Can Everton Jones find out how his father stole Emperor Bokassa’s diamonds and, more importantly, where he hid them; before the world and his brother get there first?
Click on the picture link in the sidebar to read an extract of my first novel, which was published by Paradise Press in August 2012.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Christmas is cancelled.

“Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.” That’s the quote. Well it looks like the White Christmas the nation’s been waiting years for has finally arrived. Four days to go and no sign of any of the damn stuff even beginning to melt. Queues for Eurostar out of St. Pancras and round the block as far as the British Library, Trains running a limited timetable, my favourite Tring-Euston service suspended altogether, artics jack-knifing all over the place, pavements covered in foul black slush and all because of a single snow storm on Saturday. At least it’s so cold that the snow hasn’t melted and then refrozen. It’s fairly safe to walk on. Last year the sideroads in London were like glass. To top it all, my brother decided to spend Christmas with his wife’s relations in Cornwall this year. So my festive season was already delayed until after boxing day. Yesterday a foot of snow landed on Devon, and they are not sure if it’s sensible to go. So last minute changes of plan all round. We may have the family Christmas after all, and on the right day, but will we have a turkey? I called them last night and, although they’d been helping the neighbours murder the turkeys they farm, they hadn’t ordered one themselves until after Christmas. Even the trains are problematic, so there’s a real possibility I won’t be able to get up to see them anyway. Compound all of this with a train strike called by ASLEF grounding London Midland trains on the 23rd and crippling the Tube network on Boxing Day and the problem just gets worse. Apparently the points are freezing up, and Network Rail have had to set them all to “straight ahead” so the trains can get through, but this means they can’t serve all routes. Train doors are even freezing shut, so I could be unable to get out when—or rather if—I ever make it up to Staffordshire.

And the worst thing is, the snowfall was accurately predicted days in advance. It’s embarrassing. There was an interview with the last government’s chief scientific adviser on the Today programme this morning. Very interesting. It seems the “North Atlantic Oscillation”—an irregular, periodic, variation between the low air pressure over Iceland and the high pressure over the Azores—is responsible. The pressure difference has oscillated back down to the levels last seen in the ’60’s. Which reduces the impetus to warm atlantic air and lets gusts of icy, snowy, wind down from the arctic from time to time. Here’s a graphic which illustrates it all very clearly (we’re in “negative mode” at present).The cold snap back in the sixties lasted several years. That makes the politicians’ excuses that we’ve just had three cold winters in a row look rather lame. That the outgoing chief scientist clearly advised them this was no flash in the pan years ago exposes their lack of planning as shamefully cynical penny-pinching.

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