A return to dirty paws

The butcher is starting to recognise me. She gave me a very cheery ‘hej hej’ this morning as she was opening up. I was leaning against the wall, in my usual Monday spot, and she emerged, big smile on her face, to open up the awning and put the ticket machine outside.

It made me wonder what people think when a regular stops coming. What do they think? I remember when I stopped seeing Vivienne and The Lady From St Mawes and was concerned they’d died.

But, of course, people just change; things change. One day we’ll move somewhere and the butcher will stop seeing me. For now, though, our very loose relationship will continue to light up my Monday mornings.

One big change I noticed, on the way up to the butcher, is that the lake is no longer welcoming walkers.

I wonder how many people have taken advantage of the icy shortcut across the lake. I guess the very short time of cross country skiing is over. The skis will be returned to sheds across the Stockholm area, waiting for the next time.

I was rather saddened when I walked by the home made ice rink on the way to the bus. What was a perfectly serviceable goal mouth area for young ice hockey players, was now a wet white tarp, lying on the ground. A plethora of black hockey pucks littered the ground. It hadn’t lasted very long.

Actually, it was rather misty this morning. The air around me was a white gauze. And, the once white ground is rapidly becoming more dirty piles than virgin swathes.

Something I’m appreciating is what it means when you have a good, solid snow infrastructure in place. All of those big machines roaming the footpaths and roads. Even when the snow isn’t as regular as it used to be.

As the snow gradually melts, the things that are cleared first are the things you really need: roads, footpaths, driveways.

Even the path to your house becomes ice and snow free first. Well, as long as you dig out a channel when the fall is greatest. Or your landlord does.

It works very well, making my trip to the shops very easy, if a bit slushy.

Of course, the downside to the conditions is that the girls get muddy paws every time they venture outside. Particularly given the amount of hair they now have. Kate would be aghast. Not that it bothers them.

Emma, in fact, looks far more like a teddy bear than usual, which insures she gets maximum compliments. And cuddles.

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