Well, after a mere eight months, we’re back with Fimbulwinter, and moreover, negotiating it in tandem with a teaching term, which hasn’t happened before. Our old friend Hayseed Taxis has had to give up but we now have a new taxi-man in our lives, Gordon the Calm. Our car became immovable yesterday, and today, not only was I teaching, the Professor was laudating the recipient of an honorary degree. We had to be in on time, so we slogged up the snowy track and met Gordon the Calm at the garden centre. A great deal more snow continued to fall: Gordon came for us to get back, and we stopped off in Turriff to ensure that we had enough animal food and so on to stand a bit of a siege. We then had to walk everything, the shopping, the Professor’s gown and so forth, and our teaching bags, down the mile and a half of track through a foot of snow and a blizzard which felt a bit more like Scott of the Antarctic than was strictly pleasant. As I was rushing about campus this morning in my wellies — slush over cobbles, horrible — I felt for a poor little lady in a silk sari and sandals, who was cowering under the archway to King’s Quad. But in other quarters there was rejoicing: while the salt-treated roads were brown slush, most of campus was under four inches of snow. Yesterday, a seven-foot snowman was constructed in the middle of the quad. Business Studies and the like were getting degrees this morning, and a large proportion of them were Africans — so the place was full of beaming black students in red gowns getting their parents to take pictures of them with the snowman against a background of the snowy chapel, with a huge amount of good humour and ‘they’ll never believe this back home’.