Sunday, 13 January 2013

BLIZZARDS, expostulated the Vicar, are HOTBEDS of miracles

Set-up at DoubleTree, Lincoln

Two of the o'sundial a.m. this morning - Lincolnshire.

It began with a closed deserted diner, and a man too long without sleep to continue his journey. It began with the landing of a craft from another galaxy... a Be'emdubbbelyoo fresh from the planet D'oh-huh-huh-huh.

Oops, wrong script. Actually it (the evening) ended with an interesting drive back to Owl Towers.

Damien, my trusty sat-nav (named after the antichrist of the film The Omen due to certain shared characteristics) did his level best to persuade me to barrel along every single-track lane and bridle path known or unknown to mankind - and he got thoroughly cheesed off when I ignored him and stuck to the A-roads. He went off into a sulk again and just hummed the soundtrack from the film and muttered a few latin curses.

At one point I had to stop altogether for a few minutes because I literally couldn't see the end of the car bonnet in last night's swift and brief blizzard. The temperature ranged every few yards from -1°C to +2°C and the mode was a shall-we-freeze shan't-we-freeze +0.5°C. On some of the hills (yes, despite popular misinformed belief, north Lincolnshire has them a-plenty) I was getting terminal wheelspin in 3rd gear. Wet ice covered in a layer of fresh snow versus Vintage-Mobile.

The English trouble with winter isn't because it's über cold or über snowy - it's because it's shall-we shan't-we somewhere in the middle. We can't use winter tyres or studs because the snow comes and goes at the flick of a badger-tail. One corner will be icy, the next not. Then a few miles of snow followed by dry tarmac. Then the following day we'll have a spot of summer with the larks singing and the nightingales in Berkeley Square already. Then fog, then a monsoon, then a drought, then - the following morning - winter again with minus double-figures, wind and a cold, mocking, silver sun.

This morning of course, this being Engerlund, we're back to dull and grey and regularly cold again with the only evidence being a few hailstones lodged on parked car windscreens. It's hard to believe that I had to stop last night because the road disappeared.

It was all really rather fun!

I was pleased to witness a miracle last night though.

In the midst of the blizzard an "Essex" coloured Beamer hoofed up behind me with headlights on full-beam, slithered a bit (a lot) to avoid mating with my car's rear end, hugged my tail-lights for miles because the driver was too scared or stupid to actually pass - even through streetlighted villages and even though he was obviously desperate to do so, flashed angrily when I pulled over to force him to continue his hell-bent pell-mell rush without me as Pathfinder General, and then disappeared into the sleet and snow and darkness ... A little later - for all miracles take place just out of sight or a moment before the witnesses arrive - the miraculous Beamer's tyre tracks ended in a Spirograph scribble pirouette in the snow and then nothing. He'd disappeared. I suppose that "God" must have twirled him around a bit before lifting him up to be with the angels. Spooky!

Oh, not quite without trace; there was a bit of a flattened hedgerow, but then this "God" is reputed to have big feet, he's bound to step on some things when disappearing Be'emdubbbelyoos in the snow. 

I suppose that I might have investigated a little further but then, well, this "God" is also said to move in mysterious ways and how would they remain mysterious if I investigated each little Earthly detail? It's not like I actually saw his hand swoop down and lift the car up to the heavens. I just looked up to the sky respectfully for a few moments before putt-putting on by like the doddery old fart that I am.

Hopefully the gene pool is a little cleaner this morning. An angry part of it is probably still upside-down in a field, hand on horn, flashing his headlights and wondering what the delay is in somebody righting his world for him. No doubt he is babbling angrily into his iPhone as well about Vintage atheist Earthers getting in his way.

The gig itself last night was most splendid - a (very) late Christmas "do" for a local firm, held in the centre of Lincoln. In the shot above of my set-up the reflection of the backdrop is hiding the floodlit Lincoln Cathedral high up on the hill. Business followed the usual lines with everyone initially far too inhibited to pose for photographs and ending with a long queue at the end of the night. So much so that I couldn't keep up with the on-site printing and will need to deliver those this coming week.

Question is though, will I need to be in desert dress or arctic explorer kit?

Or both?

Or something in-between?

13 comments:

  1. We had a friend staying who wanted to visit a particular village market. I gave him very simple written directions, but he insisted on using his own 'Damien'. After a long drawn-out journey he arrived at the village and promptly had quite a serious accident. I had to force myself from saying the obvious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Damien began our drive home by directing me down a blocked-off pedestrian walkway (I fell for that one, my guard was down after a long day) and then twice asked me to turn the wrong way into one-way traffic. It's a good job that I throw a pinch of salt over my shoulder whenever I switch him on ...

      Delete
  2. That Beamer was dropped in the River Guadalquivir some time during the night. Even the aliens didn't want 'em.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beamers these days look a bit as though aliens had styled them - all lumps and discordant bumps! Bring back the 4.0CSi coupe please!

      Whoever he or she was driving that thing up until it disappeared was a lot braver - or a lot more foolhardy - than me.

      Delete
  3. This vintage car of yours, Sir Owl, that wouldn't be the one that squirts oil out the back and has contra-rotating knives in the hub caps?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mostly we belch unburned hydrocarbons and give off all the wrong signals (quite literally since water got into the electrics via some new leak). I have perfected the art of driving while squinting through a monocle and shouting tally ruddy ho - it helps clear traffic. Sometimes I even stick to the correct (lefthand) side of the road, just to confound the rumour-mongers. Except for that time I came home after driving around Frenchie-land for a fortnight, and I carried on driving on the right out of sheer habit, bloody-mindedness and a certain sense of Parisian motorists' arrogance. Vive le gettez vous out of the bloody way Monsewer!

      Delete
    2. Ah. We do not have this problem of Left and Right here. All the operator of the mechanical get-one-into-town device has to do is settle the wheels into the ruts the give way rule being the biggest mechanical get-one-into-town device has priority. Results can be entertaining if both devices are the same size.

      Delete
  4. I admire your superbly-British restraint in passing up the opportunity to stop and gloat over the pesky Beamer's plight. I have never used a GPS (short for Global Positioning System as they're known around here) but I hear tales of the strange things they do. Since I am already quite directionally impaired, I have enough problems getting lost without the help of a demonic device!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have heard of sane satnavs/GPS systems, but I've never actually met one. Mine scares the heck out of me - sometimes he's manic, sometimes so depressed that I feel I ought to check him into a Swiss clinic. I have independent witnesses who have volunteered corroboration that if I ignore him the little computer-voice gets crabby and petulant ...

      Have lost count of the number of times he gleefully instucts me to hang a U-turn on busy motorways! Er... no, Mr Satnav, no ...

      His favourite trick is to navigate me to the outskirts of some unfamiliar town and to then shut down completely only to spontaneously switch himself on again once I've muddled through. I don't think I could ever just throw him away, there would have to be some sort of service and a burial (in a mirror-lined box with silver inlay).

      Delete
  5. The Lord works in mysterious ways. The assumption of a BMW that clearly demonstrates the driver's faith in Him through his manner of driving only proves how believers can be rewarded!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would have been more impressive if a giant hand had descended from the clouds and lifted him up though.

      Do the initials BMW stand for Baader-Meinhof Miracle Workers?

      Delete
  6. Well I suppose that taligater got his just desserts, but would it have hurt to have peeked at him floundering in the field, just to give him a friendly wave and make sure he didn't damage any foxes or rabbits? I don't understand why the Lincolnites needed to queue - aren't group photos preferable for such events? Still, I suppose they pay you more for snapping them separately.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No-one was quite sure what the queue was for but, being in England, everyone joined it and started reminiscing about the war and how much better things were under the near-twenty years of WWII rationing.

      I think I may have photographed half the staff of the hotel and most of the guests as well as those at the party ...

      Delete

If you can walk on ricepaper without tearing it, Grasshopper, then you may find that the swan with three buttocks and an allergy to grain may answer your comment with the sigh of a glad heart. If the swan with three buttocks and an allergy to grain answers your comment then this can surely only be because you have, as we say in the jargon of the seventeenth temple-dan, Danny boy, oh Danny boy, got rather small and delicate feet for a chap. Get on wiv it, Grasshopper, before I have one of the monks nut you on the cranial bone.