The first "proper" day of the year and what a great start.
I woke up even earlier than usual this morning, it must have been about 4 AM. For some reason I glanced outside my window, but immediately felt happy that I had done so. I saw snow settled in the garden and, like the mature man that I am, it excited me. Then I slept some more.
A bit later I had showered and carefully chosen my attire for the day. Worn looking jeans, brown suede boots, a collared shirt covered by a black cashmere V neck jumper. And, one of my pairs of pink striped pants from Odel. I think it's important to set the scene for you, my lone reader. In this sort of weather layers are a major way to keep warm, as are cashmere jumpers.
You know when you see those deer skipping around in the snow, I think it must be because they get their feet cold when they hit the ground. They look so cute don't they? Well, I kind of felt like that, only my equivalent of skipping in the forest was driving to work in my huge big powerful car and skidding around some corners. Mind you I'd love a good venison sausage sandwich right now.
Snow has a dampening effect on the acoustics of life. As I walked out of the front door there was that lovely early morning eerie stillness in the air. It's usual at the time I leave, about 6.15, but the snow makes everything feel deadened, as if someone has bunged a very light set of muffles on the ears and turned the high frequencies on the graphic equaliser down a bit. I half expected to look up and see Father Christmas darting across the skyline reading Java's letter and trying to figure it out.
The short drive out of my parents' estate was on virgin snow. It was too early for other cars to have carved out their tyre tracks and I had the honour of being the first.
For some reason I thought of David Blacker and how he would have enjoyed it, not that I know if he would have enjoyed it, but I know he likes cars and driving. There are about five or six corners before the mainish road and each one had to be taken at less than about 5 mph to avoid slipping, sliding and having a slow motion accident. Each time I touched the brake I'd hear that grinding noise, similar to the grinding you hear in Sri Lankan taxis caused by worn brake disks, except this is the tyres crunching and sliding on the snow covered road.
A little burst on the accelerator resulted in nothing except some wheelspin and fishtailing. A snatch of open road without other cars saw me playing around with the rather expensive beast I was in, putting the many skills I learned on that one hour skidpan driving course I went on all those years ago to good use.
When I hit the main road things were almost normal. My in car thermometer told me that it was half a degree outside and there was snow everywhere except on the road surface, where it was that watery slush, the stuff they make Slush Puppies from, the grit flavoured ones.
The rest of the journey was average, though improved by my music choice. I have two new CDs and I opted for the lesser of the two, the latest Paramore album. It's a rocky set of songs that I wouldn't have bought were it not for K, my infamous 12 year old, being totally mad on them. I put it on, cranked it up and listened to the drummer, probably called Zach, who's also probably about 15 and plays in that superfantastic slightly look how good I am way that many American musicians favour.
When faced with an example like that fellow I figure that I can choose to be envious or motivated. I always go for the latter so listened to his playing with a sense of abundance and a learning type of ear. I might leanr to play a few of their songs, not for either of my bands but just to get comfortable with some of the quick and dexterous stuff he does.
As I turned off the main road and entered the little industrial estate that my office is on I hit more untouched and unspoiled snow, this time with no chance of sliding into anything. I turned left, put my foot down and felt the car slide. I corrected it then turned right with way too much gas. The back end swung out and I felt that sense of elation you get when the car's totally out of control but you know it won't plough through a shopping centre. I contemplated a tug on the handbrake to spin the car through a 360, but decided against it. I'm not Jeremy Clarkson nor am I a skateboarder.
I parked up, unlocked the office and made my first cup of tea.
Then wrote a blog post. It went like this.
And now 2009 begins for real.....