I went to the orange cafe today. I don't often go there, despite it being just below my house on the Archway Road. I tend to work in cafes further from home because I like a little commute to work! I call it the orange cafe because it sits underneath a giant orange awning. I have no idea if the cafe actually has a name but it seems to serve lovely croissants and panini.
I stayed close to home this morning because London was bracing itself for dreadful weather. They always make such a big deal about these sorts of things in the media, with yellow and red warnings and crazy faux scientific phrases like "Polar Vortex." Today's weather was described as "Thunder Snow." You'd think Armageddon was on its way.
The lady who works at the cafe is French, and, during the morning, one of her friends dropped by for a cappuccino and a natter. They chatted for ages, and I very much enjoyed listening to the sing-song quality of their language. I reckon that French women talk higher than the women of any other nationality. They go right up into their head voices, like little theremins. I joined the conversation later on, after a singer songwriter of some description walked into the cafe and saw the manuscript in front of me. He lives four doors down. Londoners very rarely know the people with whom they share postcodes and, well, air. He's given me his album and I'm looking forward to hearing it. He rents on the Archway Road after a messy divorce robbed him of a two-bedroom flat in Camden.
Anyway, it turns out that the French lady behind the counter was an architect who had been brought up in Chile before moving to Paris and then London. She told me all about Chile's capital, Santiago, which is, apparently, polycentric, meaning it doesn't just have one central business district. You learn something new every day!
The sheeting rain came at midday, followed by fairly heavy snow, which has settled in a "here-today-gone-tomorrow" kind of way. One assumes it will freeze solid tonight and create mayhem for commuters tomorrow morning. I'll be awoken by the sound of cars spinning out of control on their way down the A1. Or it will simply be fine... I am certainly no more aware of what thunder snow is this evening, having lived through the phenomenon.
The road where we park has effectively been marooned by road closures set up whilst they repair the broken pipe which turned the road into a river last week. There's a giant hole in the middle of Southwood Lane now, which looks a bit like it might have been created by work men who have given up on the notion of fixing a leak and decided instead to dig down to Australia!