Virgin Snow and Virgin Boxes

There was more disruption in our house this past week due to upgrading of the Virgin Box than there was due to the Beast from the East. The new box had been safely delivered before snow. Cyberspouse was waiting for an open ended day to unplug the life support system and replace the old box; Virgin claimed two hours should be allowed, he wanted five hours to be on the safe side, but there is never a good time to detach the umbilical cord to the outside world and the ether we writers need to breathe.

Thursday night brought freezing rain on top of the day’s continuous snow. Friday morning was a white delight, but the beautiful virgin snow was now frozen hard. We were not going to starve if we stayed home, would probably not get scurvy if we relied on baked beans and frozen peas. But with local shops so handy we’re used to daily shopping, more importantly I did not want to miss out on Day 2 Snow Experience and more pictures for Instagram, Facebook and my website. We planned a circular walk to the cliff top and down Grand Avenue to the Grove for coffee and shopping.

It was a foolish mission that could have ended in disaster; impossible to walk on the icy crust of snow, hanging on to garden walls was not an option as they were covered in ice. We weren’t the only ones who made it to the cliff top, just the only ones without dogs or children. It wasn’t as cold as Thursday, the sky was heavy laden, insulating us and I could just about take my gloves off without getting frostbite and operate my smart phone.

Our favourite Ludo Lounge was open and it was packed. With schools closed and parents unable or unwilling to go to work it was like summer holidays, but with ice and slush. A waitress said they had received twenty eight phone calls before 9.30 am checking if they were open; people had their priorities right.

The greengrocers’ was closed, however Sainsburys’ was open with enough veggies for a good stir fry. But something was wrong, there was no milk on the shelves. It hadn’t occurred to us that out in the real world milk tankers would be unable to get to farms or back to dairies, nor would delivery lorries be able to get to supermarkets or corner shops. With only enough milk left for me to have two cups of tea this was a First World Problem of mega proportions, but Cyberspouse takes everything black and we have a Tassimo coffee machine. Worse was yet to come.

Saturday the snow melted, I bookmarked everything appearing on line and the WiFi was switched off; as predicted by me, the new box did not work. The help line was rung, the engineer would come out on Tuesday. No Saturday night Swedish Noir on television, no Facetiming Australia early on Sunday morning and no blogging.

This big First World problem had a First World solution, our smart phones would keep us in touch with the outside world and I could still put pictures on Instagram and Facebook, but phone screens are small. If I was a Borrower it would be fine… The Borrowers, by the English author Mary Norton, published in 1952, features a family of tiny people who live secretly in the walls and floors of an English house and “borrow” from the big people in order to survive. How they would have loved to borrow my Samsung phone to use as an interactive big screen TV.

Smart phones are great when you are out or on holiday, people can’t resist checking them at five minute intervals. But with minute writing and the perils of predictive texting it is not the way I like to read, enjoy and comment on blogs and photographs. If anyone has received any strange comments from me I apologise.

I did at least get more of my novel written with no distractions. By the time I got home on Tuesday evening all was restored. I’m blogging again, but my Bookmarked list is longer than ever. Visit my website to see snowy pictures.


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