Thursday, 7 January 2010

Ο Κρυωμένος

It stopped snowing here on Wednesday. I had high hopes that the usual British weather would prevail, and that we'd get rain to wash all the snow away, but sadly it's too cold for rain. It's probably too cold for snow.

Incidentally, how does that work? If it's too cold for it to rain or snow what happens if a big heavy cloud full of water drifts along? I don't think that such clouds turn into massive blocks of ice which then plummet onto unsuspecting people going about their normal business. If that happened, then it would surely have found its way onto the news at some point.

Reading Univeristy was one of the places that I applied to study at, and if I'd gone there I could have done a maths and meteorology degree. I'm now beginning to regret passing up that opportunity. At least I'd have had some idea about whether it was safe to walk under frozen clouds. Or whether they'll write "Should have gone to Reading" on my tombstone, having finally discovered my flattened remains after all the ice melts.

Anyway, because it's too cold for rain, all the snow is going to turn to ice. Which would be okay except I don't have any ice skates. And even if I did, I never learned to skate ("Should have gone to the ice rink more often"). I won't know whether to hurry to work in order to minimise the probability of being hit by a plummeting cloud or whether to slow down in order to minimise the probability of breaking my neck.

At times like this, the best thing to do is to lock the door, turn up the heating, and live on oxo and beans. And drink plenty of vodka. Antifreeze for humans. And turn one's attention to Swedish fiction.

If I turned off all the heating in my flat, grew a beard, got rid of all the non-pine furniture and downed a few more bottles of vodka, I could start to believe that I was a character in a depressing Ingmar Bergman film, battling to survive in a landscape of endless snow, and not having any spare time left for doing anything interesting or exciting.

Alternatively, I could just watch a depressing Ingmar Bergman film. Except that I use an electric razor. So I'm settling for one of Henning Mankell's novels, "Firewall". Inspector Kurt Wallander of the Ystad police is investigating yet another series of gruesome crimes. And he's feeling the cold. The book is set in the Autumn, which means that temperatures are falling, but are still above freezing, and poor Kurt has a sore throat. It doesn't help when someone breaks into the local electricity substation and uses a human body to cause a short circuit and cause a major power cut in the area. The body, needless to say is fried beyond all recognition - a useful thing in a crime thriller.

As with other Mankell novels, the book is difficult to put down. But sadly, I do have to spend the daylight hours at work, and I'll also have to brave the Arctic conditions to go to a supermarket when my dwindling supply of vodka runs out. And I also have to take some time out to blog.

Meanwhile, they're forecasting temperatures of 21C tomorrow. In the coastal regions of Cyprus. Which has just prompted me to see if there is any Cypriot detective fiction out there, only to find that such a book was published in September last year. I might order it, so that I can read it when all this Swedish weather goes away...


Bee said...

How many uh centimeters(?) of snow do you think fell? Places in the south are getting snow too and it's freaking me out! (because of the weird weather changes)

Kat said...

Oh I love Henning Mankell...almost read all of his books. They make for a perfect read when curled up on the couch. Something about the Swedes and crime novels. Reading Stieg Larsson at the moment. The Millenium trilogy and am really loving it.
The weather's supposed to go crazy this weekend here and a blizzard is expected. Gotta go and stock up on oxo and beans too :)
Have a great weekend Brian, without a ton of snow hopefully.

Jean Knee said...

no one should be expected to leave home for work or anywhere if the temp is under 45 degrees.

one time a squirrel threw himself on a powerline connector doo-hickey and shot our electricity out for a whole day.

Brian o vretanos said...


About 5-10 centimetres - 2-4 inches. The main problem now, though, is the ice and a national grit shortage.

There's another batch forecast for Sunday/Monday...


I'll have to try Stieg Larsson - there's an ad for "The Girl with the Tattoo" in the back of the book I'm currently reading.

Jean Knee:

If they did that here they'd have to give us the whole winter off...

VE said...

I don't know...the news is pretty fixated on what celebrity did blocks from the sky probably wouldn't make the front pages anymore...