Winter was really mild. I was really glad for that. Until March showed up.
The first day of spring was last week. And Easter. The time of year that we celebrate resurrection, new life... plants bloom, the sun comes out, and everything is full of, well, life.
What did I get? This.
It was crazy. And it all started on the first day of spring...
That Thursday night, I spent the evening packing grocery bags at Marks & Spencer. For those of you who don't live here, you might not know that we bag our own groceries here. You might, if you get a particularly friendly checker, if you'd like some help packing. But generally, you are on your own. So for fundraisers, places like M&S let you come in and offer to give people a hand packing bags for donations. That evening, I spent three hours visiting with people and reliving my K-Mart employee days. It was excellent, actually. I enjoyed myself, and we made a good bit of cash for my friend Carolyn's eldest daughter Kelsey. She's going for two months this summer to work in Madagascar with Blue Ventures. Check it out; they seem like a really great organisation. Anyway, after we finished at 8, I stopped in at the Vue-- not my normal cinema. There was a film still showing there that wasn't showing at my Cineworld. So after that, the fun really began. I left the cinema and it was cold but dry. I walked two blocks and it started drizzling. Great, I thought. At least I don't have that far to go. By the time I had gone another five or six blocks, it had started snowing-- big fat flakes-- and raining-- big heavy drops-- and wind blowing in my face like mad. Plus it was freezing. Literally. By the time I had walked the final seven or so blocks to my flat, I was drenched. The front of my jeans were soaked clean through, and the wind was so fierce that my hair and scarf were also drenched, despite having my hood pulled as close as I could. I was chilled to the bone, and no wonder! Kenny informed me that it was -2C outside-- below freezing, for sure! The coldest it had been yet. Of course.
Friday and Saturday I stayed inside, working away and watching the wild weather. One minute, it was like a blizzard. Twenty minutes later, the sun would be back out. Snow, sun, snow, sun. For days on end, that's what we had. Snow building up on the streets and everything, then enough sun to melt some of it off. What happened to spring?!
Sunday morning, I got up to get ready for church. The sun was shining, so I was hopeful that I could dress up a little for the occasion, even wear a skirt. By the time I was ready to get dressed, however, it was snowing. Again. So I wore pants. And long johns. And wool socks. Not the kind of Easter outfit I'm used to, let me tell you. Luckily it was powdery snow on my way to church, so I was cold and had to watch my step on the slushy, frosty pavements... but I was mostly dry when I got there. Church was fine, but it made me really miss Pulaski First. Crown Terrace has some great things about it, but every Sunday is about the same. Low-key, and... just the same. So it was fine, and good to visit with people, but that's about all. Anyway, we could see that it was really come down by coffee hour, and I had a lunch to be at...
The picture of me, outside my church, is Easter Sunday. Crazy, huh? I walked in that-- more big fat flakes, pretty but very wet-- back to my flat to pick up a big ole jug of sweet tea, and then I made my way over to the Brocks' flat. They live down past uni, which is as far past my flat as my church is in the other direction. A twenty minute walk, easy. I was lucky that at least part of the time, the sun was out. Not that it mattered much... it was so cold! And slippey. Yes, I meant to say slippey, that's not a mistype of slippery, in case you were wondering. =) Anyway, I made it to Steph and Brian's eventually for our buffet lunch. There were a load of us there-- the Odles, the Prathers, the Ramirezes, Lo and me... and the kiddies, of course. We ate, and talked, and watched the weather. It was nice to hang out with folks, and this was a different group than I'm usually with, which made things interesting. I headed home about four, and I honestly don't remember what I did the rest of the day. Watched tv? Read? Snuggled up by the fire? Who knows. The main thing was, I stayed warm.
On Monday, it was still so cold and snowy out that this is what I did all day:
Yup, that's right. Snuggled up with hot water bottles. The nice velvety purple one is thanks to Kenny-- part of my Christmas gift. The blue fuzzy thing at my feet is the other one I have... and as my feet are always cold anyway, and heat rises, and all that stuff, I needed it there. Put my feet on top of it, and all of it on top of the blanket, which I then wrap back up and around my legs. It keeps the chill out a bit, thankfully. Especially when I'm at my desk... but that's another post entirely. The weather was worse on Monday than it had been any other day, partly because it was consistently colder than it had been. How can that be, you might ask. I wondered that myself. Global warming, my foot! But I had to get out that evening, despite the snowy, icy, slushy, slippey, awful pavements. Despite the below-freezing temperatures. Despite the snow and wind and generally yuckiness. I had to: it was book club night. But not just any book club, no sirree!
Sara Conrad was back in town.
Who, I hear you asking, is Sara Conrad? Well, only one of our original book clubbers, and a great lady. She is in town for a couple of weeks with her son, who is visiting Alex, Carolyn's youngest. The boys were the best of friends, so Sara came back to visit. And for book club! How awesome is that?! And, since it was Steph's birthday this week, and she was hosting, we had a little dinner for us *original* gals... those of us still around, anyway. It was lovely. Steph, Carrie, Carolyn, Sara and I ate and sipped wine and laughed and just generally enjoyed each other's company for nearly two hours. I cannot even begin to describe how great it was. I'm at that point now where I am not really interested in meeting new people or making new friends... I just want to keep my head down and plow through my last bits of work. And enjoy the friends I already have. So spending a very pleasant evening with *old friends* (which is funny, since I've only been in Aberdeen three and a half years) was amazing. Worth the snow. Worth the wind. Worth the cold. Worth almost wiping out on the pavements. A few times. Worth it all. Totally. And then we had book club! Which actually only added one person to our group, as everyone else bailed. Or something. But that was okay, cos we all like Betsy. =) And I honestly like book club a whole lot better when there are only five or six of us... so I was loving the whole evening. I recommend reading 'The Age of Innocence', in case anyone is wondering. After all that, Betsy dropped me off so I didn't have to walk home in the vast frozen wasteland of Aberdeen at 10pm, thank goodness!
The rest of this week-- Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday-- I have pretty much spent planted at my desk. No cinema. Little tv. Lots of sweet tea. And coffee. And chocolate... but that's another story. Only one day I got out-- Thursday I went to the post office (Jen and Mom, keep an eye out for parcels next week) and met Kristianna for coffee. And got Subway for dinner. But other than that I've been chained to my desk. Which will be discussed later... I'm tired of staring at a computer screen. Occupational hazard, I suppose.
So, all that random run-down of my Easter week and a bit... I'm not sure there was much point to it, except to make you miss being here in Aberdeen for our winter weather. =) It's still pretty cold out. And today it was cloudy and rainy... but at least it's stopped snowing!