|Oxleas Woods, Eltham, on a snowy walk in 2008|
8.40am - left home to walk the kids to their primary school in Eltham (there ain't no way I'm driving in this...)
9.00am - get to school (any parent knows kids are not capable of just walking in the snow, too busy making snowballs). Miraculously, all is functioning completely normally at the school - they've even got it together to update their website this morning. Cool (as they say).
9.15am - all Southeastern trains showing 'delayed' at Eltham station; concourse is packed with people. Oh dear. No buses in the forecourt, some bus drivers waiting since 8.30am to pick up their buses. Ticket woman at till, the one with spiky hair, helpfully says there is no point buying a ticket yet.
9.30am - decide to trudge the 15 mins to Eltham High Street to catch the 321 bus to New Cross. The snow is getting denser and more horizontal. Wait outside the Boots bus stop. Word is there's been no 321 for 50 mins. A woman in just a jogging top (!) is cuddling a shivering little doggy and is trying to make a Lewisham Hospital appointment. She is going to miss it. Another woman in a cheerful yellow kagool is a teaching assistant at a school in Lee - she's not going to make it. Then a rather crazy woman starts talking to me in a loud voice (for 'crazy' of course, read: 'very friendly').
10am - only a 286 and a Kidbrooke bus have visited our bus stop, sweeping away a few happy souls. The rest peer mournfully at each other. I'm not going to make my 10am meeting. The snow is still dense, though now sleety as well. Nice. I can't stand any more, I ring the office. My colleague is sympathetic and efficient (and, importantly, at the office!). In fact, lots of people seems to be smugly 'at the office'. How have they done it? Eltham is obviously is some kind of snow Bermuda triangle.
10.20am - Back at Eltham train station. The concourse is mysteriously clear of crowds - could there be trains in these 'ere parts? (read in pirate accent). I speak to spiky hair ticket woman again. "Where is everyone?" I ask falteringly, fearing her reply. It comes. "Oh there's been a train". What! There was one train in the last hour and I missed it while in the High Street stoically stalking a bus. I feel like beating my chest and screaming like a beast in the jungle. Instead, I say, "oh". She couldn't say when the next train would arrive. She gave me a sympathetic yet distance-maintaining shrug. Sod it.
10.45am - Have trudged home. My clothes are covered in snow. I am bedraggled. My 'oh what a good idea' wellies feel like a ton on each foot. Luckily for me though, I can't feel my fingers anymore.
Tomorrow, I shall set out and do this again.
(Hubby made it in to London Bridge from Eltham at 7.30am this morning. But there were no trains to Eltham from London Bridge this evening. He waited ages, for a train or any information, then gave up and came back via the Jubilee Line and a taxi from North Greenwich.)
Still, it makes for some nice 'Eltham in the snow' pictures (click to enlarge photos)...