Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Christmas comes but once a year

It's been a cold Christmas up here in the North of England. I don't normally expect snow in December. January or February is less surprising but this time it came quite early and we had a `white` Christmas. I know Christmas is supposed to be about family reunion and all that and this year we were expecting Mrs H's parents on Christmas Eve, but a 'flu virus and a big dumping of snow and ice on their side of The Pennines stopped that plan in its tracks. Over this side of the mountains we'd had our heaviest snow a week earlier. As I may have mentioned once or twice, my means of transport is a motor cycle that, apart from the handlebar grips, has no heater, no windscreen wipers and no roof, but there wasn't a day when I didn't make it into work. Thankfully, most days the local council and the highways authority had done a pretty good job on the main roads. The most dicey part of my journey was the first and last 25 yards, these being getting out of and into our snowed-up communal courtyard via the un-treated, un-snowploughed road of our little hamlet. Finally escaping from work and getting home at 9.45pm on Christmas Eve was the only time I got stuck getting in and even then a final push from, a by now `Christmas spirited`, Mrs HD saw me wheelspin and fishtail the big 1150GS into the garage and put it to bed next to the already hibernating Harley Davidson, who doesn't like snow but who's still got `snow time` under its belt from before the BMW joined it in the stable. The main travel hazard was, of course, everyone else. The worst offenders around these parts are the `pseudo landed gentry` in their 4x4 BMW, Mercedes Benz and Porsche Cayenne armoured personnel carriers. On a pre-dawn walk last week I watched one of the aforementioned come waltzing around one of the sharp bends in our village, slide sideways and slam into the kerb, doing a nice alloy wheel no good at all. My dog looked on with disinterest as the driver got out, kicked at his wheel and then grunted something about `supposed to be bloody 4 wheel drive`. I grunted back something about, `it may have FWD but its only got road tyres and you as a driver - chunt`. Like a lot of his type, he probably thinks the damn thing should go round the bend at the same speed it always does, like the day before when there was no frigging snow on the road - I reiterate, `chunt`. Later that day I was waiting in line at the garage to pay for a tank of fuel and two of these hooray henry's were in front of me discussing the `jolly hairy` journey they'd just endured, getting thus far in their 40 grand Land Rover Discovery and BMW X5 respectively. The exchange was a rather sad urbanite fable of derring-do, slips, slides and how brilliant they were in the manly control of their behemoth kiddie transporters. Judging from the loafers they were wearing they certainly weren't farmers. Then they turned round and saw your truly, fully booted, spurred and helmeted with credit card in hand. I said I was really glad that I hadn't had to follow them as I only had `one wheel drive`. I got the usual look us bikers get from this sort, a look I imagine the first alien visitor from another world will get when it's unlucky enough to land on earth to ask for directions. But I digress, I started talking about the family reunion thing at Christmas. We eventually crossed The Pennines on Boxing Day, taking our seasonal gifts to Mrs HD's family and jolly nice it was to see them, even if it was very dicey getting into their almost cut off snowed in village - thankfully, we had a trusty old VW Polo 1.4 diesel with two wheel drive! But our Christmas Day was spent home alone, just us two, the two furbags and the muttley. We got up when we wanted, busied ourselves doing very little, opened our gifts by our little Christmas tree, walked the dog in the snow, freezing air and sunshine, went back to bed in the afternoon, got up after a doze, did very little again and then chatted on the phone to my son and daughter way down south, but the whole day was just us. An uncomplicated, relaxing day with me best gal by me side. Loved every minute of it. PS. Hope you enjoy a little bit of Woodstock. Much water under the bridge, eh?


Blue Eyes said...

"a look I imagine the first alien visitor from another world will get when it's unlucky enough to land on earth to ask for directions"

or perhaps the first person who hails from south of Camden Town!

At the risk of sounding a bit "schoolboy", I do not understand how anyone on anything less than a lot of money could afford one of those tractors. How can there be more than a handful in the whole country? I can't afford a clapped out Micra!

I presume that if you had catered for four you and Mrs HD had a good supply of food and wine!!

Crime Analyst said...

Good to see the HD's enjoyed their Christmas.

Nice post mate, felt so serene at the end I wanted to go for a kip myself!

By the way, not sure if you meant to paste our Analyst link to our broker site. Our fault for running so many blogs!

If you meant to create the link to our police support site, its at http://thinbluelineuk.blogspot.com

Hope the New Year brings you plenty of peaceful moments!

best Wishes

Ex West Mids
aka Crime Analyst

Hogday said...

Hi Blue. Even if I had more than enough money I would never want a Chelsea tractor on this wee Island. Now when/if we ever get to join the Canadian branch of the Hogdays I may well have something that befits a Canadian winter, as we drive it towards the sunshine.

As for Christmas provisions, we had sufficient. (I rather thought my chosen picture was a good impression of `the alien` asking the way to San Jose - note the two fingered mitts - live long and prosper!)

Hi Steve the Analyst: Yes, Christmas serenity was a rare day. Nice Blogsite by the way. I am slowly working my way through it. I suspect from your writings we probably have mutual friends.

powdergirl said...

Is your blog mad at my blog again?
I can see the pic, and the posted vid, but no text. Or is the text in British so I just can't see it from Canada?

I gather Christmas was good for the HD's, and rightly so. : )

JuliaM said...

Utterly astonishing how many people seem to believe that four wheel drive is some kind of exemption from the laws of physics...

Anonymous said...

As we say in the mountains... 4-wheel drive don't mean 4-wheel brakes.

Hogday said...

PG: I'll re-post and see if that allows you to read what many literary critics have told me is a work of consummate mediocrity.

JuliaM: The arrogance of these `legends in their own mind` brings out the Robespierre, lurking inside me. I would be swift and merciless.

NickieG: My next music video attachment will be "Duelling Banjo's", just for you ;)

Scrobs... said...

Morning Hogday,

The common theme must be a JRT - she provides the excercise limits for us every day...

Love the yarn about the 4X4. A few years ago, at the Daughts' school Carol Concert, all the 4x4s were parked at the bottom of a steep hill, as they had a fighting chance of getting out if it rained.

But it did rain, and rain, and they didn't get out...

So, so many red faces; lots of them... 'OK Yaaaaahs' were in the descendancy too...

Happy New Year to you and Mrs HD!

powdergirl said...

Happy New Year, HD, to you and the Missus, all the very best in 2010.

Hogday said...

Hi Scrobs and thanks for surfing in. Yes, here's to the mighty JRT's, all of whom think they're actually Rotties.
I enjoyed the requiem on your blog. Perhaps I should work on one....`Requiem for a bogged down Hoooray in a 4x4`. HNY2U2

PG: The same to you and yours. Maybe we'll make it back to Beautiful BC again in 2010