SNOW AND ICE

I’ve been trying to post regularly on a Sunday morning since mid October, but, it”s wet outside on a dreary Scottish Tuesday morning, so having trawled through some old photos I came across some snow scenes.

I don’t know why but I’m a big kid when it comes to snow. We used to get quite a bit when I was a young boy. Building snowmen, snowball fights, igloos. Great times were had. Even as a grown up, in inverted commas πŸ˜‚, I’ve continued to get excited at the first snow flake. This year, unfortunately, just to add to the Covid gloom, it looks like we’re in for a mild wet winter. With my birthday looming in 2 days time (hint hint 😍), I’m sitting in a t-shirt and jogging bottoms at my desk without any heating on and it’s nearing the end of November!!

A few years ago my wife and I decided to buy a nearly new car. We were quite excited as it was a sporty number, gleaming white with fancy alloys. We drove it home with great plans to spend the next few days running about the countryside in our new gleaming hot hatch. We always checked the weather forecast which mentioned rain but that was it. Next morning I woke up bleary eyed. As I came too I remembered the car. The car!! I jumped out of bed, then noticed something different. You know that sense that somethings different. You know not what, but somethings definitely not normal. In this case it was the light coming through the window. It was brighter than normal. I went over to the window and pulled back the curtains. Snow……there was snow…….and lot’s of it.

I quickly got dressed, trainers on, grabbed my coat and headed out. More than a foot of snow had fallen, trapping our new car in a white cage. I was going nowhere in my new chariot.

After playing about in the snow like a kid for a while, I spent the next 3 days starting at my large white paperweight in the driveway. I also waited for the inevitable. You see, the road outside had quite a slope on it. As 4 x 4 drivers, with large grins, had skipped along it, they’d compacted the snow and during the cold nights it had hardened to ice rink quality. It had happened before and I was sure it would happen again. I think it was day 3 when I heard the ‘Door’ noise from outside. Yep. Once again, some doozy in a rear wheel drive car had attempted to drive on the ice rink, ending up sliding into a van parked the other side of our large hedge. No one was hurt, just a red faced driver and and angry van owner.

For quite a few years after that there was no snow. In fact, I worked out some kids would be 10 yrs old and never seen snow except on tv. We’d moved to the countryside by then with beautiful views and peace and quiet.

After an episode where the single track road leading to the house had frozen over leaving our VXR car stuck one day, we’d bought a little 4 x4 to ensure we got in and out to work ok. That was until the winter of 2014…….

Snow was forecast. No weather warnings and only 2 centimetres. So, I set of in my little 4 x 4 to the other side of town. At lunchtime, my wife phoned to say it was snowing quite heavily, and, I should maybe think of heading home early. I looked out the office window. There was a sprinkling but not much. I went back to work. When I eventually left for home there was maybe an inch of snow in town. But, I had my little Daihatsu 4 x 4. Jeremy had even reviewed it on Top Gear, where he was chased by Horse and Hounds through the Cambridgeshire mud. The only thing that stopped it was an 8 foot muddy embankment. I was so confident of getting home, I even popped in to Tesco’s on the way for some shopping.

Everything was fine until I got closer to home. The snow was heavier and the roads in the village hadn’t been salted. I turned up the single track road only to meet a Range Rover coming the other way. I never though anything of it and let it past. He waved. I drove on. The snow was becoming deeper and deeper as it had drifted and built up where the hedges surrounding the fields had stopped it in it’s tracks. There was a tractor blocking my way. It just sat thee so I got out to ask them to move.

A girl and a guy dropped down from the cab.

‘Which way are you going?’

‘Straight up to Carthat hill’

‘I don’t think you’ll make it’

‘but I’ve got a 4 x 4’

‘That Range Rover was also a 4 x 4 and we’ve just towed it out as it was stuck. The other side of the hill is impassable’

I walked to the top of the little hill. The winds at the higher altitude had caused the snow to drift. There wasn’t a chance the Daihatsu would make it and I was still a mile from home.

‘We could try towing you……..’

Five minutes later I was hooked on behind a huge blue tractor. I’d never been towed before, and, as we set off down the other side of the hill I started to feel a bit nervous. As the huge tractor tyres gorged a furrow through the deep snow the little wheel base of the Daihatsu wasn’t large enough to match it. I was way down on the left hand side and high up on the other and I was sliding all over the place. I tried to steer but it was useless. Imagine a ping bong ball on a string being towed by a motor boat across choppy seas. That was me. As the slope increased I had visions of either ending up overturned in the hedgerow or sliding into the back of the Massey Ferguson! I clung on to the steering wheel, which now had finger grips gauged in it!!

Once we were going up hill it was a bit easier and amazingly ten minutes later I arrived home. Having thanked them for getting me home I opened the door to find my wife, Fran, standing in the kitchen.

‘How on earth did you make it home…..’

‘Well…….’

As you can see from the picture above of me standing on top of the snow drift, I wasn’t fibbing about the amount of snow. It was four days before a JCB arrived to clear the road!!

My other car and snow stories are even more boring than the one I just told you. One morning it had snowed overnight. By morning there was a little more lying snow than they’d predicted. However, I had the little 4 x 4. Everything was fine until I went to start the engine. It was dead as a dodo. Flat battery. I’d forgotten we hadn’t used to for a while, so I turned to our Vauxhall Mokka. It wasn’t a 4 x 4, but surely even it could cope with a couple of inches of snow. I set off down the hill…….

Stuck in the Russian snow

As you can see from the photo, it wasn’t long before I was stuck. Wheels spun and spun and spun. Couldn’t go back or forward. When I got out I noticed the snow was different. It was soft snow and once hardened up it was as slippy as ice. Apparently, unlike normal snow, this had come across on winds from Russia. Normally, Russia just sends says and tanks, but they’d brought be to a halt with a devious weapon of Dave’s destruction, yes, ‘slippy snow’ !! It took nearly an hour before I was towed ignominiously behind a local farmers tractor.

The 3rd and last time I got ‘stuck was me opening the door to this picture……….

VXR stuck in the yard

BEAUTY

Moving swiftly on from my car dramas, snow and ice can take something nice and make it beautiful. I pointed my iPhone at some ice on the road just outside my driveway. When I zoomed in it took on another form altogether…..

ice needles

I have one tip for exercising when it’s icy. Don’t πŸ™‚ I went out with my head torch one night for a jog. I was tooled up. Gloves, wooden hat, thick top, waterproof jacket etc etc. My wife’s parting shot was ‘Watch it’ll be slippy’. I set off up the hill. I could see the shiny ice patches and carefully made my through them, slipping once or twice but it wasn’t too bad. I made it up the hill, watching my icy breath increase in density as I climbed.

On the way down it wasn’t as easy as I was going a bit quicker and found it hard to see the upcoming ice patches. I was nearly home going down the slope below the Treeline, when I spotted the shining ice patch just as my foot landed. I couldn’t stop. My foot gave way beneath me and I headed downward like a lead balloon towards the tarmac road. I twisted myself to avoid my head hitting the ground first, readying myself for the impact on my shoulder. I closed my eyes on impact waiting for something sore to happen. Whether it was the sliding downward by 5 metres or just too much body fat, when I opened my eyes I was unscathed!!

When I got myself picked up and walked the few yards to the house my wife asked me how I’d done’

‘Fine…..no bother’ *crossed fingers behind back*. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜€

view from the top of our hill
driveway from the house
a Robin on our snowy path

Since we haven’t had much snow recently I asked two of my Twitter friends if they had any snow photos to share. First of all we have Maryland and Lisa, Bob and family. They get some snow………

The girls in the Maryland snow
Gigi trying to make it home πŸ™‚
Don’t think there will be a Maryland barbecue tonight!!

Moving to Europe I remember my first visit to Norway. One of the first things I noticed was their living rooms were upstairs. My relatives in Eydehavn explained they could get 6 foot snowdrifts in winter!! So, it made sense to have their sitting room and dining rooms upstairs with bedrooms downstairs.

I got in touch with a Finnish friend, Tommi Veijalainen, from Lahti. He kindly sent me some pictures from around his house. The Finnish don’t need fridges to cool their beer πŸ˜‚

Tommi’s beer cooler πŸ™‚
beautiful sunshine in the Finnish snow
Swings in the Finnish snow

Thanks to both Tommi in Finland and Bob, Lisa and family in Maryland for sharing their pictures. I’m sooooo jealous and praying for a little bit this winter. If I get some I’ll post more pictures!!. If anyone has their winter wonderland photos please share. Please email me at davidlinden4@gmail.com

Thanks for reading and liking. If I’m not following your blog or Twitter account then let me know and I’ll follow back πŸ™‚

‘Snow and Ice’

was brought to you by David Linden aka @qosfc1919 on Twitter ©️DodoProductions 2020

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