Monday, December 20, 2010

In the blink of an eye

Friday Martin and I braved the snow - yes, although it had all thawed near us, Dover, Deal and Folkestone had had it fairly badly) - to go to my work's dinner and dance. It was held at the Pavilion at Folkestone. The roads were a bit hairy but we got there in plenty of time. We had rushed around as we had been told they were dishing up at 7:15. We didnt actually get served our first course until 8:20.

I had been looking forward to it, the people I work with are all so friendly and fun, but to be honest I was a tad disappointed. The food was rather bland and servings were not that plentyful, plus it still took until just before 10 to get all three courses. I had thought it would be just our party but our group was one of many and we were split over 5 tables. Although the music from the disco was a good mix of dance stuff, the floor was so tiny compared to the amount of tables that it was way to squishy to get onto and dance.

By 10.30 both Martin and I called it a day and came home.

With only two more presents to buy for Christmas, I headed into Canterbury to hit the shops. Heavy snowfall had been predicted but when I left home the skies were clear and temperatures didnt seem that low. I had just completed my final purchase when it started to snow lightly. I paused to stroke the real live reindeer outside BHS and take a few photos of them and santa, then I hotfooted it back to the car. Now I admit that I had left the car a fair walk from the town centre, it took me about 2o mins to get back to the car from the time the snow first started to fall, but by the time I put the key in the door there was at least 3" of snow on the roof. I have never seen snow come down so thick and fast. It wasnt a blizzard, it was still falling softly but the flakes were so large and there were just so many of them.

It took me about ten mins to actually get out of the car park ... everyone and his wife, plus kids, grandparents and jonnie foreigner must have been doing their last minute shopping for Christmas and they all decided to leave the city at the same time!!! Within half an hour of getting in my car and starting the engine, Canterbury was totally gridlocked. I got stuck in one jam trying to get up the hill behind the university, turned round and got stuck in another jam trying to get up the same hill on the road infront of the university. I was getting a bit panicky now as the roads were so deep with snow, the thought of trying to get up any hill out of the town was scaring me to death. Luckily just at that point Laura phoned, followed rapidly by Martin and they both persuaded me to go in the opposite direction to Morrison's where Martin was working, and to wait for him to take me home. It took me an hour to travel the short mile but that was nothing to the horror stories told over the kiosk counter the rest of the afternoon. I sat there for 8 hours as people told us of what was happening outside. Every route in and out of Canterbury had either an overturned bus or a jack-knifed lorry stuck on it, blocking escape.

At 11 pm we left my car in the car wash for safety and decided to attempt the A2. Nothing had been gritted and no snowplough had done any snowshifting, the roads were pretty scary but we managed it home in 40 mins. Apart from one really stupid articulate lorry passing us at 50mph on a snow covered road, there were no incidents and we were really happy to see our front door. I suspect our poor hungry cat was too!

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