“Only travel if necessary,” repeats the news as ‘The Beast from the East’ sweeps across Britain. 

What’s ‘necessary’ though? Our spices have arrived at Felixstowe Port. We’ve got one week to pick them up, and the weather reports suggest that the storm is only going to get worse, not better. 

I put a thermos of daal in the car, a bottle of water and off I go — with Tonka the Jack Russell curled up under a rug in her crate. We drive through a succession of weather fronts: crisp blue skies turn into flurries of snow and then sheet hail. 

It’s clear on the Suffolk coast, when we veer into a network of industrial estates and park the Ford Focus on the end of a row of articulate lorries. Following profuse apologies for not wearing the right high vis, and enlisting the help of a kindly fork lift truck driver, the spices are safely in the car.

Back to London — but first, a short stroll along the beach by Landguard Fort, where the snow has settled. I watch the dockyard cranes lifting containers off Mediterranean Shipping Company vessels, and hope that we will be back to pick up another shipment very soon. 

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