Saturday, 19 January 2013

no snow

The promised heavy snow didn't materialise overnight.  We had a light dusting, but no more.  The authorities are still predicting the worst, with stern warnings on the BBC Essex website from the police to motorists to Be Prepared.  There is heavy snow shown throughout Sunday on the Met Office five day forecast for Colchester, and regional warnings for snow and ice stretching out until Tuesday, when, rather prosaically, it is going to rain.  It's going to be rather a let-down if, after all this anticipation of ferocious weather and precautionary cancellation of tomorrow's lunch, nothing much happens in Essex after all.

I needn't have insisted on taking my beekeepers accounts over yesterday evening to our examiner in Clacton if I'd known it wasn't going to snow heavily in the night.  I thought that if and when it did snow hard I'd never get there at all, and the AGM is on Thursday.  Clacton seafront is a pretty desolate spot in January after dark, even when it's not snowing.  The red warning lights on the wind turbines out on the Gunfleet have an air of eerie desolation, and light up the sea just enough to show you how unpleasant it is.  On a windy night like yesterday the cold cuts through to your bones.

The examiner rang mid morning, to ask about the subscriptions included in expenses.  I explained that these were repayments of subs overpaid in error, plus the bank reversing out a cheque which bounced.  He didn't ring again, and as the morning wore on I thought this was a good omen.  After lunch he e-mailed to say he approved the accounts, which was a relief.  They are rather untidy accounts, income being a hybrid of gross income, and surpluses on events banked by the organisers after deducting costs.  I was afraid that a proper accountant might object to them, though I had done my best with the information presented to me by my fellow club members.  Fortunately it turns out that most small club accounts look like that.

The Systems Administrator's great friend in Hitchin is Treasurer of the local cricket club, whose income includes match fees.  I never thought about how you would structure the membership fees of a village cricket club, but apparently it is very cheap to join, then you pay per match if you play, to cover direct costs of the match including balls and your tea, as well as a contribution to the club's running costs.  It's something like a tenner a game, which sounded quite a lot to me, but I suppose you should view it as similar to a gym membership.  In theory the captain collects the match fees from his players on the day.  In theory.  In practice members run up tabs then pay for several matches at once, so that it's quite complicated from the Treasurer's point of view keeping track of who is fully paid up, versus who still owes.  Remind me not to offer to help with the finances of any village cricket clubs.

After lunch I started off the dough for some milk rolls, going back to my ancient Good Housekeepers cookery book.  The bread book I used for the wholemeal recipe and the stollen, which both worked, is rather sniffy when it comes to rolls, talking about how the flavour is improved by two stage fermentation processes.  That would be fine if I'd started off stage one yesterday, but I didn't.  I just want some rolls to go with the soup for supper.

Settling down to cook brought the unwelcome discovery that my iPod was malfunctioning.  It normally lives on a docking station in the kitchen, whose two small speakers produce remarkably decent sound quality, and it was working beautifully before Christmas, but is now jumping slightly within tracks, like the stylus on a turntable if the floor is vibrating.  The SA tried wriggling the iPod on its connector in case the connection was faulty, but that didn't improve matters, then tested the iPod quickly with headphones, since my hands were covered in dough and I don't have any headphones.  It still jumped.  That means it is the iPod and not the docking station.  Blast.  It is a fairly old iPod, but not that heavily used.  I'm not impressed.  Look at our Marantz stereo system, still going strong and only needing a new amp after nearly twenty years.

If we don't get heavy snow tomorrow, or any snow at all, then there will have been no need to cancel our pub lunch.  I wish the forecasters would get it right.  Over-forecasting everything just to be on the safe side might make the Met Office and authorities feel better, but it doesn't help the rest of us.

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