Monday, February 02, 2009

Snow Day!

There can hardly be two words that are as pleasant to a teacher's ear than the blessed, "Snow day"! Growing up in Scotland, we were lucky enough as pupils to have had a fair few; sometimes a few snow days would begin with an early closure, where we would all have to wait in the hall and would be called out a bus load at a time, "Those going to Auchinthingumbyjig, leave now." "The bus to Inverwhatjamacallit is about to depart." Sometimes we wouldn't even need snow; we were blessed in those days with a slightly dodgy boiler, which would occasionally break down and occasion the need to evacuate the school.

Nowadays I live in the slightly warmer parts of South East England, that is, London. Snow days are fair and few between. So it is quite exciting to have one today! Now, I realise that the weather conditions are making travel difficult for many people, and quite a few cars have been going (mostly slowly) along the road this morning. I don't envy those who have to make journeys today. However, I got the call just before I left the house at 7am, and I have spent an hour or so frollicking in the snow, taking photos and making snow angels. Highly recommended! I am sure that many of the photos will turn out to be blurry, because it's not really advisable to use the flash when the snow is falling, unless you like big white blobs all over your photos, and since it was quite dark, they need a longish exposure (and I wasn't going to frollick with a tripod). Anyway, it was fun!

Actually, the fun began last night, when H and I went to the ICA to see Mark Leckey give a talk about the Long Tail. I had no idea what to expect, and thought it would be some sort of pretty boring lecture; I was pleasantly surprised to discover a cross between a lecture and a performance, very entertainingly presented, with good use of multimedia (no powerpoints!!) including music and a gramaphone. Mark Leckey won the Turner Prize this year, which for once had sort of passed me by; I am now more interested in seeing some more of his art. It was also my first visit to the ICA; we are going back on Thursday to see Giles Foden talking to Tom Perotta.

Walking up the road round the corner from the Mall, taking photos in the snow, we passed a nice looking restaurant and decided to pop in. It was a Lebanese restaurant called Noura. Since we are in a credit crunch, I decided to try one of the cheaper main dishes on the menu, Musakaat Batenjan with rice, Baked seasoned aubergine cooked with tomato and chick peas, served with rice. H had the lamb skewers with salad. I have to say, I think I came out on top - particularly on such a cold, wintery night. The succulent aubergines, having soaked up the tomato juices, were just the right texture; soft and a bit gooey, not too oily or slimy. The chickpeas crumbled in my mouth, not like the hard little balls I have eaten before. And the rice, long and wild, each grain separate and special, was the ideal accompaniment.

On the home we took photos in the snow, before having a late night - all the more reason to appreciate a snow day! And, there, we're back to where we started. I'm going to go and catch up on that missing sleep now!