Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Thursday, 12 January 2017
There are blizzards forecast for tomorrow and I am supposed to be driving to high ground.
Are you the sort of person who likes to get out in it and have fun trying to get through blocked lanes, or do you prefer to stay at home indoors near a heat-source and read a book, sometimes looking out of the window to see how much worse it is getting?
You can probably guess that I fall into the latter category. I don't mind going out and playing, but I don't like going out in it and working. If I had a Land Rover I might feel differently, but I usually park my car on a cul-de-sac hill to make sure I have the perfect alibi.
One of the things I love about deep snow is that it brings everything to a standstill. The muffled silence that snow brings to the countryside extends even into towns and cities, occasionally interupted by a snow-plough or 4x4.
Ah, you British - the Canadians say - a couple of inches of snow, and everything stops. Yes, that's the way we like it. The perfect excuse to be non-productive and opt out of the race for a few hours or days. Poor nurses.
In 1963, I looked out of my bedroom window to see two feet of pure white snow, and it was still falling. I think it was about two weeks before my school reopened. Bliss, bliss, bliss.
One warm Summer morning in 1969, I was walking down a country lane with a friend. We were on our way to a building site to begin eight hours of back-breaking work on a concrete gang, constructing a new filter-bed for a sewage works.
Suddenly, my friend stopped and began looking around him. "Look at the sun filtering through the green leaves," he began to muse, "Listen to the birds singing. What the HELL are we doing going to work on a day like this?" We turned around and slowly walked back in the opposite direction with the slightest trace of guilt tainting our spirits.
This is a genuine note sent to the employer of a Mexican worker to his boss, and was found by Richard Brautigan:
Dear Boss. I will not be coming to work today. I am not ill, I just feel too good to work. If I feel worse tomorrow, I will come.