Monday, 20 December 2010

Adversity comes... I shrug it off like a seagull crapping on my shoulder

And so, after making a brief appearance last Friday, on Saturday it came in earnest. 

'What are you banging on about you daft wombat?' I hear you cry.

Why snow, my dear...... and lots of it. At dawn on Saturday morning, it was a bit frosty. By mid-morning the snow started, and by mid-afternoon we had copped about 9" of the stuff. It was truly awesome.

Now, I know that all of you 'hard-as-coffin-nails' Canadians are going to think that I am a complete pansy for being overawed by 9" of snow, but this is the bally UK, godammit. We thrive off adversity, and as such would never dream of using winter tyres, snow chains, or gritting the roads. Jeez, if we did that, life would be easy and we would have nothing to whine about.

Instead, we got 9" snow, and were completely poleaxed. Before moving to Oxfordshire, I lived in London for many years, and the degree of poleaxation (I probably need to point out that I invented that mutation of the verb by the way) there, was considerably less than living in the countryside.

It was London for chrissake. The nation's Capital. The government couldn't be seen to allow 7.5 million people to be snowed in. That would be totally rude. So Terminator-style snow ploughs would be deployed throughout the city if so much as a flake fluttered upon a pavement.

But living in the countryside is a totally different animal. We get 9" of snow, and the Oxfordshire District Council scratches its head and concludes, "we could save £50 by not gritting the road into Forest Hill and the upside is that there are only 750 people living there, so if they all died of starvation, it probably wouldn't make it to the papers. Huzzar!" Ok, so the local councillors might not have shouted Huzzar, but they decided not to grit the roads.

And I know that for sure. A gritter drove past my house yesterday (one of the only vehicles who could make it through the snow) and they didn't have their 'grit spreading' button turned on. Bastards.

Anyway, in the spirit of 'embrace what you can't control', I have taken some pictures for you to have a look at. I like to think of myself as a bit of a Jeanne d'Arc type person when it comes to stoicism in the face of adversity.

Pic.No.1 The road through Forest Hill village on Saturday afternoon. The local pub is that building in the distance with the chimney. Thank god, I think I may be able to make it

Pic.No.2. This is the A40. It is normally a four-lane dual carriageway into Oxford city, and has two laybys which are frequented by doggers

Pic.No.3. I climbed to the top of Forest Hill and this is the view from the peak. I was a bit pissed off because snow in photos doesn't look as deep as snow in real life

Pic.No.4 School's out and then it snows. Life doesn't get much better for five year olds because they don't worry about starving to death one bit

Pic.No.5. This is Izzy on her sledge. She isn't deformed, she just has her mouth wide open.... for some obscure reason

Pic.No.6. Izzy wasn't at all worried that Oxfordshire District Council had decided that gritting the roads to Forest Hill wasn't a 'Priority 1'

Pic.No.7. 'Izzy kiddo, can you dig my car out of the snow? I fancy going for lunch somewhere'. Child labour is great. And you can see how deep the snow is in this picture.

Pic.No.8. After Izzy had dug out the car, Steve, me and her all went for lunch at the Old Red Lion in Tetsworth

Pic.No.9 On the way there, we encountered a flock of crows in the middle of the road. It was like an Alfred Hitchcock movie .... except that I don't have blonde hair ..... and the crows moved when I drove at them instead of pecking me death

Pic.No.10. Inside the Old Red Lion. The new landlady was very friendly and had done a fabulous job of redesigning the interior. The only complaint (I am English for godsake!) was that the place was a bit cold. I had to eat with my coat on.

Pic.No.11. The Old Red Lion specialises in carvery meals ..... yummy my favourite, and they do them fabulously at this place. This is a picture of the door that leads into the carvery. You can see the hot plates with a selection of roasted meat through the door

Pic.No.12. Awww, look at Izzy. She is like a little wallflower. Yeh, I was being ironic.. more like Attila the Hun. All she needs to complete the picture is one of those spikey balls on the end of a chain, and an opposing army.

So yeh, chaos reigns in Oxfordshire and the forecast doesn't predict any change soon, so it looks like the snow is here to stay. Excellent!

In the meantime, a lovely reader of my blog, Dulcie McNulty (there's got to be some Scottish descendency there eh?), sent me these of the snow scenes around her house in Deedee, Montana, USA.

Pic.No.13 What do you reckon, is it worse in the UK or Montana?

Pic.No.14. Another Montana pic. I like the fact that I am not suffering on my own. In that respect, I am not like Jeanne d'Arc at all

Thanks Dulcie for sending them in! If you were in the UK I would snog you. Actually, I can't back that up.

So me dears, how is winter treating you? Have you got any horrors that you want to share with me? 

P.S. I don't know how useful this is to you, but the Blogspot spellcheck does not recognise the word dogging.

Anne Dickens | The day after yesterday


  1. Sorry to say but here in Peterborough we have NO snow, just lots of frost currently -6.4c or for our colonial cousins 20.5f.

    So at the moment no snow pictures from me.

  2. I think perhaps the lady is somewhat prone to exaggeration... I saw lots of cars bombing about the village (my Clio being one of them)... and doesn't the tube always shut down at the merest dusting.

    Clearly me moving here from the Scottish wilds and you moving here from the big smoke gives us a very different perspective on the same wee village (or big town in my view!)

  3. Blimey Robert, I am going to make you a certificate for 'The quickest commenter after a blog post has been published'. Ummm, but that sounds kind of clumsy, so I might not.

    You have avoided the snow? I was nodding about that last week.... it's probably coming to you soon!

  4. Ha ha Anna! It is called creative embellishment! After all, I managed to get my car out so I could go for sunday lunch *wink* ....needs must.

    It is still really funny that you live in the same village as me. What are the chances?

    So you are from Scotland... now I understand... 9" of snow would be a mere 'dusting' to you he he!

  5. Lovely photos Anne :). This kind of winter is unusual for your area isn't it?

    I could tell you many tales of snow...but I will leave you with a fact. Where I grew up in Ontario, the average annual snow fall exceeded 36 feet (10.97 meters)...anything under 3 ft. was a dusting :)

  6. Eh up Ron me dear! Yes, snow on this level is really unusual. Normally we have an inch or so that lasts a day or two. But. This year we have had nearly a foot and it is predicted to stay for weeks.

    Ha ha! I knew that it would sound like we were complete girls to anyone who lived in Canada! We truly are a big bunch of pansies in the UK

  7. P.S. How, in heaven's name do you get out of your house after 36 feet of snow?

  8. Well I guess we have just been lucky reference the lack of snow.
    I hope to open my station on New Years day as we are running a service, but can't if it's this cold as we need to turn on and fill the water system and it would just freeze in the pipes.
    Mind you in the winter we have a standing joke and ask customers if they would like a cold drink off the side or a warm one out of the chiller.
    We are right by the River Nene and it can get darn cold in the winter down there.

  9. Hi Anne - fortunately it didn't all fall at once, but on more than one ocassion we slid out a second story window to clear out the driveway, front door :)

  10. If it snowed 9" here the ENTIRE city would come screeching to a halt- for sure. When we get even an inch, the bubbas in their big trucks still drive like mad. They just slam into everything in their path. BTW- love your new word. It's a keeper.

  11. Oh please... I saw this on the news this weekend, holy crap that is like a smidge of snow. A dusting. An easy morning... geez, c'mon, that is hardly any snow at all!!!!!!!!!

  12. Goodness gracious that's a lot of snow. Your pictures are beautiful and I'm glad Izzy had a great time. Just keep the snow your way and don't send it in this direction. LOL.

  13. I live in North Carolina, which is considered part of the deep South in the US. We rarely get snow, but the white stuff has fallen three times this winter so far.

    Before living here, I was in Colorado, so snow doesn't scare me, but Southerners just don't know what to do when snow starts to fall. We got less than an inch and school was cancelled.

    My kids loved it, but I could have used the extra shopping and wrapping day. And, no, I don't want any cheese with my whine!

  14. Awww...Annie! That's awesome! There is no better time for a good snow fall than Christmas Eve and Christmas....the rest of the damned year it can all go the F away =) Luck you! All we have had here is ... squat! Not one stupid little flake! =( What a pisser!

    I adore picture pic 4 of Iz! It looks like you've given her a snow swirly! LOL =) And that picture of you and her in pic 12 is FANTASTIC! =)

    Now...if you'll excuse me, you made me friggin hungry, dammit! Time to see if there is anything in my kitchen! =) Muwah! xo

  15. How fun to see my pics here! Your snow is beautiful too, and how fun to see Izzy enjoying it so.


    McNulty is my husband's name and they are Irish (not Scottish.)

    Dulcie is supposedly an English name. At least that's what my mum always told me...she was from Stevenage in Hertfordshire.

    But surprisingly enough, you guessed it anyway, I AM Scottish on my Dad's side.

    And Deedee is my nickname, not my town. But I AM in Montana. Very close to the Canadian border.

    Thanks for posting your pictures (and mine too!) and I wish you and Izzy a wonderful Christmas.

  16. How very pictureskew.

    I bet there's not much dogging activity in that layby at the moment!

    Not unless they're into Extreme Dogging.

    Hmmm... have I just invented a new... er, sport?

  17. Hiya BB! So it's not just us English (I say English because the Scots are apparently pretty adepet with their snow) who go into full panic mode then? Do you get much of it where you are then? I am thinking you don't cos you are down south aren't you?

  18. LMAO Brahm! What was I saying about all you Canadians being as hard-as-coffin-nails?!! You need to get your ass over here and teach us Brits a thing or two about snow management....*wink*

  19. Thanks Mrs K, but are you sure you don't just want a little bit? It's pretty good fun!

  20. Greetings Shannon, are you new here? I know North Carolina quite well - I just to work in Raleigh quite a lot. But blimey, if you are from Colorado, I bet it takes a lot of snow for you to raise an eyebrow!

  21. Morning Jewell me dear! I think that you and Mrs K are the only people in the whole world who have managed to avoid it..... ok, that might be a slight exaggeration.

    So what did you eat in the end. I need some inspiration because I am hungry too now!

  22. LOL Masher! I love the way that you have taken the dogging theme and run with it. I like the concept of Extreme dogging a lot... shall we float it to the dogging fraternity?!

  23. Snow mainly gone here but roads totally iced sheets with fresh rain on top. Joe & I took Dill the dawg for a walk & re-enacted the scene where Sandra Bullock & Bill Pullman are slipping over in the ice & giggling & clnging on to each otherin - "While you were sleeping" .... not quite so romantic as Joe is my son & not would be boyfriend.

    Glad you got out - I am planning the great escape as just found out the inlaws are here for two days longer than I'd realised. AAAARRGGGHHH!!! Jess & I have lots of escape plans up our thermal vest sleeves.

  24. This post is hysterical! We have about 2 feet of snow but it hasn't snowed in a few days so it is thinning out! Your captions cracked me up! Thanks for the laugh! Love you but not in a weird way! =)

  25. 2.8m of snowfall in Daughter's village. It's so severe that the Ski resort up the mountain has closed 2 of its black runs.

    We had 9" in Witney and the world almost ended.

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  27. My flight no. tonight (ours is tomorrow, but u know what I mean) has been delayed until tomorrow night...) so ours tomorrow will probably also be delayed.. The snow can F off for all I care... I'm pissed about it.
    Anyway 72f here today and I had shorts and flip flops on.. Christmas in Florida anyone?

  28. I love those photos. Snow is so beautiful when it's happening to someone else. Here it's rain -- and more rain. It's delightful when you can stay inside with some hot chocolate, but when you have to go shovel heavy, muddy horse manure -- not so much. My back is aching a bit today. And that's my weather complaint for California.

    Izzy is adorable with any expression.

  29. It looks far more peaceful in your Forest Hill than ours! Gridlock in London
    (and the council has decided not to grit the hilly bits for 'ealth 'n' safety...)

  30. My son has been begging for snow (like I have some control over the white stuff) If I show him these beautiful pictures he'll think you have the "in" and torture me until we are 6 feet under...snow that is (-:


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