The Snow City

The forecast was gales and driving rain with no possibility of a let-up.

The event was outside with no shelter.

The problem was, I’d left it a bit late to cancel. Knowing that the weather has provided miracles for us every time so far, I believed – superstitiously – that things would clear up. But the downpour just got steadily heavier.

I knew any email I sent out on the day might not be picked up by everyone. Basically, someone had to be there just in case.

So Nigel and I (and my sister and bro-in-law, bless them) shlepped down to the Millennium Bridge – just in case – and we found a surprisingly large group of people waiting for us. They were all clad in best waterproofs and stylish looking hats. (Not that I’m biased, but I do think London Dreamtime audiences wear the best clothes!)

No chickening out for us.

Can you believe, yet again, the weather defied the forecast? The rain stopped for the duration of our walk, beginning again with added vigour as we returned to the car.

Anyway, we lit the hurricane lamps and began by the edge of the Thames. I’d hoped for quiet, but at first the crowds of drunken partygoers were a constant backdrop to the story. As the night wore on, the City got quieter and emptier, and by the time we’d made our way to a hidden corner of the Barbican, it was dark and utterly deserted. When storytelling is at its best, the alchemic combination of teller and listener transports us into another universe. ‘Magical’ is the best word. Thanks to the wonderful audience on Saturday, we had a genuine moment of magic out there.

All pics by Kath Woolf except the last one, which is by Dana Bubulj – many thanks!