The thermometer was reading only half a degree below freezing when I got up this morning, an improvement on the last few days, but the wind made it feel much colder as I crouched outside in the chicken run, trying to knock the block of ice out of the bottom of their water container. Looking at the weather forecast over my breakfast porridge I discovered that the forecast snow had shifted later, but with more of it. Heavy snow was no longer expected until nine in the evening, plus or minus an hour and a half, versus heavy snow expected by six tonight when I went to bed yesterday. On the other hand, the forecast for the weekend had got snowier, with more or less constant falls expected through Saturday and Sunday.
This left me with the dilemma of whether or not to try and get to the concert. My usual route involves two steep hills, and the last time it snowed heavily and I ventured to go to work, the hill on the Suffolk side wasn't gritted at all. I managed to drive there and back then without disaster, but made a mental note at the time not to do it again. I searched the Met Office site for a five day forecast for the nearest place to the concert, and began to doubt the reliability of the forecasts, since they seemed to differ so much. How could Hadleigh get heavy snow all day when Manningtree was only expected to have a few sprinkles?
Even if I got to the concert, I would not be likely to enjoy it very much if I were sitting all the time wondering how hard it was snowing now, and what the drive home would be like, and whether I would even be able to get out of the car park. By late morning I'd come down on the side of not going, and was just starting to compose an apologetic message to the Secretary, warning her that I probably wouldn't be coming and so wouldn't be bringing any fishy nibbles, when an e-mail popped into my in-box. Interrupting myself to open it I discovered that it was from the Secretary. CONCERT THIS EVENING CANCELLED. That solved that problem, then, though it leaves me with a lot of mackerel pate. It isn't suitable for home freezing, I checked on the pot yesterday.
Two minutes later another e-mail arrived. CANCELLATIION OF THIS EVENING'S CONCERT. The Secretary reiterated the information given in the first e-mail, and apologised if we'd received it twice, but she had received a failure notice. Cancellatio9n of concert tonight. She had received another failure notice. I felt for her. The pianist is stuck in Vienna due to flight cancellations. He was supposed to be giving a master class to aspirant local pianists tomorrow, as well as today's concert. Everything will have to be rescheduled.
The Systems Administrator asked whether we were insured for losses on the concert, since we will have hired in the piano to no good purpose, and I realised that I didn't know the answer. The Treasurer always seems to deal with that side of things. It is the un-nerving thing about being the beekeepers' Treasurer, wondering what I am supposed to be dealing with but haven't, because I never thought of it.
Meanwhile, I contacted the friends in London we were going to meet for lunch on Sunday in a pub mid-way between us, suggesting that in view of the forecast we'd better put that off, and rang the pub to un-book the table. I don't suppose they were surprised, but it seemed polite to give them some notice.