Thursday, 7 January 2010

Lights out time

It's snowing hard again. Supposed to be the coldest night so far for snow-covered Britain, colder than Moscow. Maybe eventually colder than the North Pole (did I really hear that on the news tonight? Sounds most unlikely).



Visibility is much reduced; the unlovely distant horizon of Gateshead has disappeared. Even hideous blot-on-the-landscape tower block Vale House has had its edges smoothed and softened.




All that anyone talks about is the weather, one of our favourite national subjects generally, I know, but worse this time, much worse. Media coverage has closed our borders; nothing much else exists in the world except British weather - and the road salt crisis. There was a much-repeated news item on the BBC today that involved footage of a gritter wagon being loaded with road salt, and some people pushing a car. Zzzzzz.....

It's wonderful, anyway, this wintry whiteout. Of course, I have the luxury of not having to drive/walk to work, or even go out further than a few yards from the back door, plus a dog that doesn't want to walk even that far now that the snow reaches her shoulders, and a fridge and a freezer that have kept me going without having to dig the car out to risk a trip to a supermarket. I might have to trek to the corner shop tomorrow, though, because I'm getting down to the permafrost of rhubarb in the freezer, and that scary whole trout that Lynn gave me ages ago.



Millie and I gaze out of the attic window at the swirling snowflakes. She thinks her private thoughts ("did she mention trout?"); I think about the deep, deep snowfall of 1963 that kept us in our boarding school, minus the day pupils, milk deliveries or letters from home, completely cut off from the outside world for 3 whole days. We still had the compulsory daily walk in full uniform, in snow up to our (bare, chapel-hardened) knees, forbidden to throw snowballs or evince any outward sign of enjoyment, but it felt like fun.

This feels like fun too. Want to hear my story of the gritter wagon? Well, it all began when the first snowfall - now was that a Thursday? no, it was a Wednesday........ zzzzz.....

8 comments:

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

Colder than the North Pole..what?

and your kitty looks so cute in the window...

stay cozy and warm,dear one

fondly,
kary and her kittys
xxx

Marie said...

I heard that on the news as well Rachael. -16.4 in Cheshire last night. It is some cold even here in Kent. We kept the little electric heater on down here in the kitchen on low all night so our dog wouldn't be too cold. Didn't want to leave the gas on as we are a bit afraid we will run out and none will be delivered. It really has been a horrible few days with no end in sight!! Stay safe and stay warm! xxoo

mountainear said...

Brrrr here as well. No surprises there then. I feel the onset of cabin fever - thank goodness for the t'internet eh?

Susan said...

The pictures as usual are lovely

but "we" were tres disappointed that Miss Millie's thoughts did not include a handsome (and very athletic) tabby cat from across the Pond - surely only an omission on the scribe's part - that is what "he" will tell himself lest "he" finds himself sulking and pining away endlessly dans la clean, dry and spare basement. She is a beauty - even in silhouette. xo Oliver & S

BumbleVee said...

yes I do... I love to hear stories of things with unusual and fun names. We call ours the sanding trucks. Yours sound to me like cute little wagons pulled by hand ... but, then, I do have a silly imagination...

Ours are huge trucks that spray wide arcs of sand/salt mix (almost gravel..there are some pretty big rocks in the mix) and the salt added is only on the days when the temperature is right for it to work... I think the temperature has to be above -15C or some thing like that... They make a pass and manage to cover half a roadway..... then they go by once again... it gets the road and plenty of it finds my lawn as well. We are on a corner lot...so.. the whole corner from front street to back alleyway gets it and gets it good. Spring is plenty of cleanup. We all sweep and rake up great piles of the stuff. Some of us pick it up ourselves... others just wait. There is a day in May ... when a convoy of 6 street sweepers..plus watering trucks, plus dump trucks to help empty the sweepers... every spring.... it's a sight to behold.

If it were me....and knowing what I know about melting snow....I would be shoveling like crazy if I were in a low lying area... ....moving it as far away from doorways and the sides of my house as possible..... and moving important things to higher ground or an upstairs room....for the day it melts...

We are getting a Chinook beginning today.... yesterday it was -21C... and this morning it has already gone up to -4C... by tomorrow...it will soar to +6C ....... I'm all shoveled out.... just in case...

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Cycled to work this morning round 8 o'clock .....well , cycled and walked alternately since only the main roads are clear , the side roads now resembling Richmond Ice Rink . My two colleagues made it in too and we just sat like shell shocked penguins for half an hour while a few brave mothers hauled their children in on sleds .
Then we let them glue cotton wool balls onto cut out snowmen , read a story about a snowman and we all went home .
And tomorrow there's METERS of snow forecast . Where's it all coming from ??

rachel said...

Siberia.

Von said...

That's global warming and climate change for you!
great icicle!
Keep warm,dry and content.

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