~William Hamilton Gibson~
The white stuff arrived and bang on time. There was a very light dusting when I waited for the bus and it began to get heavier as the time ticked on. I was turning into an ice-cube. When I got down from the bus and walked from Westwood, I’d to put my hood up and the snow had began to settle onto the ground. As I settled down to do my work, lo and behold, when I looked out the window, swirling, great feathers of flakes were falling thick and fast. And kept falling.
After that, everything was blurred. I called Babe and made arrangements to take the afternoon off. Drivers had been warned to stay off the roads when the blizzards hit and I don’t want to get caught. Babe called me saying that he was caught in traffic and it was nearly 12.30 pm before he arrived. We joined the thousands that were leaving at the same time which meant that Gibbet Hill came to a standstill, gridlocked and were nose to tail. As buckets of the biggest, fluffiest flakes of snow heaved down, nothing moved. It took us 2 long hours to get out of the university’s ground!!! Luckily, I’d my camera with me to keep me occupied :-).
As we plodded through Coundon Wedge, the area was alive with the sounds of delighted kids and adults having fun on sledges and frolicking in the drifts. A few snowmen were already dotted here and there. Lucky sods!!! It was another 2.5 hours of slow-moving traffic and driving in treacherous conditions before we reached our casa. A total of 4.5 hours to drive 12 km. I pity Babe who’d been sitting in the car for 5.5 hours. As we entered our driveway, the snow was soo thick that our car skidded and slipped. Babe had to reverse out again before making another manoeuvre. Phew, we made it to our driveway in one piece.From the warmth of our casa, I watched the world turned white, almost obliterated with the lightest and softest of snow, tumbling merrily from the sky. A pristine blanket of snow, moved slowly covering the garden. The moment I loved most, spellbound and I wanted to drink it all in. I can’t get enough of winter’s bewitching atmosphere. There was nothing like a thick covering of snow to make us see the world afresh for a few brief days. And the eerie silence. The falling snow muffled the sounds of everyday living. It reminded me to slow down, to hibernate :-).
The winter is a stillness and a darkness and a sleep
But not a death, for in the earth the roots of life go deep.
A rest …then re-creation and a glad new burgeoning.
Every day in Wintertime is one day nearer Spring
Saturday morning was spent indoors. Outside, the temperature had plummeted, struggling to see the mercury rising above freezing. Up to 10 inches of snow had blanketed the country overnight. The more serious amber “be prepared” warning was in place. I switched on the tv and saw the wave of snow had swept across the country and freezing conditions had resulted in some areas looking like a scene from The Day After Tomorrow. Among the beautiful snowscapes, there were traffic chaos and disruption all over the place.
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothing”.
So here we were in our winter wonderland dressed as the Michelin man, ready to face the elements. We huddled under our thick coats, huffing and puffing, our breaths in bursts of white clouds with the snow crunching underfoot as we walked. I loved the winter landscape with bare skeleton trees, the bleakness and that great feeling of red frozen cheeks, the not so great runny nose and the brisk icy wind on my face. The minx in me couldn’t wait to come out and there I was laying on the pristine snow and making snow angels, with snow falling on my face. It was fa-bu-lo-us.
We plodded onwards along the path and headed straight to East Marsh Hide. The lake was frozen over with the exception of the centre. Unsurprisingly, the birds were standing one legged surrounding the unfrozen water. There were Widgeons, Teals, Tufted Ducks, Shovelers, Mallards, Gulls, Greylags and Canada Geese. And the best bit was when we spotted not one but 3 foxes at different locations on the bank opposite the hide. Woo-hoo and then a Muntjac made a brief appearance. We could have stayed here for hours but it was freezing. I wanted to pop over to Carlton Hide to see if the Goldcrest was out and about. Babe had taken some beautiful shots of them earlier in the week and I’m hoping to see one. We waited for about half an hour in the very cold hide and nothing appeared. It was getting dark and the snow was getting heavier. It was time to go home.
“Winter is the time of promise because there is so little to do- or because you can now and then permit yourself the luxury of thinking so.”