Don’t eat yellow snow

2 Dec

When I started writing this post yesterday I had intended it to be a wry look at people who feel the need to go to extremes in preparing for the worst.

I had returned from the local supermarket where my fellow shoppers were busy anticipating a spot of bad weather by frantically stockpiling tins and toilet roll.

While there I had got into a fight over the last four-pack of baked beans in the store, completely unnecessarily, I thought, as there had not been so much as half a snowflake to have fallen in the whole of Purbeck.

It was, I wrote, laughable, that some people genuinely believed that a) Siberia was coming to Swanage and b) a few cup-a-soups and a sheet of Aloe Vera infused Andrex would do the trick when it did.

That was before I woke up at 6.30am is morning to find that the world was white, the car was cemented into the driveway by a wall of snow and the wind almost froze off my nose when I peeked out through the letterbox to see how cold it was.

Today is the first day I have *ever* been unable to get into work because of the weather. For the last five years I have lived the life of a typical west Londoner – a comfortable walking distance from either the office or an embarrassment of public transport riches in the right direction.

This morning the one bus that runs out of Swanage was cancelled. The nearest network rail station is 10 miles away and according to the website there were no trains. The roads were freezing over again as fast as they were gritted and the car was happily taking a snow-filled duvet day of its own.

I was well and truly stuck.

So I did what any intrepid journalist would do in that situation. I made a few phone calls, had a cup of tea, and went back to bed.

A few hours later I ventured into town in my gorgeously inappropriate pale blue polka-dot festival wellies (what other kind is there?). Swanage was rammed – all the local schools were closed so the kids were out in force, some with real sledges, others improvising with surfboards, inflatable rings, anything vaguely flat and aerodynamic, essentially. The whole town had become an impromptu cresta run.

Later on the council sent round an email asking us journalists to remind residents that the lids of recycling boxes were not to be used for this purpose. Thus planting the idea for all who hadn’t thought of it already. Oops – have I just done it again? As I haven’t been able to make any meaningful journalistic contribution to the big freeze so far (Dorset was the last to get it), perhaps that could be it.

Anyway it doesn’t look like I’ll be going anywhere tomorrow either – those baked beans were worth fighting for after all.

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6 Responses to “Don’t eat yellow snow”

  1. Frau Dietz December 3, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    I am so jealous. A friend of mine in Sheffield wrote to say he went SNOWBOARDING in his local park and saw there ten people all travelling down a hill together on a plastic sheet. Meanwhile all I get is a crappy dusting of snow that has turned to icy mush; it’s -9 and forecast to rain. It’s going to take an awful lot of Glühwein to make standing around a Christmas market this evening fun. Mind you, I’m willing to try.

    • zskdorset December 7, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

      hope the gluhwein did the trick! I do not own enough clothes to keep warm in this weather. Today I had on 2 pairs of trousers, 2 tops, a cardigan, winter coat, scarf, hat and gloves and guess what… still freezing.

  2. almost witty December 6, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    Alas, we snow-less people in West London have had to walk to work as usual and look on with envy at the rest of the country taking a day off or struggling to get into work.

    Of course, my other half – who’s used to 20-foot snow falls – is beside herself laughing at the British public mostly panicing.

  3. zskdorset December 6, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    I haven’t been at work since about 3pm on Wednesday – I miss it!

  4. Becky Wicks December 7, 2010 at 3:48 am #

    I’m feeling confused here in sunny Sydney. Whereas I don’t miss poking my nose through a letterbox and into the bitey mouth of Jack Frost, I don’t much like waking up covered in sweat due to my ex flatmate nicking my fan. It’s hot here. And I much prefer being cold to hot. I think… hmmm….

  5. zskdorset December 7, 2010 at 10:28 pm #

    If only there was a way we could share… you send me some sunshine, i’ll send you some snow?!

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