Friday, 3 December 2010

Lewes going nowhere

Big Snow - 21

Fri 3 December

Lunchtime today. This is the main railway line between Lewes and London. There have been no trains on it since Wednesday at least.

Lewes isn't exactly cut off from the world, but with no roads in or out of town for 24 hours or more, few shops open until today and a run on bread and milk, with all schools closed and many local services suspended, with no trains and hardly any buses for 2 days, with Gatwick Airport closed, and with broadband erratic and, horror of horrors, no Guardian delivered, it has certainly felt like it at times.

The snow began on Monday, which was a bit odd, because as we know it never snows in southern England in November . . . I'd been to the University to do a lecture, got some shopping on the way home - and didn't leave the house again until this morning (Friday).

It snowed more on Tuesday, and folk had fun of various sorts: building snowmen, throwing snowballs, sledding, falling over, that sort of thing. In Brighton they're a bit more up front with their snow fun: they have adventures with a tea tray, and spend the morning on the beach; in Lewes we're more sophisticated: we have things like Wolfie's blog and Long Slow Distance's unexpected visitor, and we grow icicles and decorate the war memorial with snowballs. We dig up our old cartoons, and we paddle our own surfboard, and have a nice sit down when it all gets a bit much.

Then it came down long and hard on Wednesday evening, and everything ground to a halt. On Thursday it froze, hard; overnight temperatures were said to have gone down to -10ºC, which is the sort of cold we get once a decade here. 

Today it has hovered around zero. I ventured out to do my bit to keep the local economy going, and didn't slither once, which pleased me no end as I had a bottle of milk on my back, and I have a tendency to trip, slip and fall over things like paving stones, blades of grass, pockets of air, things like that.

Here's some of my photos from this week; I've seen plenty of superb and atmospheric shots from others, many of which I've lost track of, but here's a few to be going on with: evening walk, saunter past castle, Lewes FC football ground, street view, some of Viva Lewes' photos of the week, Railway Land, the Cliffe Christmas Tree, railway station, and a gorgeous set from Richard Gailey.

Throughout the week the Viva Lewes Twitter feed has been invaluable, retweeting information and comments from all around, and pointing towards much of the excellent photo and video material above. Great fun, and very useful, although I can't say it's as satisfying a read as The Guardian . . .

PS: plus some great pix from Kirstie Fuller

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