From my diary

Snow here. I had to leave work at lunchtime on Wednesday and have been home since. This morning I couldn’t see where my driveway was! I tried to drive to work this morning, but I had to turn back. The roads were not too bad, but accidents were happening, and a bridge near me was closed.

On the way to and fro, I saw that the temperature on my car thermometer dropped to -8.5°C and stayed there for mile after mile. My screenwash froze, but I fixed that by adding anti-freeze to it. However at that temperature, I was pretty nervous whether the anti-freeze in the engine coolant would be OK, if I left the car outside all day.

But one positive effect of all this (unpaid) time off is that I have been working on editing the Eusebius, Gospel Problems and Solutions.  Today has mostly been about tidying up.  There is such a large amount of physical labour involved in doing a book.  This evening I’ve been adding references to each extract given by Mai from Jerome’s Commentary on Matthew.  Simple stuff, but time-consuming.  I posted off materials to correct the Latin fragments to the translator yesterday.

I’ve had to order various books.  My original plan was a day-trip to Cambridge, but this has gone out of the window with the snow.  So I am reliant on an inter-library loan system that is both expensive — $8 per loan — and slow and unreliable.  Here’s hoping!

The snow has also brought other problems, with plumbing and health.  Fortunately I have been able to deal with them all!

But … aside from the urgent unimportancies of life… the snow is beautiful.  I am reminded of the line in the Silmarillion where the evil of Morgoth in devising bitter cold produces a wonderland of ice.  So it is here. 

I found myself yesterday evening, when I had put the car away, just standing outside my front door and pausing.  All was still.  The road was full of snow.  The sky was dark, but light was reflected from the snow onto the underside of clouds, and the world was light anyway.  I just stood there… and watched the magic of winter.  We must, we really must stop, and look around us.  Store up these memories, memories of beauty.

Then I hastily ran into the house!


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