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Snow Joke

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THAT's a snowball

THAT's a snowball

Jac sent me a picture last night of his London snow;  i told him we had none. Within 30 minutes, we had a white glistening reminder of what winter used to be like in sunny England (here are my photos of it all).

So here we are, enveloped in a snow blanket that I can only remember once before, back when I was 12.  Michelle had the unfortunate dilemma of getting to the centre of town by 7am, as without her the Next store couldn’t open. After vainly hoping that a bus might turn up, and ever dedicated, she walked the 2 miles to work. I worked from home (only 3 people made it to my office in the end), occasionally staring out the window at the contrasting responses – children and teenagers having the mother of all snowfights; and frowning, wrapped up huddles of people trying to get out of the biting cold.

Sky News and BBC News have done sterling work keeping me informed – the giant snowball being rolled down a large hill live on BBC News was a particular highlight.and the local radio Station The Eagle was

Michelle braving it!

Michelle braving it!

brilliant at giving us the local lowdown, despite their website going down with all the travellers eager for information. My garden is covered in 18 inches of the stuff. The usual miseries are popping up everywhere, wondering why the trains, buses, taxis, planes and cars in general aren’t moving today and how we haven’t prepared for it  (how can we prepare for something that only happens every 18 years?!)

So most of the country is in hibernation; tomorrow is meant to be worse. The rest of the developed world is used to this kind of thing – but we’re making the most of it while we can!

The Big Bird of homeowning

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House Prices - GuildfordBack in the heady days of 2006, I yearned for my own house. The news was bleak – rising interest rates, rising house prices, nothing was going the first-time buyers’ way. And then, in the autumn, a shining website showed us a lovely little number in North Guildford – we moved in that Christmas and set about feathering the nest and worrying about the shiny new mortgage.
Fast forward a year, and mortgages and home-owning have slowly become taken for granted. The new location, garden and furniture have become – well, part of the furniture. And so the second phase of home-owning is gradually taking hold – the house, much like Big Bird, needs better feathering. Out have gone the old TV unit, and in have come a funky low-rise unit with matching coffee table. A new rug surrounds the new coffee table. A new flower bed covers one side of the garden. TVs are going up on walls all over the house. We’re planning wooden flooring. It’s a mini-evolution of sorts, forever bettering the nest and investing in our surroundings.
There’s no doubt that we know we’re lucky – house prices in the guildford area are just getting stupid – and there are plenty of people who can’t possibly afford a house. But we may as well make the most of it. Big Bird would, wouldn’t he? Then after 2008, the nightmare of wall street made our worries go from old Tv’s to the overview, testimonials and review of lexington law for credit repair.

“Let’s keep it melancholy.”

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Jac and I have been following the band Easyworld since we were young. Well, younger. When they split, we mourned a little. then David Ford, the lead singer, went solo, and we cheered up a little bit. He is a musical genius, able to play almost any instrument you can think of, and write lyrics that are painfully incisive. Here are some of Easyworld’s videos, and some of David’s own stuff (his own site is davidford.mu.
Anyway, that’s enough of the promotion, I want to boast. David’s been touring Australia and America, and was offering a one-night-only show in London. Tickets sold out before I’d even had the chance to log on and find them. Then he moved to a larger venue – again they were sold out before I got back from work that day. So, clutching at straws, I emailed Jac, who has made some usual friends while trying to get into the music industry. “Can you get some tickets?” I asked him, resigned to the fact there was almost certainly no chance.
And then, an email from Jac. “I am amazing,”, it started, which was no surprise – he’s become a One Man Publicity Machine of late. Yes, yes, I muttered, why this time? “I have got tickets for David Ford tonight.”
As I entered The Borderline venue that night, I had to admit that for once Jac was amazing. Here we were at a sold out gig, with two free guest tickets. Ford’s supporting act were the surprisingly good Angus and Julia Stone, a brother and sister who had travelled from Australia to break themselves in over here. And then, sweet lord, it was David Ford, telling everyone who cheered to “keep it melancholy, alright?” It was the first time I’d seen him live, and he was better than I’d even imagined. Using everything he could lay his hands on to make musical sounds, he was a one man band with a difference, proving that music can be everywhere and that he actually didn’t need any other band members at all. Jac’s musical review is here. Word has it he’s doing well in America at the moment – let’s hope he doesn’t stay over there. He’s a bit of a secret on the music scene at the moment, and perversly I’d quite like him to stay that way…
And then the train drivers went on strike, meaning that I spent an uncomfortable 90 minutes in the back of a taxi with two Guildford-based indians who could barely speak English. It was worth it, though…