Bristol

 

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Woke up after a normal night’s sleep, for the first time in ages. You don’t know how lovely it is to sense the normality and pleasure of waking normally. It hasn’t happened for half a life. That was my first thought: It’s light. I’ve made it through the night. Followed quickly by the second______________________________________________silence. Utter silence. Only the low murmur of the wind. Not even birdsong. It makes time slow and thoughts stop like I’m holding my breath and waiting. Not moving. Just staring from my bed up to the white ceiling, wrapped up in the quiet.

Only snow seems to be able to achieve this hush, muffling and stopping everything, forcing rest on the seeable world.

It’s been a weather ‘event’. I love the way the media forces our view on these things. They make it into an event but there’s no doubt the last 2 days of continuous snow and freezing temperatures has brought the South West and the East before it and, of course, the North to a grinding halt. The same message is repeated through all outlets “Don’t travel unless you really have to”. “Danger to life”. Isn’t it wonderful? Being told to do nothing. No Amazon deliveries, the bread ran out at Sainsbury’s, you can’t phone the accountant or get hold of that client, service or product because the chances  are they might not be in or it won’t be available or, if it is, how are you going to get it? You have to hole up, get an ancient ready meal out of the freezer and either watch all the box sets you’ve got stacked behind the TV (again)  or contemplate the quiet or go for a walk.

On Pembroke Road last night the road had turned white. Everyone had heeded the warnings and were staying put. The cars were, like in the shipping forecast, ‘losing their identity’ slowly becoming half formed blobs or hummocks slowly being moulded into the  landscape, like barrows on Salisbury Plain. The wind flung white dust in swirls down Alma Road, the type of swirls you see in comicbook pictures of wind. Like wavy hair. Other black shapes moved silently through the grey light. It was night but the light from the snow and the light from the city and the low cloud cover forced a dull grey glow on us. Just the crump of boots on snow and the odd surprised face turned to look at me, both of us not knowing why we were there, just come to wonder at the change and without anything else to do. More dust flew under the orange of the streetlight at such speed, flying, glittering like crushed glass. I walked in a circle turning around and about to take it all in.

And now as I look,  more flakes float past my window. I dare anyone not to feel that childlike thrill at the inexplicable beauty of snow. I was seeing someone a while ago and I woke up at her house one morning and there was half a foot of snow outside. She didn’t say anything and I knew it wouldn’t work.

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A third thought crossed my mind this morning in bed. I am in transition. One of those great changes that comes like that wind and blows away the dust that’s been gathering, the dust that’s been clouding everything and make it all clear. I’ve resigned. 10 years. Can you believe it? 10 years wholly dedicated to one thing, one place and 10 years that also has made me ill. Time for change. And it’s felt good since saying it and realising it. Even bigger is a change in lifestyle. I’m serious this time. No more crazy nights cranking up the tunes in my ears and saying to myself one more..one more..one more this, one more that and then enduring sometimes days of edginess afterwards and the burnt out adrenals, the fucked motor, over revving and making life, well, intense. As I’ve said before. Always in overdrive. It’s time to sit back and reflect. I’m 43. I’ve spent most of my life being a hedonist and it won’t end forever, it just has to stop right now. And already that in itself is the new high, the sense of self love and self worth is the new stimulant. The early rising, the new opportunities, the sense of security – all these and more are a new way of feeling good. This is my proof. This is my word. It’s in writing, written in stone (all right, on wordpress) and let time now be my judge.

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