On Wednesday I got a lift to Uxbridge, bought a bike from a secondhand bike workshop there, and set off to cycle it to Slough, then take the train back to Oxford. Meanwhile, some cold air wafted over the country, sending (average?) temperatures down to the lowest they’ve been since 1991. The Met Office issued red warnings for snow and schools were closed, people couldn’t get to work, the usual disruption. It was only around -4°C in Slough, rising to -2°C at mid-day, which pales in comparison to parts of Scotland and some of the worst-hit areas.

Here we are setting off from Uxbridge:

my bike in the park

Here’s where the Grand Union Canal splits off towards Slough:

Grand Union Canal

The canal was frozen over.

As I approached Slough it started snowing pretty heavily:

bike by the frozen canal

I was alone at this point, and all quiet aside from the crunching of my wheels on the ground. Every other sound muffled by the soft layer of snow. Nobody else is silly enough to go out for a ride in these conditions.

Here are some birds walking on the frozen canal:

pair of old coots

I looked them up on the internet and they’re coots. A pair of coots.

Slough isn’t a nice town, but it has a surprisingly neat little train station:

Slough station

Look at that thing! It’s got the curved roof, the antique clock, the archways… if only the rest of Slough looked like that.

In the end I got my bike on the train, and escorted it all the way back home with no problems. Here it is in our garden:

my new bike

Yesterday, it snowed again, and I went in to town. Oxford town centre is already pictoresque enough for thousands of tourists every year, and it’s even more so in the snow.

Here’s Turl street in the snow:

Turl street

Fisher row and the Castle Mill stream:

Fisher row

Bulwarks lane:

Bulwarks lane

I didn’t bring a hat so covered myself with a headscarf, got extremely chilly.

selfie with purple headscard

Here’s a doorway from one of my favourite (and most obscure) little streets in Oxford:

behind St John street

Only a week to go until I visit the USA again, and the snow outside is falling heavier now. Megan sent me this picture of Claremont:

playing in the sun and having fun, fun, fun

Next week can’t come fast enough.