Tuesday, 14 December 2010
The serious side of this weather.
The farmer has been with me to Tesco again this morning - now that I am not allowed to drive he is marvellous at coming along with me - and I do sincerely thank him for that.
According to the weather forecast we are in for another blast of Arctic weather beginning on Thursday and probably lasting until after Christmas. Yesterday I went with my daughter-in-law to our local nurseries. I have a tradition at Christmas that we fill the house with plants and flowers - cyclamen, hyacinths in bloom, poinsettias and daffodils. The first three I usually buy at our local nurseries.
Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera, because the sight which greeted us at the nurseries was a wonder to behold. Thousands (and I mean thousands) of poinsettias in full bloom and in all colours from very deep red through to cream and even some which were red flecked with cream. I bought a large deep pink one and then moved on to the hundreds of cyclamen.
I dithered over which colours to buy until I realised that they were so very cheap - only £1.60 each plant - so I had one of each colour. Hyacinth bulbs now sit on the freezer in the utility room and in addition this morning I put a lovely holly wreath on my previous husband's grave in our local churchyard. These customs are all part of our Christmas and I can mentally tick them off when I have done them.
But really, because of this very bad weather things are getting very serious here (and probably account for the low price of the cyclamen too). The snow has been so bad that people have not been shopping.
Our little local town had a late night opening last week with wine tastings, food tastings, Christmas carols, the local brass band, all the shops open for Christmas shopping. Unfortunately there was deep snow and nobody turned up. They have rescheduled it for this Thursday evening, and again bad weather is forecast. ^This lack of custom for our small shops, which struggle anyway, can mean the difference between making it through the winter and going under.
What happens of course is that shoppers go where they can get everything under one roof, protected from the weather - in our case the local Tesco. I am as guilty as the next in doing this, particularly now that I no longer drive. But in our little town we have two grocers, several butchers, several bakers, two electrical shops, several shops selling fancy goods, two dress shops and countless bistros/cafes. I can't imagine that they are all going to survive this winter and if they don't it will be a sad day for our area.
I have taken a few photographs of the plants I bought - not the same as seeing them en masse but better than nothing. Enjoy.