It's the last day of November and winter seems to have Europe firmly within its grip, over the weekend the UK ground slowly but surely to a halt because a little bit of snow fell* and today my world has gone white.
To be fair it started yesterday, around 11am, nothing serious, innocuous flakes drifting slowly and innocently to the ground, the problem was that the ground was cold and hard and very welcoming and the snow kept coming. Never a blizzard, thank god, just a constant stream of whiteness, it was still snowing when I went to bed and as I knew the overnight temperature wasn't going to get above zero I knew what I would be waking up to.
Si was in Sweden overnight (together with his stupid goat**) so the shovelling of the metres of snow was my responsibility, funny how he's never here for shovelling, whatever weather app he has on his phone/laptop - I want it, as it clearly gives a really clear long range forecast...
A friend of mine said I should have done the shovelling last night (as then I wouldn't have had to do it before breakfast) but it was still snowing, so surely then I'd have had to clear it twice? Anyway, I was out there only 5 minutes after my neighbour and at least an hour before my other neighbour (who has a good excuse in that he's at least 20 years my senior) at least once it's done I can feel smug and tut loudly as I walk along the bit of pavement where they haven't cleared in front of their property, and yes, we know who you are, maybe I should tag those properties on Google Street View, those people who are too idle to clear the snow away...
Shovelling can also, I guess, be viewed as a good upper body work out, I wonder how many calories snow shovelling burns? A cake's worth or merely a biscuit?
The snow is set to last till the end of the weekend I reckon, seeing as the temperatures are falling until then, we might even get more snow, goody, snow on top of frozen snow, my favourite thing (not). Even the children don't seem too excited by it this time round, back at the beginning of the year when we had so much snow that hung around for months (it sure as hell felt like months at the time) they were out sledging at every given opportunity, but this time, they can't be bothered, I think it's come too soon, stupid weather gods!
Last night I had to rescue Jas's German teacher, she was trying to drive home and the road conditions were so bad that her car was slipping all over the road (she's planning to get her winter tyres this week!) she abandoned her car in the local DIY shop car park and asked if I could take her to the train station (German trains are generally unaffected by snow, the buses however, are a different matter) And even with winter tyres on I could feel my car losing traction on the roads, mainly because the drivers were all so scared that they were driving along at 5km per hour, too slow, you need a little bit of speed.
Meanwhile life carries on, schools are all open, supermarkets are all fully stocked and today the main roads are all perfectly clear thanks to the snow ploughs that hurl the half frozen slush all over the previously cleared pavements.
When is it summer?
* well that's the impression given by the London based news agencies, afterall, if it doesn't effect the capital it doesn't count right?
** his Swedish collegue rang him to warn him that it was -10 there and that he should bring a thick goat with him...