Weeknotes 2022.50: A Bleak Mid-Winter

Weeknotes 2022.50: A Bleak Mid-Winter

The snow from last week (previously) stuck around until today, and but the novelty probably stopped on Thursday lunchtime, as I very nearly took a spill on the way to the station to go to the office. I was already in a hurry, but couldn’t rush lest I actually fall and break my camera, or my laptop, or part of myself. Of course, the council didn’t bother to grit the pavement. Infuriating.

Things were generally better inside the Olympic Park, where they at least bothered to clear some paths. I took a walk at lunchtime on Wednesday, when the ice on the ponds still hadn’t melted but the sun was shining, and everything was surprisingly quiet: I assume the usual lunchtime runners and cyclists were hitting the gym instead, or (like me) waiting until the evening when it was going to be quieter. The birds were roosting comfortably, and that’s the condition in which I took this, easily one of the best photos I’ve ever taken:

A robin sits on a bare, thin tree branch looking slightly off to camera. Behind is a network of thin and thick tree branches, capped in snow, with the sun behind it casting the sky in a pleasant yellow colour with tiny bokeh balls like gems on the edges.
You know, some of us remember when camera phones were a byword for blocky MMSes of people's kids and videos of fights on buses.

I took some video, as well. Maybe this will be something I try to do more often. I’m not going to become one of those vlogging types soon, but I figured I’d at least try and capture some of the vibe of this very odd-feeling week.

I went for a run on Tuesday night and, to my astonishment, didn’t slip over once. Yesterday (Saturday), I went again, this time reasoning that if I’d run 5k around the Olympic Park, surely I could run the about-the-same distance to London Fields Lido. I could, although it was harder than I thought it would be! I’d forgotten what a delight the Lido was in winter, particularly in the golden hour, even if it was a tad chilly. (The water was a lovely 24ºC, the air was -1ºC. Yikes.)

By Saturday night, as we went to visit a friend on untreated pavements (treading carefully behind an old lady with her shopping lest she slip on the ice) the novelty had definitely worn off. Sure, I have renewed hope of maybe seeing a white Christmas once in my lifetime. But for now, we have lives to live, and we have a nation that’s had any severe weather resilience value-engineered out of it. Best hope councils can at least get good at clearing pavements, because if they can’t manage even that, there’s no hope for the rest of us.

Thankfully, one of the things I didn’t break on Tuesday was a print I’d had made of a photo I took in Venice. It’s now hanging on the living room wall. True, it may be vain to frame a holiday snap and hang it like it’s fine art—but it’s now a nice reminder, whenever we head outside, of a wonderful holiday we finally managed to take after years of promising ourselves we’d go to Venice. Guess I need to edit and post the photos here at some point.

A white wall in a flat with a door intercom, the top of a box containing a bike repair stand, a straw hat and a bag for life hanging from coat hooks. In a black frame with a white mounting, a photo in the golden hour from Venice, of a bridge over a canal with a tree on one side and a creeping plant with pink flowers sticking to the terracotta coloured wall of the building on the right.
Print by Chris Cooke at Rapid Eye. (It looks better IRL, and will look better when I make it the header image on the Venice photoblog post.)

Yes, I've seen the Barbie movie trailer. I am... stunned. Kind of interested, definitely not expecting much, but also—good lord.