This week, a certain four-letter word has never been far from people’s lips. Yes: snow. (You were expecting something else?!?)
Spinning in a winter blunderland
It was fun for the first day or so, but it’s been a pain in the arse ever since.
Monday wasn’t too bad. The snow was a novelty and I had taken the day as holiday anyway. The plan had been to have a lie-in and then drive up to Oxford to do some clothes shopping unencumbered by a screaming one-year old. That unravelled pretty quickly, as it became obvious that the weather and the roads weren’t going to co-operate, and Heather returned home with Zac having discovered the nursery was closed.
On Tuesday I managed the drive to work in just 40 minutes, instead of the usual 45. After a couple of heavy snow blizzards in Bracknell, I decided to head home mid-afternoon, only to discover that rain had fallen in Thatcham, melting most of the snow.
Knowing I had no meetings on Wednesday, I opted to stay at home and had the opportunity to do the nursery run with Zac on my own for the first time, which was good.
As for yesterday (Thursday), well, you can read about my (mis)adventures here.
And today, we had a couple more inches of snow overnight, followed by persistent light snowfall for most of the morning. Given that and the blanket severe weather warnings from the Met Office I opted once again to stay at home and follow the deteriorating travel conditions – one hour delays on the A4, apparently – from the warmth of my own house.
It’s not supposed to get any better over the next few days, and many local authorities are already running out of salt. Apparently the Highways Agency reckons it needs 25,000 tons of salt a day, and the largest of the three mines used in the UK only produces 30,000 tons a year. Uh oh.
Super Bowl XLIII was worth staying up for in the end, featuring a stirring comeback and two lead changes inside the final three minutes.
This was the 20th time in the past 21 years I’ve watched the Super Bowl live. I missed it in 2000 because we were on holiday in Hong Kong, but we managed to watch a delayed transmission of the full game – complete with Chinese commentary – in our hotel room the day after. (Incidentally, the Chinese do not appear to have a word for American football’s various technical terms, so the commentary was regularly punctuated with words like “quarterback sneak”, “sack” and “tight end”. Hilarious.)
Sadly, this year I was on my own. Heather, quite sensibly, decided one of us needed to be awake enough to take Zac to nursery (a futile gesture, as it turned out), so it was a pretty lonely affair as I settled in to watch former American Idol finalist and Dreamgirls star Jennifer Hudson sing the national anthem – while on our road trip in 2004, we actually saw her perform live in Hollywood the week after she was eliminated from Idol – and tuck into my traditional half-time hot dogs. (Super Bowl night is all about the traditions for me.)
I’m really looking forward to the day when Zac is big enough to come out to the park and throw a football around. Some things just need to be passed on from father to son.
Speaking of Zac, one of the upsides of being snowed in is that I’ve seen a lot more of him this week. He’s becoming a very chatty boy, often chuntering quite happily to himself – I’d love to know what it is he’s saying – and he continues to discover new words, adding “star” and “toes” to an already impressive vocabulary which includes daddy, cheese, keys, toast, bye-bye, night-night and wishy-mishy (washing machine). Bath-time has become an opportunity to play a variety of new games rather than a nightly chore. And it’s wonderfully heart-warming when I walk into the room and he sprint-crawls over to me with a big beaming smile on his face, pointing to me and shouting “Da-ee! Da-ee! Da-ee!”
He’s a lot of fun at the moment, and hopefully it’s only going to get better as he learns to walk with confidence and continues to improve his co-ordination. But, my God, he’s growing up fast!
Holding out for Heroes
Heroes kicked off the second half of season 3 in the US this week, although it looks like we will have to wait another couple of weeks before it is shown in the UK.
In the meantime, I’ve been rediscovering the earlier work of Wendy & Lisa, former members of Prince’s band, The Revolution, who are responsible for creating all of the show’s original music. Post-Prince, they released 3 albums (which I have buried away in a box of cassettes in the loft) and a series of singles between 1987 and 1990, with a distinctive sound reminiscent of both Prince and The Bangles. I’d forgotten how good they were.