Monday, 20 December 2010
Switch on the news tonight and I'll bet you a pound to a penny that the headlines will be about the disruption caused by snowfalls in various parts of the UK. Pick up tomorrow's paper at the newsagents and the same will be true unless some really earth-shattering event takes place overnight. Yes, I am afraid folks that snow here is always headline news and the news broadcasts are full of people putting on a brave face and sleeping on the floor at Gatwick or some such place before jetting off into the sunshine. And then of course there are the complainers - those who say "the government" should be spending much more on snow clearers, snow sweepers, grit, rock salt, etc., etc.
The truth is that sitting as we do in a direct line of the jet stream and surrounded by water which has warmed up to a degree over the Summer, we are never going to be sure certain of a mild winter or a harsh winter.
When I was small all winters seemed harsh - I doubt that they were but I remember them as such. I remember the inside of my bedroom window being patterned with frost. The two photographs above show our shed door this morning - isn't it pretty?
We didn't have water laid to our house in the village where I grew up, so my jug on the wash stand was filled with water at night. Sometimes, if it was very cold, the water would be frozen - in which case I would wash in the water from my stone hot water bottle, which had been down the bottom of my bed all night and stayed luke warm.
Hardly anyone had a car in our village apart from the doctor, the vicar and our next ddoor neighbour. Everyone used Gelsthorpe's bus to get into Lincoln, our nearest town. If there was snow, Johnny Gelsthorpe would have a few shovels on board and the men on the bus would dig their way out.
Now we seem to expect it all "on a plate." If our government were to spend millions on various machinery for shifting snow you can bet that the next ten winters would be super-mild and the machinery would become obsolete before it became used.
No folks, afraid we have to bite the bullet and make a huge effort to stop this fall of snow becoming the main topic of conversation. Here we have had all of one inch and yet people are still treating it as a catastrophe. The reindeer photograph above was taken on mid-summer's day at the North Cape - way above the Arctic Circle, where they get about a month each year without snow. I wonder if their main topic of conversation during that month is the weather.
POETRY BUS Thank you so much to everyone who responded to this week's poetry bus challenge - there has been a marvellous response and Dominic has kindly made a link list for me. Sad to say that my computer is on go slow and every operation is taking such a long time. The computer doctor is coming in the morning, so later tomorrow I shall publish the link list and also go round and read them all. You are all stars in your own right (write?) so take a gold star each from me.