Snow Day

Well the ‘beast from the east’ arrived as advertised – and although we have had nothing like as much snow and disruption as a lot of the rest of the country has been suffering, we have had some very cold temperatures and enough snow that we were very glad to have done our weekly shop yesterday morning early, before it all got too hideous. I’ve been ill enough that I haven’t particularly wanted to go anywhere, so yesterday I was happy enough to stick inside by the woodburner and watch the snow fall, monitoring the carnage on Twitter with sympathy as everyone else attempted to get somewhere – or get home again afterwards.

snowy road

Side question: what is the rural etiquette on ploughing the road up to your own property and leaving a nice ridge of snow across your neighbour’s driveway? Asking for a friend

Today actually dawned pretty bright and sunny, with no additional snow overnight. From the state of our road, it would appear the only creatures which had been moving were the hares (who, snow or no snow, have recognised it is March and have been chasing each other madly around the garden all afternoon) and our elderly neighbour who had obviously been out for her normal constitutional, winter be damned (she has yaktracks for her shoes and a spiked attachment for her walking stick and just gets on with it). There was just the question of fetching the paper. The snow didn’t look too bad on the road, and while we didn’t fancy trying to back the car out of the drive, I did think the bike might be possible with a bit of care.

bike in the snow

As a concession to the amber weather warning, I did put the spikes on the front wheel, and even donned a hi-vis orange vest (‘Is that so they can find you when you end up in a snow drift?’ the other half asked) and set off with some trepidation. I walked the bike to the road end, and found that the B-road had been gritted and ploughed, although there was only really one lane clear. The wind was right in my face and the snow was blowing all around me, and I have to admit I was beginning to think this wasn’t the most sensible thing for someone who’s only recently got out of bed with a London lurgy to be doing. So when I got round the first bend and found the snow had drifted back into the road and that – spikes or no – I wasn’t able to hold any sort of a sensible line through the resulting inch of slushy snow – I cut my losses and turned around. Maybe on a mountain bike, maybe if I was fully fit, maybe if it wasn’t such a winding road … not today though.

Indeed, as I stopped at our turning to start wheeling the bike back, the driver of the Land Rover who had been patiently following me up the hill for the last 100 yards actually stopped to check if I was all right before passing me, which is a first. I think he was pretty relieved that I was as close to home as I was. Not as relieved as I was though…

road home

Heading back up the hill to home…

Tomorrow, though. Tomorrow is another day.

4 Responses to Snow Day

  1. Charles says:

    I think you shovel the snow off your drive and give it back to the neighbors. If they are that stupid that they blocked you in they will believe that your contractors did it.

    I think in all the time I have been following your blog this is the first time you have been sensible, are you feeling quite well? Return to the wood burner until normal service can be resumed.

  2. Re encroaching snowy ridges betwixt properties/dwellings- I would be interested to know what the city etiquette is around this question

  3. disgruntled says:

    @Charles – I was clearly still recovering! I’ll have to do something foolish to compensate
    @Stephani – it’s a thorny issue

  4. Charles says:

    I believe in Canada that each street has to agree to clear the snow or not. This is to prevent having an obstacle course on the pavement for pedestrians I som people dig out their driveway and others do not. Clearly this level of etiquette has not been reached here.

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