Linda had been wondering what might replace her husband’s latest fascination with the weather…
“Doug’s obsessed with weather forecasts,” Linda told her friend Anna. “He looks at them online, listens to them on the radio and reads them in the newspapers.
“And then he watches them on TV. He can’t seem to focus on anything else.”
“What was he into before?”Anna asked.
“Well, he likes engines and machinery, doing up classic vehicles and the like. But he’s been a bit unsettled since he started his new job.
“He misses his old colleagues and has yet to bond with any of his new ones. He’s finding it hard to fit in.”
“Well, I’m sure he’ll be fine,” Anna replied. “Are you still up for our shopping trip on Saturday?”
“Yes! I’m looking forward to it.”
Linda planned on buying a coat.
“Not that Doug will notice,” she predicted. “Isobars and wind-chill factors are all he talks about.
“We’re down for snow at the weekend so he’s being more vigilant than usual.
“I can’t see what all the fuss is about; snow is normal for the time of year – in fact, in this country, it’s normal any time of the year!”
Later, they watched a TV weather girl waving her hands over a map of the UK.
Linda was more interested in the lovely dress she was wearing than her predictions. Perhaps she could find something similar on her shopping spree.
“What time are you coming home on Saturday?” Doug asked after the weather forecast had finished.
“Late – we thought we’d get a meal after shopping, assuming we’ve got any money left.”
“Well, leave the car here, get a cab to the station. The temperature is going to plummet so if the locks on the car freeze up, you’re snookered,” he said.
“But how will I get home?”
“There’ll be a cab at the station, there always is.”
“Can’t you drop me off and pick me up?” she asked.
“I’m not driving about in ice and snow,” Doug huffed. “Weren’t you listening to the news? The police are warning against unnecessary journeys – I think you should cancel your trip.”
Linda pretended she hadn’t heard.
Saturday morning arrived. Despite thegloomy forecasts, it was the perfect winter’s day with a clear blue sky and crisp, cold air.
“If it starts snowing, come straight home.” Doug peered at the sky, disappointed by the lack of grey clouds.
“Or I could check into a hotel,” Linda replied, warming to the thought of fluffy towels and plump pillows.
With a bit of luck, she’d be snowed in all week…
“The Met Office never mentioned any of this.” Blinded by brilliant sunshine as she got off the train, Linda fished around in her bag for sunglasses. “It was all grit, snow ploughs and salt on the news this morning. Doug wanted me to stay home.”
“He shouldn’t put so much faith in the forecasts,” Anne replied. “They’re so often wrong.”
But they’re often right, too… and two hours later, Linda shivered as she dragged one of her purchases out of its bag.
“I’m going to put on the coat I’ve just bought,” she said, brushing snowflakes aside. Where had they suddenly come from?
“The snow’s coming down thick and fast,” Anna said. “And it’s settling…”
Linda checked her phone. Doug would be frantic. She’d have to fob him off, tell him the snow wasn’t so bad in London…
But there were no missed calls or messages.
After a meal, they headed for the station, relieved the trains were running on time.
There were no cabs waiting when Linda exited the train. Anna had got off at an earlier stop, so she was alone.
She phoned for a taxi – no answer.
She was about to call Doug, when a cab appeared, headlights piercing two beams in the darkness, highlighting the snowflakes as they piled up on the ground.
Ten minutes later she was home, with Doug… and an unknown man.
“I’ve been here all afternoon,” Chris said, after they’d been introduced. “Doug and I work together, and I remembered him mentioning an old motorbike he’d restored.
“I need help with my latest project – it’s my first attempt at renovating anything. We’ve been looking up stuff online and making plans…”
“He’s bought a classic car,” Doug interrupted. “I’m going to see it tomorrow.”
“You’ll be lucky,” Linda said. “In fact, you might have to stay the night, Chris.”
“Why?” Doug asked.
With the heating cranked up and the curtains drawn, neither of them had noticed the change in the weather.
Doug opened the back door.
“Wow,” he said as he took in the winter wonderland. “The forecast was spot on.”
Linda hung up her new coat – Doug hadn’t even noticed it.
But then she’d predicted that!
Our My Weekly Favourites series of lovely feel-good fiction from our archives continues on Mondays and Thursdays. Look out for the next one.
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