The candle flickered and guttered as the front door opened. Jim entered the room with a flurry of snow. The cold air made a hole in the warmth.
‘You OK’ he asked? ‘Yes just about’ , said Sarah. ‘I kept the wood stove burning all day, but the power went out half an hour ago so I lit a candle ‘.
The weather had been mad since the 20’s. Global temperatures had continued to increase, but this winter had been wild. Snow had fallen for three months now. Sometimes they managed to get out to the shops, but they had to walk down the hill over the fields because the lane was full up with snow. It was one of those deep lanes which had been worn away over the centuries. The land around it was about 6 foot higher. In this snow it was impossible to get along because of the drifts.
‘So how many tablets have you got left?’ asked Jim. ‘Five’ she said. ‘I will have to get down to the village soon’ he thought for a second. ‘What about the weather?’
‘I heard the report before the power went off – bad for two days, then it might break?’
Jim looked at his wife, pale and thin. She was shivering with cold. ‘I’ll fetch you a blanket’ .
Later as they lay on a mattress infront of the wood burner, he looked at the ceiling and watched the last glimmers of the candle. He listened to her uneven breathing, a harsh rattle sometimes breaking into the rhythm of sleeping breath. ‘ Oh lord ‘ he thought, ‘let the snow stop, let me get her medicine, let things get better’ .
Three weeks later as the snow turned to rain, and the land flooded, the local police came looking for them. Inside the living room they found their bodies..
A note was on the table under a burnt down candle. ‘I can’t live without her’ was the simple message he had left.
One minute it’s snowing, the next it’s cloudy, then it’s sunny and then we have a massive hailstorm. The hail has melted already because the sun has come out again.
That’s the thing about British weather, it rarely stays the same. In some places like Yorkshire or the Lake District you can buy postcards with mottos on them saying things like if you can see the hills now you won’t be able to in ten minutes because it will be raining or words to that effect..
I was going for a walk this afternoon but its blustery and cold. Perhaps if it improves in an hour or so I will go out. March winds seem to be in evidence today, it’s very gusty. In April we should have showers. Then summer arrives, in the past that’s when we used to get lots more gentle rain. Nowadays with global warming it seems we will get very hot weather or big thunderstorms, weather is never boring here, on some days you get all four seasons at once!
Tomorrow is March
Month of winds
Sharp and clean..
March comes in
Like a lion
Fights with the world
Like a dragon
Breathing cold fire
And late snow ….
March comes in like a lamb
First day of meteorological spring…
Kiss the blossom
In warm breath.
Then the old saying goes
In like a lion, out like a lamb
In like a lamb out like a lion…
March Roars !
As we came out of choir group tonight it was cold and icy. The snow that had fallen earlier had turned from slush on the car park to hard ridges and furrows and ice.
I walked across to the car, managing not to slip. The car started reassuringly. The cold air from the heater took a few minutes to warm up. Then the screen started to demist. A car flew past in the dark. It’s headlights were not switched on so I flashed mine to try and get their attention.
I carefully drove off the car park and onto the road. Luckily it was wet but not slippery. The gritter lorries had clearly been past. Up to the traffic lights, turn right. Now I was on the main road, safe for a moment to drive at normal speed. But I live in a hill so I wanted to park up facing downhill. The only way to do that was to drive up the other side of the hill But I had a plan. Drive halfway up then take a short, flat, side road through the housing estate to get to my street half way down the hill. .. Well I got to the side road, and it was covered in a thick icy snowy layer. Solid, slippery. A steep slope to one side. I dropped into a lower gear. I did not want to slide across the road, on black ice. Keeping to the centre of the road, I drove at the slowest pace I could. Parked cars on either side made me fear hitting their wing mirrors. Nothing happened. My car slid and glided past, slowly and gently. My heart was thudding and I felt my neck tensing. Half way. A road bisecting my slippery route…. Anything coming fast up the hill and I would not have been able to stop safely. Now the road started to twist and turn. The slope increasingly downhill. The grip between the tyres and the asphalt was reducing. I applied the breaks gently. Close to the hill where I had to turn down onto my street. Nothing coming. The snow transformed into moisture, salted and defrosted. Slow turn. Almost in slow motion. It was too dark to see any frosty patches. So I carefully drove down hill in first gear. I got home slightly shaken.
I got my partner to read this. He said “it’s a bit boring” which is honest.
But don’t get excited! It’s wet and about an inch deep. But something we were going to tonight has been cancelled because of it.
Meanwhile over in Europe this week the snow fell so heavily that roofs have collapsed and people have been killed in avalanches.
Britain is situated in the Atlantic ocean in the gulf stream. We only rarely have a lot of snow so we are a bit out of practice with it. No one puts snow chains on car tyres, we don’t possess snow shoes, and the only time skis are worn is when people go up to the (mainly) Scottish mountains in the middle of winter.
Anyway an inch of snow is the most we have had so far this year. If it’s pretty in the morning I will take better photos.
I was looking out of the window and the sky was so yellow I knew it was going to snow. I don’t know why I know that but there is a certain tinge it takes on when the snow is coming.
I looked out later and indeed big white flakes of feathery snow were falling, mixed in with a cold rain.
The cats are curled up and warm and I’ve got an extra heater on and I’m sitting here with my hot water bottle (for my bad back). I’m huddling, watching the sleet and wondering if I should go out shopping. Life goes on.
I love snow, and the music and poetry about it.
I love the poem turned into a carol which is “in the bleak mid winter”. Written by Christina Rossetti, the wife of the Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Snow is beautiful, in its hexagonal form, with amazing patterns that scintilate in the sunlight. There is also powder snow which I think is drier and forms in colder temperatures. I think there are other types but I’m not sure what they are like.
I’m no expert, I don’t know enough about snow. I do know it forms layers on mountains and hills and there are places in the snow that can form weak points so a horizontal layer of snow can slip and cause a massive avalanche.
The colours of snow can also be surprising. Shadows in snow can be very blue. Look at paintings of snow and you will see beautiful renditions of it. I would like to be able to paint something like that.
Well this is not as interesting as I would like…..but it’s late I might write a bit more later…