A “Fan Email” Brightens A Gray Morning

The Catskills in early April: it’s certainly not Florida. I just took a few snaps out the back just after dawn. Yep, there’s still lots of snow against the house and scattered here and there in the woods:

Still some snow out in the trees. Catskills. [Photo by me, 2015.]
Still some snow out in the trees. Catskills. [Photo by me, 2015.]
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Marooned In The Catskills (For 24 Hours)

Hello once more! This is a ridiculously early post, New York time. It’s before 5:30 am.

Ugh! It’s also called “jet lag.”

Yes, yes, it’s great to be back in the Catskills for a bit:

Windham Mountain in the distance. [Photo by my, 2015.]
Windham Mountain in the distance. [Photo by my, 2015.]

I wrote most of two novels here. Now you see why! ;-)

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Snow In England – Don’t Leave The House

It hasn’t snowed here overnight in London – fortunately. Parts of the country to the north got a several inches, though. That led to the predictable abandoned cars, stranded motorists, and people seeking refuge in churches, etc., and so on.

The BBC reporting on a couple of British snow. [Screen capture by me.]
The BBC reporting on a couple of British snow. [Screen capture by me.]
Yorkshire gets snowfall, and several inches is almost never a laughing matter anywhere. Still, England in a snow generally is perhaps best-described as a lot like snow in, say, Atlanta: it happens in winter occasionally, but no one ever seems honestly prepared for it. Local governments don’t own garages full of plows and salters. It just isn’t worth the investment for a couple of days a year of snow.

When it snows even a couple of centimeters/inches in southern England especially, it’s utter chaos. I will never forget about a decade ago taking 9 hours to drive roughly 10 miles in north London. A dusting or so fell in a late afternoon, and by the time we (in my then office) all had left work – early! – at around 4pm, the buses weren’t running, the Tube was shut, and the trains were a mess.

As for the roads, don’t ask. No one in southern England knows what a winter tire is of course. Far worse, some people seem not to comprehend how to drive in snow. First of all, you take it easy. Snow is, after all, uh, slippery.

Cars hit each other at traffic lights, or slid off roundabouts. Some drivers were going too slowly to take hills and got stuck; or others took them too quickly, got to the top and slid down the other side and crashed into parked cars. I saw several drivers give up, turn their cars off, and walk away.

It was surreal. It was like a Hollywood, end of the world, disaster flick. I was waiting for Morgan Freeman to rap on my car window.

But I made it home…. around 1am.

To add to today’s “fun,” King’s Cross train station in London is actually closed due to “overrunning engineering works.” Seriously. No fiction author would dare invent this stuff. If you wrote it, you’d get laughed for being totally unbelievable. ;-)

The Blue Before The Snowstorm

The sky was such a stunning blue outside the house yesterday, I grabbed a photo:

Trees against an amazing blue sky, near our house. [Photo by me, 2014.]
Trees against an amazing blue sky, near our house. [Photo by me, 2014.]

Uh, it doesn’t look like that currently:

Not nearly the same blue sky this morning. [Photo by me, 2014.]
Not nearly the same blue sky this morning. [Photo by me, 2014.]

In that second one, I happened to catch a bit of a long stone wall that runs along part of our property. There are remains of rock walls like those all over the Catskills, left behind from when these mountains were once covered with farms, usually dairy farms. Also visible above the snow toward the bottom left in the photo is a bit of the barbed wire that still runs along it.

Full disclosure: those trees in that second photo are (perhaps obviously) not the same trees as the first one; that photo is not quite as sharp as the other one because I snapped that through a window (it’s freezing out there!); and it was also not quite yet fully daylight.

Still, the latest “big snow” is starting to fall… on top of the previous snow.

I also woke up with a good part of a new chapter in mind (for the sequel). I’ve already tapped tapped tapped it down furiously in outline (I hate forgetting!) on my iPad (courtesy of my bluetooth keyboard on which I’m also typing this post). Given no one is likely going anywhere today well into tomorrow, I suppose I’ve got absolutely no excuse for not getting it fully on the computer. ;-)