Monday, 20 December 2010

Deep snow in Camden Town

Last Saturday in the teeth of the worst blizzard I've ever seen in North London, I ventured out to meet my daughter in Camden Town. By the time I arrived ice crystals were falling out of the sky. Camden Lock right in the heart of the famous Stables Market was covered in snow and the water was beginning to freeze in the canal.
The lock dates back to the 18th century when horses pulled the barges along the tow path.

The market opened up in 1972 on the cobbled yards outside the old warehouses and has become world famous. We had a festive mulled wine from Santa to keep us warm.

The market underwent a huge facelift recently and now there are statutes of horses everywhere and of course suitably covered in snow after the raging Arctic blizzards.

The canal looked so amazing in the snow. We crossed over the steep old bridge which also dates back to the 18th century. There were groups of young people throwing snowballs to each other from bank to bank but I was concentrating on staying on my feet.

After a while we were so frozen we settled down in my favourite cafe right on the water and watched the ducks go by. I love turning over ideas for new stories with my daughter. She has an excellent nose for what works and so we sat and talked books and ideas for over an hour.

Then we walked past Marine Ices looking decidedly chilly and out of place in the snowy landscape. This is our fave family icecream parlour and I don't remember ever seeing it in the snow.

We parted company at the iconic Chalk Farm tube rounding its red tiles between two arterial roads between Hampstead and Swiss Cottage, one of the oldest unchanged tube stations in London.

When I got back to suburban Golders Green the garden looked like a scene from an Arctic forest. I huddled down inside for the rest of the day, overheating my computer with all the ideas and poems from my trip to icy Camden Town.

English garden snow

Without warning the ground is covered
Rear windscreen a white out, wipers icing up

David Bowie gives us Major Tom on Kiss FM
 - Ground Control would never cope with this.

Cars back up in hour-long jams
Kids grab snow from my bonnet

Impatient now I run down the window
Feel the slab of deepfreeze on my skin

I want to slide home, pull on thermals
Snow boots, ski gloves,

Flick the security lights
And moonwalk onto virgin lawn

copywrite : Miriam Halahmy 2010


  1. Camden Town looks magical in your photos. How lovely that you can talk over wip with your daughter. I'm not surprised you came home with lots of inspiration. I do love your poem. (It must be the time of year for poetry. I've just written one on my blog too except it's not as 'grown up' as yours!)

  2. Thanks Kate and I'll check out your poem, Ros, how lovely!

  3. Miriam,
    Just reading your post and looking at your terrific pictures I can 'see' people rubbing their hands together in the cold and their warm breath visible as they speak.
    The hot coffee and cake looks especialy inviting inside the cafe on such a cold day.

  4. Thanks Ann. I'm hoping its much warmer in Israel, we are off to visit the family next week. I'm looking forward to blogging about it when I return, so watch this space!

  5. Great pictures mum, it really was such a cold day, but Camden looked so pretty in the snow!


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