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It’s snowing: cancel everything

A bit of snow fell on Friday and the country came to a standstill.

There simply wasn’t enough salt and shovels to go round and as a consequence everything had to be cancelled.

Even though not all of the country was affected by the snowfall, in the interests of equality, a blanket ban was imposed on all activities, from car boot sales in Swatragh to historical battle re-enactments in Island Magee.

For some people the list of cancellations included electricity.

Power cuts are strange events whereby all logic is suspended. I’ve lost count of the number of times during a power cut when I’ve forgotten myself and tried the light switch. And then surprised myself by turning on the tap to find the power cut hasn’t affected my running water.

During Friday’s black out, with Lucy tucked up in bed, Karen proposed a game of chess by candle light. Just as I went upstairs to retrieve the Simpsons’ chess set and fulfil our ‘back to basics’ fantasy the power came back on so we just sat and watched TV instead without talking to each other.

In a bizarre twist, the advent of smartphones meant that although people were in darkness because of the power cut they were still able to access social network sites to inform their friends and followers that they were without power.

I read on Facebook how someone compared their powerless plight to that of someone from Victorian era.

It must have been awful being around during Victorian times - it took you half a day to heat a room, three days to run a hot bath and you needed a spare room in which to store a week’s supply of candles. As if it wasn’t bad enough that people had to work hard for their heat, hot water and light, they’d no Facebook to tell their friends about their hardships.

Social networking did actually exist in Victorian times but it was a lot more cumbersome as demonstrated by this previously unpublished entry from the diary of everyone’s favourite historical pedant Samuel Pepys.

A street urchin called at my door today. She had with her a large portrait which appeared to be of the urchin herself wearing an outdated item of headware that looked like it may have been early Georgian.

I enquired as to why she had brought this portrait to my door. She asked me if I liked the portrait. I said I didn’t. Regardless, she asked if I cared to make a comment on her portrait. She told me five people from this street alone had liked the portrait, but she’d yet to receive a comment about it.

Furious at the interruption to my evening routine, I replied, ‘Please remove yourself from my doorway with your inane imagery and should you care to return on an errand to gain self-assurance or otherwise you will be met with a firm biff on your grubby little nose.’

‘What about if I just put you down for an LOL?’ enquired the urchin as the door was slammed in her face.

Boss’s nuptials escape big freeze

One of the few events to escape cancellation this weekend was my boss’s nuptials.

Along with several hacks from our office I attended the wedding reception for the newly titled Mr and Mrs Bushe in the Old Inn in Crawfordsburn on Saturday night.

Myself and Karen got married in the Old Inn just over five years ago. Sadly Karen couldn’t make it this time round due to her protruding belly, but in her absence I availed of numerous trips to the buffet to feed my own slightly less protruding belly.

I was a bit disappointed to learn that as a huge cricket fan Alistair hadn’t walked down the aisle with a guard of honour holding cricket bats nor had he worn any of his cricket whites.

It was only as the newly weds looked longingly into each other’s eyes during the first dance (Starship’s ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now - an unconventional choice that went down a storm) that it dawned on me that the cricket references at Alistair’s wedding were a lot more subtle than I’d bargained on.

Alistair was the ‘catch’ that Kelly intended to hold on to. Meanwhile his bride’s beaming smile bore witness to the fact the Waringstown man had ‘bowled a maiden over’.

Weekly teaser

The answer to last week’s teaser was: The men are both widowers and are now married to each others’ daughter hence when the two women approach them both men can legitimately say, “Here comes my wife and daughter.”

Here’s this week’s teaser: What is the only word in the English dictionary that has a silent ‘z’?