Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Rulebound or...

...just plain bonkers?

Last Friday the weather got a little bit warmer and then it started to rain and so the thick layer of snow that we'd been living with for the previous 10 days gradually, gradually disappeared.

Bliss, I was able to walk the dog and drive my car without fearing for my safety on Saturday and on Sunday...Monday was also a good day - up to a point. It was bitingly cold but the forecast said there was only a 20% of us getting snow...

If this is what 20% chance looks like I dread to think what 100% certainty is...

And I thought I'd successfully put the kibosh on any more of the white stuff falling by getting Jas fitted out with proper, sensible (i.e. German) winter boots* and ordering myself some equally sensible (although not German**) winter boots to try and keep me upright in the slippy conditions (so far I've landed on my rump twice - am now avoiding that particular spot).

The snow started early yesterday evening and although it probably only snowed for 2-3 hours it did so with single mindedness so that by the time it stopped (as I was about to go to bed) there was a good 2 inches on the ground, maybe 3 (having looked at what 2 inches is and thinking back to the depth of said snow as I shovelled it this morning). Joy.

Here in Germany the law says that each homeowner is responsible for making the path outside their property safely passable (on foot btw, I don't have to clear the road as well thank goodness)
between the hours of 7am and 8pm. That's fine I guess, although 7am on a non school day is pushing it a bit, in fact 7am on a school day is hard, I need at least 1 cuppa before I'm up to the physical labour that is clearing snow off 40 metres of paving. But the locals of course take this VERY seriously, as soon as it stops snowing they're out there, snow shovels at the ready, I'd thought I was imagining this anality (gotta be a word surely?) but I have evidence, and not just from me:

- Anne in Werden (just along the river) was woken up at 3am (3am!) by the caretaker of the apartments next door clearing snow.
- Rachel in Kettwig Altstadt witnessed all her neighbours pretty much shoulder to shoulder clearing snow at 11pm as it was still snowing.
- I was encouraging the dog to go outside for one last time around 11pm and could definitely hear that distinctive scrape, scrape of a snow shovel. I realised who it was when I eventually got out there at 7am, my neighbour's father. He lives around the corner and clearly has WAY too much time on his retired hands. When he clears snow, he does it properly (surprise) the whole path will be clear & by clear I mean spotless, if it weren't for the huge-mongous piles of snow he builds you wouldn't think it had ever snowed, first he shovels (the complete width of the path, not just a snow shovel wide track through for him, oh no) and then he brushes away any errant flakes. So he'd done this last night for his daughter (whose husband is in Sweden and therefore exempt (like my own husband) from shovelling duties) and then today he was back waving a snow shovel around again (well there was nothing else to do as it hadn't snowed again - note the use of the word 'hadn't', since he took himself off to do something else - polishing the wheels on his car maybe, it's snowed again, not much, but just enough so that you know it has) The man clearly has not enough to do - I wonder if he's for hire?

One 'person' who's happy in the snow - Logan;

* waterproof, heavily treaded and fleecey lined for warm tootsies
** German winter boots whilst seriously practical are the epitome of ugliness and a girl has got to maintain her standards - which reminds me, a friend went on a date last week (snow was still on the ground) and the date dared to pass comment on the unsuitable nature of her footware given the weather conditions...do we think he's going to get another date? Somehow I doubt it.

1 comment:

Jayne said...

Jeez, I really don't envy you & all the white stuff! Another blogger (Grumpy Goat in Dubai) was in Munich recently & posted about how 'organised' transportation was, because Germany gets snow every year, so the Germans just handle it - unlike the UK that grinds to a halt!
So lovely to see Logan playing in the snow - that really made me smile :-D

Happy Crimble to you & the family hon & all the best for the New Year :-)