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Friday, March 02, 2018

Comic Cuts - 2 March 2018

Of course I'm going to talk about the snow but I'll keep it brief. I've barely left the house this week. We managed our usual walk on Sunday and the thin dusting of snow on Monday morning didn't put us off our walk Monday morning (Mel heading to work while I walked half-way around the block with her before swinging back towards home). I was back to wearing a hat, scarf and gloves, but it wasn't too bad...

We had something like 7cm of snow by Tuesday morning so I didn't bother going out. I did dig out a pathway so that Mel could get back down the drive without breaking her neck and it's probably a good job I did as she was very late back due to the icy conditions on the road (she was visiting a friend that evening).

The path was covered again by Wednesday morning by which time we had maybe 12-15cm of snow. I cut another pathway and put down a load of salt, but snow showers during the afternoon threatened to cover it up again. The pathway survived overnight and was still fairly clear on Thursday morning, but, as I write this, we have flurries of snow every now and then (actually more now than then) which might (a) turn into another blizzard and (b) might put me off going down to the post office.

That was the view from the window, so to speak. Further afield, we've had no bus service for a couple of days because snow has been drifting off the fields along the main road that links us to Colchester – the problem exacerbated by the removal of all the hedges along the roadside when the cycle path was created. A delivery truck had to be abandoned on the road and snow and stranded cars meant that the road became completely impassable on Thursday morning. That meant no gritting of any of the roads and the paths becoming more treacherous as fresh snow lands on compacted snow that has been turned to icy sheets by the freezing temperatures.

The road was opened for a couple of hours on Thursday afternoon before being blocked again. As I'm writing this (10:30 pm Thursday) I've just heard that a Council plough has made a few passes along the road, but conditions are still treacherous and the road is likely to become covered over as soon as the plough leave.

I also hear that trains were taking up to four hours to make the usually one-and-a-half hour journey and Greater Anglia are advising people to travel only if they have to.

And, worse, the bookshop closed on Thursday afternoon because of the bitter temperature. Deliveries were not getting through anyway. With the town running out of milk and bread at one point, I'm beginning to think that we've already achieved a Mad Max-style dystopian world.

The next volume of Forgotten Authors is almost done, although I've had a bit of a rethink about the contents and want to write a couple of new pieces for it that tie into one of the essays I'd already planned to include. So the contents will probably need to be juggled slightly, with some essays moved to volume 4 so that volume 3 isn't impossibly huge. I'm trying to keep the price of the series reasonable.

The big essay I was working on last week was finished on Sunday and I celebrated by writing a companion piece in only a day and a bit. That brought the total finished wordage up to  about 57,000 words... time to make some decisions about the final contents of the book... at which point I had that smart idea of writing some new essays. All I can say is that it makes more sense to run them in the same volume as there's a bit of overlap necessary in the telling of the life stories of a couple of people. And one where there isn't, but the connection will be obvious once the book is out.

Hopefully I'll have some idea of the final contents next week.

Our random scans this week have a theme of... yes, you've guessed it... What do you expect from someone sitting in a cold office looking out on the deep, white drifts of snow. It's starting to snow harder now... I'm heading off into the warmth of the living room.

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