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Adventures in life, youth and snow for
classical music agony aunt ALICE McVEIGH

? 'Dear Alice,

Correct me if I'm wrong, but is the BBC weather website up the creek without a paddle??

Like you, I live in the right-hand corner of London, and blow me down if, over the last two days, it didn't persist in saying 'light snow' for our area.

Meanwhile, over the last thirty hours, we have gotten over a foot of snow. It has not stopped snowing today, from sun up to sun down. We have not had snow this deep for eighteen years. So: what would it take for the blighted people at BBC weather to acknowledge this (within five miles, mind you) as 'heavy snow???'
J M Bickley

Snow in West London, 2 February 2009

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Alice Dear J M,

Not a clue, I'm afraid. In common with you, I was seriously disrupted by said snow.

I went to a fabulous Wigmore Hall concert last night featuring Fretwork with the mezzo Clare Wilkinson last evening (see review) partly because the dratted BBC website said 'light snow'.

Light snow, my foot.

By the time we emerged from the Wigmore there were already two clear inches on London's streets, while my friend Bev and I found no (that is, zero) trains back to Orpington at Charing Cross. Instead, we were advised to mess about with a tube to Victoria, and swipe a train from there.

Thank God, we didn't hesitate, given that our train from Victoria halted outside Beckenham bloody Junction for almost an hour, due to 'points failure' delivering us to our respective spouses Simon and Steve at (follow me closely here) 12:40am, by which point there was almost a foot of snow in greater Orpington.

This is Not Good.

No, that's too kind. This is Bloody Awful.

Still, there remain consolations. My husband couldn't get to work today, due to Southeastern's masterly policy of, er, running almost no trains, while my kid Rachel spent a memorable day throwing snowballs at friends (her unambiguous comment: 'The best day of my life!!!!')

Snow sculptures in West London, 3 February 2009

So sod the bloody trains, and the people who attempt -- sometimes well, sometimes lousily -- to run them. Life is short -- and youth still shorter.

Let's celebrate both as the snow outside keeps tiptoeing remorselessly down,

Continue to Fretwork concert review >>

Copyright © 6 February 2009 Alice McVeigh, Kent UK

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