Snow & Serendipity in old London town


The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way: “a fortunate stroke of serendipity”.

Firstly I must start this post by apologising to those of you I have fallen out of touch with recently you know who you are. I know I have been full of promises as to returning emails and the like and have genuinely just been well…distracted.

I finally saw my first snow – real snow, not just the sleet we mistook for snow weeks earlier. It was forecast one Sunday morning and we didn’t expect an awful lot as we had a very small snowfall about two weeks beforehand which I somehow managed to miss entirely one morning. The weather forecast said 8:30am – how they can predict it down to the  hour is beyond me but at 8:15 there was no sign of snow so myself and my roommate Roxanne shrugged it off and I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and as I was brushing my teeth I looked out the window and saw one solitary snowflake followed by another and another and another. As I was walking to the station the snow started falling properly all around me, the locals were rolling their eyes and going ‘God here we go again’ but I was in my element, it was really magical and totally worth the wait. I remember arriving in the production office in Soho and looking out from the window of our office with the view of the London eye and watching the beautiful snow falling down so very softly and thinking to myself ‘Oh my goodness I’m really here…’ it was a wonderful moment. I tried to take photo’s but it seemed that no photography could truly capture that moment. The streets of London looked almost unrecognisable with a thick layer of snow covering them. Our street Chillerton road seemed so quiet and eerily calm blanketed in the white stuff, transport came to a standstill – children would run into the streets at random and pelt snowballs at passers-by and myself and my housemates embarked on a journey to the local park to build a giant snowman and get caught up in the romance of it all. My favorite part is the feel of the snow not long after it has fallen. It has this light squeaky sound when you stomp through it with your boots almost like walking through squeaky sand but not quite. It is so much fluffier than I imagined and less cold, it only seems to get icy after it has had time to settle, in which case you need to be so careful when walking over it as it gets very slippery.

Since my last post so much has happened I am struggling to know where to begin. Sadly Winter Wonderland finished up for the year – funnily enough right before the snow actually decided to make an appearance. NYE marked the rapid entry of my new special friend who I will name Mr G…. no, no that’s too obvious let’s just call him Mr Smart (That was a Simpsons reference –  funnily enough Simpsons referencing has cropped up by this new friendship with Mr Glen Michael Smart…. oh whoops!)

I was coming home from my first ever shift at Winter Wonderland – sitting on the train exhausted I didn’t manage to get up from my seat when the train stopped at Kennington (where I was supposed to change as the train terminates) out of nowhere – literally I heard a friendly voice say ‘You need to change here…’ awoken from my zombie-like daze I muttered something along the lines of ‘Thanks I’m so exhausted I was completely zoned out’ I walked to the platform and my mysterious helper enquired as to my Australian accent – he realised we were both Australian, not completely uncommon in London but a talking point nonetheless I politely answered him but was still quite tired so didn’t make much of an effort to extend the conversation until he sat down in front of me and lo and behold he was wearing a Winter Wonderland pass around his neck so I started talking to him again. I was able to deduce that he was working on one of the rides and lived in the same area as me, we chatted the entire journey home before he asked me for my number as we parted ways, I thought nothing of it at the time. Lonely still in this strange new city I happily gave it to him thinking I would never hear from him again. I was wrong though and a few weeks later we both found ourselves working NYE so planned to savour what was left of our evening and go out after work. He took me to a great pub in Clapham and as we sat drinking our spirits mixed inside coke bottles outside ala rebellious teenagers at a school disco and as we chatted I realised we actually shared a lot in common. We had a great night talking to some toothless drunk regular at the bar, slow dancing to Eternal flame and making friends with a bunch of English drunks who bought us a shot even though we were quite heavily inebriated by this point. As we counted down the new year I was starting to think to myself perhaps 2013 might be different for me. The night ended abruptly however with me vomiting in his toilet while he held my hair. Ever the gentleman he put me to bed and after vomiting again in the bucket beside the bed I assumed I would probably never hear from this guy again and was so embarrassed I shrunk out quietly the next morning as he slept.

But again I was wrong – he offered to take me out in Camden a few weeks later and we had alot of fun again at a cool live music venue/ art gallery called PROUD in Camden.

The next thing I knew my newfound friend has announced that he was deciding whether or not to return to Melbourne (much to my dismay) as I had finally found someone over here I could be completely myself around. So when he mentioned he wanted to go to Edinburgh for a few days to clear his head and invited me along I just dropped everything and went. By this time I had well and truly finished Winter Wonderland but by a stroke of luck what was supposed to be one weeks worth of freelance production work ended up turning into a huge job that took weeks which couldn’t have come at a better time as I was still helplessly waiting for my paycheck from Winter Wonderland. It was the freedom/cash in hand nature of this new job that allowed me to pick up and leave with him at such short notice. So there we were – hiring a little car to drive up to Edinburgh for a few days. Part of me wondered whether it was a good idea or not – but I just told that part of my head to shut the fuck up, and I’m glad I did. Without having a proper GPS it took us three hours just to get out of London and although we had some pretty tense moments we shrugged it off and were soon on our way to Edinburgh. Chatting constantly about anything and everything openly and honestly like old friends. We arrived in Edinburgh late that night and headed straight for the castle so I could show him the great views from up there. The next day we took in a walking tour and ended up booking a pub crawl which allowed us free pub crawl entry over Australia day as well which was a bonus. We made friends with an Aussie guy Hamish and decided to hike up Arthur’s seat (or is it chair? I keep confusing it) with Hamish – which was all fun and games going up but coming down –  what with the snow build up was absolute murder considering I was wearing my cheapo Woolworths uggboots and as nightfall approached it quickly became a Bear Grylls type hike down as I slid on my arse three times which I acknowledge would’ve been hilarious to watch and is pretty funny looking back but I was hung over and I hurt my backbone quite badly. But Glen came to my rescue time and again, in what turned out to be a rather stressful descent down the mountain.

Only two weeks later I was on the road again on a Wicked van tour of the UK with all my housemates as we had planned the trip about a month before determined to get out of London for the week. We made a huge playlist of songs, bought a whole lot of snacks and planned to camp in the middle of winter around the UK crazy – ahh yes…. but Glen surprisingly took up my invitation to come along which made it even better. Stopping at Stonehenge, Bath and Cardiff (due to ridiculous weather conditions and poor planning on our part – (basically we tried pitching a tent in Gale force winds and hail in the middle of a caravan park in Cardiff) we ended up doing a runner that night and parking our van in the middle of a suburban street  then all cramming into the camper van for the night, Glen and I slept sitting upright in the front.