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4:52pm on Wednesday, 28th February, 2018:

Snow Day


I had a 9am class this morning. The snow outside the house was four inches deep and the roads hadn't been gritted. Driving to work was not an option. Should I call off the class? Hmm, well my annual appraisal is this afternoon, so I do actually have to be on campus.

I decided to walk.

I live six miles from the university. It took me two hours to get here walking through snow. I put back the class until 10am, because there were no buses running and I wanted to give the students chance to get in. I have a three-hour slot booked for the class, because some classes are three hours long; this was only a two-hour class, though, so a 10am start was possible.

It's as well I did decide to walk in. There was a container lorry abandoned on the North Station roundabout and people were having to push cars up the slightest of inclines (on the roundabout). It was even worse at the university, where the roads are on more noticeable slopes and the security team was turning cars back because they wouldn't have made it up the hill.

Traffic on the A12 was crawling along at maybe 5mph. Colchester town centre was almost completely empty of people. I didn't see a bus for the first hour, and that one was not in service. There were very few cars around, except on the approaches to North Station roundabout where they were stationary (because of the aforesaid problems on the roundabout).

I only slipped over once, while reaching into my pocket to get my phone out to take a snap of the traffic. I trod on a curb and slid off it. I'd walked another 50 metres before I realised I no longer had my phone, so had to go back and recover it from where it had embedded itself in the snow.

I'm now sitting in my office with shoes that seem a lot wetter than they did when I was walking.

Eight students did attend the class, though, and were rewarded with an exercise in which they learned how to write the "60 second of gameplay" section of their assignment. Well, the ones who hadn't already learned it were, anyway.

I'm not looking forward to going home. My left leg is stiff, probably resulting from when I slipped. I'm hoping that maybe I'll come across a bus going in the right direction or something. Otherwise, it's going to take more like 3 hours to walk back.

If it's like this or worse tomorrow, I'll be cancelling the five meetings I have.

If it's like this or worse on Friday, my plans for driving up to Yorkshire may have to be revised...

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Copyright © 2018 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).