better off staying indoors.

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful.

No surprise shortly afterwards that the friend who was supposed to be coming for dinner contacted me to say he was going nowhere. So, instead of Scott, I shared Christmas Eve dinner with Michael Connelly.

A short aside here. The salad is one I like to make this time of year: rocket with satsuma, Stilton and avocado. There is no Stilton in this salad. I had to settle for Shropshire Blue as the closest I could get in texture and taste. When I asked the bloke in the deli, after my third unsuccessful visit in search of Stilton (he’s always had it before), he told me that post-Brexit there was no Stilton to be had for love nor money. What, I wondered, was that about? Then this morning I spotted this article in the Guardian. Apparently Brexit (“biggest disaster that any government has ever negotiated in the history of trade negotiations”) has been a total clusterfuck for cheese makers in the UK. It seems the Canadian government slaps a 244% tariff on all cheese consignments. No wonder there’s no Stilton to be had. Yet another reason to hate the fuckwit in Number 10.

After dinner it was, of course, time for Die Hard, followed by Alastair Sim. After that, off to bed with Connelly.

When Scott first invited me, along with other friends, to his home for Christmas dinner I declined for the same reason I declined Christmas dinner at another friend’s house last year. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I like to drink on Christmas Day. Buck’s Fizz in the morning, Frangelico cappuccino and regular top ups. This is not possible if I have to drive somewhere. Fortunately my friend Jean, who’s just moved to the same part of the island as me, offered to be the designated driver. 

To thank her for assuming this role, I invited her over for Christmas brunch: poached eggs with hollandaise sauce on crab cakes with rocket and slices of blood orange and Buck’s Fizz made, as a concession, with alcohol free sparkling wine. (She did suggest the meal looked so good I should take a photo of it, but meal photos are for writers only.)

So, Christmas dinner at Scott’s – hopefully. It was, after all, still snowing. Would the roads actually be ploughed on Christmas Day? What if they weren’t? It was a movable feast. Or, more accurately, a feast converging from multiple directions. David was in charge of the turkey. I was doing the roast potatoes. Everyone was bringing something. What if we were all stuck at home? Well, I did have some bangers in the freezer. I supposed I could have bangers and a lot of roast potatoes for dinner. Worse yet, what if the power went out? Every time it starts snowing heavily we brace ourselves. In terms of island living, snow = power outages.

Apparently the spirit of Christmas present was on our side. The roads were ploughed, the power stayed on and a jolly time was had by all. 

At the end of the meal a plan was made to meet up at David’s for dim sum the next day. But it was still snowing. Looking out the window on Boxing Day morning everyone agreed they were going nowhere. 

It’s so cold it takes most of the day for the woodstove to properly heat the house and no time at all for the nectar in the hummingbird feeders to freeze.

Poor things. Apparently in the winter they can place themselves in a sort of suspended animation (called “torpor”). I hope they’ll be okay.

So, how much snow?

A good foot of snow. (Sorry, can’t do metric for guesstimates.)

I think one of the following might be my Christmas card next year.

Which one do you think I should use?

This is the car.

It’s going nowhere until the snow melts. I had a mild panic attack just driving back from the post boxes on Christmas Eve, thanks to the asshole who sent me spiralling off the road in a blizzard five years ago. And that was before we got to a foot of snow. I have a woodstove, food in the fridge and freezer and a generator.

Anyone who wants to see me will just have to come here. Otherwise, I’ll see you after the melt.

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