Saturday, January 09, 2010


On Twitter, yesterday, there were a few snide comments about how all it took was "a flake of snow" to bring Britain to a standstill.

In case any of you think we're whining about a flurry or two, can't cope, here-- courtesy of Anne McAllister in the States, who in turn got it from Anne Gracie in Australia -- is the true picture. From space.

That isn't a flake or two. The entire country is covered with the stuff. And if we seem to be struggling, well the truth is that we haven't had this kind of weather for years. Discussion on loops are recalling memories of the dreadful winter of 1947, when a postwar Britain suffered in ways we can't begin to imagine. No central heating, coal in short supply, midwives unable to get through to deliver babies.  Water frozen in the pipes, vegetables frozen in the ground.  And then came the floods. 

I was brought up on memories of that flood, when the water came up to the top of Aunty Amy's cooker.  It was gas, so they used the burners and camped out upstairs until the waters receded.  No evacuation in those days.  There was no where to evacuate anyone to. 

I do remember the bad winter of 1962/3 and a few people mentioned one later in the 60s, but I was living in Zambia then and missing out on the freeze.

We do have snow storms. Mostly they're regional and within a few days a thaw sets in. This started before Christmas and we're forecast more of the stuff on Sunday. 

We're not up to our armpits in the stuff as they are in some parts, but there is no way we'd attempt our drive, or the road out of the village. (I've done the sideways slip on the ice at the bottom of the hill and believe me, it's not a fun ride!)

A few hardy souls are getting through. Our postman, Steve, is a hero. "It's all right if you keep going and don't meet anyone coming the other way..." was his stoic response to a query about the narrow road through the village. The driver who delivers prescription meds struggled through yesterday. The milkman is making it, too, in his four-wheel drive. But the refuse hasn't been collected (the men will all be working on the gritting lorries keeping the main roads open).  And the kids are having a whale of a time. 

I'm not whining.  We're warm, there's plenty of food in the cupboards to keep us going and as long as the electricity stays on (with overhead cables that's not a given), we'll be fine.

I hope you're all warm, dry and safe where ever you are.   Take care.


Caroline Storer said...

Wow what great pictures Liz. My mum was telling me that she particulalry remebers the 1962/63 winter as she was pregnant with me! (I was born in March '63).

I do have to say, compared to the rest of the country, Anglesey has avoided the worst so far. (I'm going to regret saying that I know it!) It's the salt air. The snow does not linger for too long whe it does fall.

Have a good (safe) weekend. Caroline x

Jan Jones said...

Keep holed-up and warm, Liz. No excuse not to write, eh?

Michelle Styles said...

Glad you are warm, Liz.

We are getting dumped on by more snow.

It is a once in a lifetime event.

Joanne Cleary said...

I remember a year we lived in Germany where it was -10C during the day and the snow was up to my waist. My mum still made me walk to school! I think it was 1986.

So, this isn't as bad as it was then. My coal fire fell apart on me last night, but luckily I still have central heating and lots of food.

Great picture, by the way. Looks pretty I think. Snow is very beautiful, 'til you have to go near the stuff!!

Lacey Devlin said...

That's the most amazing picture - the entire country covered! Keep warm :)

Michele L. said...

Hi Liz,

I live in that part of the country where we had 17 inches of snow in just the last couple days alone. We have had so much snow this winter. I am so ready for spring to get here! Alas, we still have 2 1/2 months more to go of this blasted stuff!

I agree with you Liz, let's all stay warm, healthy and safe! I am having fun inside, all toasty and warm. I rented a movie tonight called CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS. The previews looked so cute! I can't wait to watch it!

Liz Fielding said...

We're promised more snow today. it's always worse when it snows on a Sunday because there's no traffic to churn it up and keep the road relatively clear. No sign of it disappearing.

Apparently old country folk were predicting this as far back as late summer -- something to do with berries. Maybe it's time the met men went back to seaweed :)

I'm beginning to get cabin fever!

Bridget Whelan said...

Wonderful picture - would it be ok to use it in my blog if I acknowledge where I got it from? You're right- it's not surprising that life has been disrupted. Winters like this are rare and special and scary

I have very vague memories of 1963. It was a cold year: the winter lasted forever, an avuncular Pope who seemed to be talking about the things that mattered died and in Dallas the world changed forever.

Romy said...

One of our local South African newspapers even carried pictures this week of the pier and beach at Brighton covered in snow. Beautiful! Almost wish I was there ...

Liz Fielding said...

Love the "almost", Romy!

Bridget Whelan said...

Oddly enough I am....or at least walking distance of it.

Liz Fielding said...

Hi Bridget

The picture is in the public domain, BBC, everywhere, so do go ahead and use it.

The icy grip seems to have eased a little. It wasn't as cold yesterday and the threatened snow didn't arrive. We even moved our old bones and shifted enough of the stuff to get the car out onto the road and to a shop. The three days of snow that was forecast proved the incentive!

Thankfully it didn't arrive, but then they didn't forecast the snow we do have, either!