Friday, December 25, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Thursday evening last, it started to snow -- blizzarding enough that Karen's evening call carers got lost on the way back, took the wrong turn and ended up stuck in the snow on a farm road, and had to be towed out by tractor.

Friday, the snow was drifted deep against the front door, and going out to the village shop, it was calf-deep in places where it had drifted. A definite work from home day.

Saturday, pulled my boots on, and yomped the footpaths across the fields into town to do some shopping, on an exhilarating crisp winter's morning, where the long grass was sticking through the snow like through blown sand on a beach. Traffic was horrid in town, and for the return journey, when I went part of the way along the main road, the snow had clearly turned to slush and been refrozen, horrible going. So on the last, off-road, leg, when I was getting tired and footsore, when confronted by a pitbull thing, I just kept on going. This unsetled it, and when I got within about six feet, in pronked off and started circling, despite being yelled at by its human. I eventually had just to grab the thing by the harness and wait for the lead to be clipped back on.

Deep and crisp and even

Deep and crisp and even

Sunday, I thought it would be a good idea to clear the drive -- but under what looked like nigh virgin snow there was a thick layer of ice. Monday, worked from home again, did some clearing -- though the main bus-route through the village was still thick with ice (no gritting done whatsoever). Tuesday, discover that the other road through the village was clear, so very gingerly make the short drive onto the clear road and the long main-road detour to work. Head home after lunch, expecting the other end of the village to be as clear as the way I went in the morning -- to find a horrible scary drive.

Worked from home the rest of the week, probably getting more done than had I gone in. Yesterday afternoon wheeled the bike out to the main road, then cycled to the nearest supermarket for some last minute food shopping. The main roads were clear, but some of the side roads near the supermarket were sheet ice (one gentle slide to my knees while wheeling over that on the way back).

Today, the thaw was setting in, but there was still snow lying morning and evening -- the first white Christmas I can remember, certainly in the 20+ years living here. the main road was clear, and in the close, the ice was soft and breaking into slush where cars were driving -- but some of the pavements (especially uncleared driveways) were solid slippery sheet ice. One old gent visiting the family for the day managed to get stuck for lack of traction, until I helped him.

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