Friday, January 08, 2010

In a World Gone White

It's a whole new world of snow. The wild birds, of course, have never seen anything like it in their lifetimes and the last Big Freeze - as the media are now calling it - was many generations of sparrows and bluetits ago.

Olli and Gareth's year-old cat Wendy is spending a lot of time trying to catch all these birds as they come to the bird table to pick up all the food I've been putting out for them. Seed mix, peanuts, dried mealworms, fat balls and anything else that birds might like such as bits of old mince pies. I spend quite a bit of time replenishing their water supply too.

Wendy, being a mix of colours including ginger, shows up rather nicely on a white background as she pretends to be a lion stalking the zebras. The birds wait until she's nearly within jumping distance and then laugh and fly away.

Froggie, our cat, who is much older than Wendy, prefers to watch it all from a safer vantage - indoors, on top of the windowsill, on top of the radiator.

I've been on my own in the actors' agency office most days this week. Yes, I've bravely struggled in. Down the stairs and turn right. Several casting directors who've rung me have said "Ooh, you're the only agent who's managed to get to the office today." I didn't explain about the office being in our house. I just let them admire my bravery.

So I've been doing a lot of the jobs that require lots of concentration, such as financial stuff. Yesterday I overdid it rather and was absolutely exhausted by the evening - it takes it out of you, doing Sums.

First thing this morning, though, I decided, under threat of more snow, to brave the supermarket. The local Sainsbury's, which I christened Smelly Aisle because of the terrible stench of death and decay that lingered for weeks in one of the aisles following a refurbishment. I think they must have lost at least one builder in there somewhere.

They were facing a serious threat - a loss of profits! - and had therefore hired various snowplough-type things to take the snow away from the car park.

But it was too late to prevent lots and lots of snow being tramped inside. And then someone dropped a jar of marmalade, and suddenly the whole of Smelly Aisle had become Sticky Aisle. Everyone wandered round going Schloop! Schloop! as their feet stuck to the floor on each step.

They kept broadcasting helpful announcements to tell us that snow can really be quite slippery. Sometimes I do wonder what they think about their customers' intellectual capacities. They didn't mention any possible danger from marmalade, though. I could see the potential for a very tricky court case there.

Lots of schools are closed. The resulting outbreak of children didn't want to be in Sticky Aisle. They wanted to be out enjoying healthy childish outdoor pursuits such as throwing snowballs at cars. A good number of parents were making me think about Jack Dee's line "Why do parents take their children to supermarkets to hit them?"

"Be good!" I heard them shouting at their two-year-olds. I can imagine that, to a two-year-old, this is a fairly unspecific instruction. Does "be good" mean "take lots of things off the shelves, one after the other, just like your parent does"? Apparently not. Does it mean "shout loudly and run up and down"? Seemingly, no. Does it mean "see if the wet floor is as slippy as the ice is outside"? No, really it doesn't. Does it mean "jump up and down in the marmalade and then see what it tastes like"? No, not that either.

But I have to say that I'm rather on the two-year-old's side here. If you're two I think you need the advice to be more clear. Perhaps what to do rather than what not to do.

Tomorrow it'll still be snowy outside. The children will be playing in the snow - and, judging from the number of perfect snow Daleks about, quite a few adults will be too. But, having done my share of panic-buying and stocked up in case the Big Freeze leads to the Great Siege, I shall be staying at home. And doing my tax return. Sometimes it's hard to be a grown-up.


Blogger Jennyta said...

You're right, Daphne, it is hard o be a grown up, especially when se;lf-assessment tax forms are beckoning threateningly...

9:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy New Year, Daphne.

A week has passed since your honoured me with a 'warm hello'. I wasn't sure how to respond - in case this ended up like a meeting of the Mutual Admiration Society.

But I really do enjoy reading your blog and many thanks for welcoming me in person. I too work from home... so blog reading is a subsitute for chatting round the coffee machine.

Being of a similar age to me, you sometimes strike a real chord and I feel encouraged to join in. Your feelings of New Year's Eve mirror my own: an early night usually sorts it out.

I look forward to reading your blog in 2010 - and I hope you have recovered from the mamogram shock - sometimes the unconscious alarm can reverberate for days... giving one a very unsettled feeling which is hard to put one's finger on.

Happy New Year to you and all your family.


10:02 pm  
Blogger Silverback said...

The background in the photo is all blurred. Honestly !

When I saw the title I thought you were continuing in your praise for Leeds United from the weekend.

And I'm with Froggie. At our age, snow is best watched from behind glass but I'll admit, I'm have issues getting up onto the radiator.

11:04 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

"Everyone wandered round going Schloop! Schloop!"...Was that The Schloop John B?

12:11 pm  

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