The Winter of My Discontent

Well, it’s January 7th, and I’m just going to hold my hands up here and admit that I haven’t left the house for five days now. Other than to take this photo, that is:

Obligatory “Look, I am standing in snow!” photo

Did you know it’s been SNOWING here in the UK, readers? Ha! What am I saying? Of COURSE you knew! Because for the past few weeks, there’s been only one topic of conversation amongst us Brits. Can you guess what it is? Yes? It’s SNOW! Someone please shoot me…

It started snowing while Terry and I were on holiday. That’s almost four weeks ago now, for those of you playing along at home. It basically hasn’t stopped since, which is actually pretty unusual for this part of the world. Sure, it’s always cold (and I DO mean “always”), but snow is quite rare, and when it does fall, it’s normally gone within a day or two, much to my joy. This time, though? This time it decided to stick around, see in the New Year with us, maybe try and ruin Christmas… stupid old SNOW.

When our flight landed at Glasgow airport, there wasn’t much snow in evidence. “Ha!” we thought. “We have missed the worst of it! Media was exaggerating! Parents were exaggerating! Airline which kept us stranded for 17 hours was exaggerating!” Then we drove into our street, and straight into a huge pile of SNOW, which we remained stuck in for the next 30 minutes, until our kind neighbour finally took pity on us and came to dig us out. Which just goes to show what WE knew, eh?

Two days later, we pulled out of the driveway to head to my parents’ house for Christmas, and instantly got stuck in the SNOW. Our neighbour helped push us out. Then we drove to my parents’ house and got stuck in THEIR driveway My dad helped push us out. Then? We drove home. And got stuck in our driveway. Our neighbour…actually, you know what? Just fill in the rest of this yourself, OK?  My point is: it’s not been much fun. Because this country isn’t really used to prolonged periods of heavy snow, we just aren’t prepared for it. Like, AT ALL. This means that our street still hasn’t been cleared since that initial snowfall while we were away. A couple of feet of snow has now turned into solid ice, and is absolutely treacherous to walk on. So we…. haven’t been. Walking, that is. We’ve not been having our rubbish bins emptied either, because the council (Who’ve failed to clear the road) now say they can’t access the street. One bin WAS finally emptied today, but the other’s getting on for four weeks now, and, you know, that’s not much fun, especially not over Christmas.

The upshot of all of this is that we’re currently more or less housebound. We CAN leave the house, but it takes such a long time to dig the car out, deal with the horrible conditions on the main roads (lots of abandoned cars lying around because people get stuck and can’t move them) plus the small matter of having to walk on a virtual ice-rink, that it barely seems worth the trouble. Of course, in our case, this isn’t too big a deal, because we’re fortunate enough to be able to work from home (I don’t think I’ve ever been more grateful for that fact than I am this week!), but I really pity the poor people who’re basically having to risk life and limb every morning just to get to work. Did I mention how much I hate the SNOW? And the winter in general? They’re saying it’s the worst winter in 40 years, and it feels a bit like being in an End of the World movie.

My only comfort in all of this is the time I’ve spent planning our next holiday, to somewhere where there is no SNOW. Well, that and my new boots.

My in-laws, meanwhile, travelled home from Greece yesterday. They WERE supposed to be flying from Athens to London Heathrow, and getting a connecting flight to Edinburgh, but the connecting flight was cancelled (due to SNOW), so they had to re-book for another, much later flight, which would have involved an overnight stay at Heathrow. I say WOULD have because unfortunately THAT flight was cancelled too.  Then their flight from Athens to London had to be diverted to….

Glasgow! This was really, really lucky for them, because Glasgow is obviously a whole lot closer to home than London is, but not so lucky for the Londoners, obviously. Remember that Melting Terry predicted last year? I really hope it’s coming soon.

Roll on Springtime…