Richmond Park yesterday was full of children sliding happily on the icy paths. Not on the ponds, though – the ice is rarely thick enough to take a person’s weight. Everyone seemed to be chatting about the Eurostar trains which got stuck in the Channel Tunnel on Friday night and again on Saturday. Two thousand people spent the night in the Tunnel on Friday night without food or water. The reason for the breakdown: trains coming from the wintry conditions of northern France were thrown into confusion by the warmer conditions in the Tunnel. Honestly – Swiss and German Railway engineers must be laughing at us as they continue to run their perfectly punctual services through the snowy Alps.
In Richmond Park, the green parakeets who made the park their home a few years ago were shrieking as they zoomed to and fro overhead in quarrelsome groups. ‘Oh my god, it’s freezing! Whose idea was it to come here? Get me out of here!’ they seemed to be saying. It reminded me of the fashionable young lady in Erik Satie’s ‘Sports et Divertissements’, who is suddenly displeased with the ocean while she’s out paddling: ‘This is not amusing. Call me a cab!’