Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Snow Angels

Today, I was noticing the way the snow brings out the rus in urbe quality of the street that runs along the edge of The Common. Also, the way suburbia mixes historic themes in what is a positively post-modern way. This makes me wonder whether the post-modern impulse isn't essentially suburban, which I find unaccountably amusing.

Verily, a Tudor garage

A Viking longhouse garage

The strangest thing I saw on campus yesterday was a lanky red-headed youth, who was as over-excited as a toddler. He was one of a group of lads tossing a frisbee on a snow-covered lawn. Periodically, he would break off and run into some corner, where he would fling himself to the ground, rapidly do the "snow angel" thing, then race back to the group game. He may have been speeding, I suppose, but he just seemed to be overflowing with an intense doggy joie de vivre. The snow angels were clearly some sort of personal project.

Snow and students remind me of my experience as a postgraduate at the University of East Anglia in the Winter of 1976/77. We used to have proper snow in those days, of course, just as we used to have proper music. Idiotically, I tried to ride my bike through it, and went over violently sideways. I was convinced I'd broken my collarbone. I joined the limping, groaning queue of walking wounded at the hospital A&E. When my turn finally came, the doctor said to me, "Can you touch the top of your head?" After what seemed like an eternity of pain, my fingers found my cranium. "Not broken, then ... Good news! Next!" said the doc. "But it HURTS!!" I said. "Wait until you wake up tomorrow morning," he replied, "Then it will hurt. Take two Paracetamol. Next!"

A nice bit of suburban sprawl

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