Saturday, 25 December 2010

Season's Greetings to All

Hope you are all having a happy & Blessed festive season. :0)

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Being Snowed Under.... Literally

The main topic that's on everyone's minds at the moment here in the UK is the unprecedented early start to the Winter snows we've been having. Now I know there are a lot of folks out there who have probably witnessed much worse but for this neck of the woods it has been exceptional, as we usually have the mildest weather in the country. We'd been having some snow for a few days and things managed to carry on just about as usual..... until yesterday (Tuesday) evening, when things took a turn for the worse. It just didn't stop snowing, then the temperature dropped and the slight thaw during the day time began to freeze..... the main roads just became sheets of ice, including the one outside my house, and there wasn't a gritter or snow plough in sight. So most of the roads became gridlocked at rush hour and the few hills we have round here (Lincolnshire is known for being flat) were gradually being closed by the Police as too dangerous to drive.... people were abandoning their cars and either walking home or finding a nearby friend/relative's house to stay in. A couple of my DS's friends actually dossed down in the theatre bar last night, rather than risk the journey home - very sensible, as the Police had asked the radio stations to tell people to stay indoors, rather than risk travelling. My DS had to leave his car at a friend's house and walk home last night... the Mini is still there now, as the snow is above its bumpers.

It continued to snow for much of the night and this is the sight that met our eyes when we looked out of the bedroom window this morning:

The road out the front was a mix of snow and ice, barely discernible from the pavements. It was obvious that, even if DS had been able to drive home last night, there was no way he could make it into work... he would have had to negotiate one of the hills and drive out through a couple of villages to the wharf. If you think the road in front of our home is bad the villages are even worse, as they are even less of a priority for snow clearance. Then DH realised that there was no way he would be able to get into work either, despite being only a ten minute drive away.... the car needed digging out before he would be able to even try the roads.... and he'd had a couple of hairy moments getting home the previous night.... and now there'd been a whole lot more snow. Phone calls from work colleagues soon let them know that no one else was able to make it in, so common sense prevailed and they both stayed home.

Here's a slideshow of some of the views from various windows in the house. Take note of the depth of snow on the bin lids - I'd cleared them off the previous evening when I'd put some stuff in them, so that is the depth of snow that fell last night.

All three of us have done various bits of snow clearing during the day, so we could negotiate the trip to the bins and the workshop freezer without needing to wear snow shoes or skis and so DH could get his car out in an emergency. Unfortunately my poor baby isn't going to be going anywhere any time me, she's stuck in for the duration..... and it's been snowing on and off again since this afternoon, so there's about an inch and a half layer already over everything we'd cleared. Goodness knows what we're going to wake up to tomorrow (Thursday) morning!

On the up side: the lack of traffic going past has meant that it's been pleasantly quiet for a week day; I've never seen so many people walking, so it must be good for their Carbon Footprint; most of the folks that are about are surprisingly chatty, which is unusual for round here; we won't go hungry, as the fridge and freezer are well stocked, thanks to last weekends Farmer's Market shopping, and it's been nice having the two chaps around, mucking in whenever an extra pair of hands have been needed.

So what does a body do when the weather outside is abysmal? What else, once the jobs are out of the way, but do online shopping and stitch, of course! LOL I can't tell you about the online shopping because much of it is for Christmas gifts.... I'm just hoping that Santa's substitute - the Postie - can get the goodies here in time for me to get them wrapped and posted out to the recipients, so they get them in time. Guess it serves me right for not getting organised sooner... and this year I don't have the excuse of an ovarian cyst and an op! LOL The Seba SAL is growing nicely. Here's a pic I took of it pre-snow:

Another bad pic that had to be taken in poor light but at least it gives you the general idea. Here's how far it's progressed post-snow:

Yes, I've made a start on the fun bit - the blackwork that's actully in blue. The colours are much nicer irl, honestly. I decided not to complete the large box at the bottom just yet, until I figure out what I want to do: the original has two lines of cross stitch along the bottom, to make the patterns fit, and I'm not too sure if I like it that way, so am trying to decide if I have the confidence (and patience) to do a bit of a redesign on it. The jury is still out on that one. ;0)

So what else, other than the weather and its effects, has been happening here? Not a great lot really. The trench work and drilling is stalled big time... too cold for outside work and DH is trying to reconcile himself to having to buy a bigger drill bit - £40 for one bit of metal seems an awful lot and it's breaking his heart to have to do it. LOL The greenhouse is going to need two new roof panes, as DS caught the plastic shovel right between the overlap and broke them... didn't have the heart to bust his chops about it, as he worked so hard at clearing everywhere. DH has done a hasty covering up job until we can get it sorted properly.

My DSis came back from her cruise earlier in the week. She had a good time, though would opt to go on a smaller ship, should there be a next time - 4,000 people got a bit much. She and her friends were lucky enough not to have too much weather to deal with on the jouney back from Southport, initially, and she drove home from her friend's house in Barnsley before the worst lot started - she's not had her car out since though. The shopping Outlet she works at was closed today due to the snow (though she is still on holiday) but the management are wanting it open tomorrow, when she's supposed to go back to work.... but things aren't looking promising for her being able to get out of her drive, let alone the street. £££££'s seem to be more important than the safety of the retail staff, it seems.

Development Circle was cancelled again this week, this time due to the weather - good call, as we would have struggled to get there, and if we had managed to make it there we probably wouldn't have been able to get home again. I certainly wouldn't have, as Mortal Ash Hill (dual carriageway out to the villages) had been closed by the Police. I've been keeping up with the meditation and practising some of the techniques whenever I can at home but it's not the same as being in Circle.... and I miss the girls. There's no acupuncture this week either - another casualty of the lousy weather, as the acupuncturist lives out in one of the villages and both routes into the town from there have hills that have been closed. She almost had to spend the night in the Clinic Tuesday night - it was only because a Policewoman friend rang to let her know when Mortal Ash Hill had been briefly opened that she made it home. I don't blame her for not wanting to risk the journey or the possibility of having to stay at the Clinic tomorrow (Thursday) night... though she now knows there'd be a bed here for her, if ever she does get stuck, as my house is just a few minutes walk away.

Did I tell you DS had a job interview? I can't remember. It seemed to go much better than the previous ones and DS feels they have reassessed their view of him since.... no news yet, as to whether or not he's made it into the second round, but they are notoriously slow at these things. If he gets the job it would mean some changes, as he'd be working shifts.... but the better wages and opportunities for promotion should make up for that.

Think that's about all. It's freezing in here, so it's time I was away into a warmer room - and the stitching is calling. :0)

Thank you for stopping by and for the kind comments. I hope all those who are getting similar bad weather are staying safe and warm. :0)