November Nights

The strong wind came in as forecast. In my town centre, it was as if it had swept away most people along with the litter and leaves. Darkness fell at the same time as the storm.

Gloom and mood in tandem, the Autumn ‘fall’.

My house is on an estate at the top of a hill. The house on the hill. Sounds familiar. The hill hangs over this town centre. Half way up is a line of trees that have often served as refuge when caught in a sudden deluge. (And also a veritable bounty for kids filling their pockets with conkers.)

The rain followed faithfully the wind, but this time I didn’t need refuge. Modern man has a weather app, you know, and everything else at his nimble fingers. Sometimes I feel we’ve been robbed of the element of surprise, often exchanging wonder for knowledge. But if I really felt so strongly about it, I’d discard all oracles and take every day as it comes, wouldn’t I ?

Still, there is some wonder, even if, beneath this hooded, waterproof coat, there are no surprises:

I do love this time of year.

Morning Fire/Morning Snow

So guys, how are things in your corner of the world? I thought I’d share these photographs to give you a rough idea of how things have been in Jackdaw town.

A friend took this photograph early the other morning from our town, when the sun, striking one of the Deansgate towers in Manchester, made it look like it was on fire. Maybe a beacon for the dark days to come, a beacon to last until the Solstice.

But don’t be fooled by those polished, fiery flames, though, as the following will explain.

My son and I travelled to Congleton in Cheshire. Cold, cold Congleton, to watch our local non-league team play away. The day was bleak, the performance was bleak, the corner flag lay horizontal in the polar wind. But that’s par of the course for us. Typical British footballing weather, on a typical British footballing family’s Saturday.

Then the next day the snow came. I’m not sure if it was forecast but it certainly took me by surprise. And also my nosey daughter who, if you look closely, you will see peering out from behind those patio doors there.

I’ve been blogging now for nine years. So that’s nine winters, and anyone who has been flying with City Jackdaw for that timespan will surely have heard me mention before about how we live on a hill; how just a dusting of snow can see us cut off by all public transport; how one day we might have to resort to eating each other.

But not just yet. The season is still early and the freezer is fully stocked.

But everything else is as imagined. The first real snow managed to halt a bus right outside our house. The passengers disembarked to walk, the driver disembarked to stretch his legs.

And look at poor Clifford, will he ever make it home? Have you ever seen such a hopeless, hapless face?

Later in the day the sun tried to rally but, barring another weather phenomenon that’s not been forecast (heatwave) that car of my wife’s would be going nowhere. She hates to drive in snow, and as one who doesn’t drive, I can’t (and wouldn’t dare) blame her.

She went to bed fearing for the morning commute, the kids went to bed dreaming of the next day’s adventures, and I went to bed to arise early to spy a cold, lonely moon, shining down on the hardened snow. Although it wouldn’t remain for long. The snow, that is, not the moon, for that silent satellite will outlive all of us.