Whenever you drive into Wooldale, there are big signs at the start of the road:
followed by a list of all the main local roads, with lamps to flash if any of them are closed. And they never are, at least not when I drive up into Wooldale. Which is, to be honest, a shame. I’d rather like to drive up there through softly-falling snow and see the list of closed roads flashing at me. But, no, the roads are always open, with no flakes to be seen anywhere.
Last night, for example, was just the same as any other. There were thunderstorms, heavy rain pouring down and almost flooding the road back up to the motorway, but that was just down to blocked drains. It felt fairly warm, for January at least. No sign of snow at all, even at 2am when I left the club to head home. So I was slightly puzzled to wake up this morning, and hear that Wooldale had been snowed in. When it comes down, it can come sudden.
For once, some photos of my own, rather than from Imperial Russia. These are shots of the snowy scene in my back garden, on December 29th last year. It’s taken them a fortnight to appear because I still use an old-fashioned film camera,* so have to use up the roll, send it off for processing, and spend a while scanning my prints before I can upload them to this place. Hope you like them.
In case you were wondering, the limited variety of views is because: I didn’t really want to go outside in the cold. All these shots were either taken from my back doorstep, or from the bedroom window.
* for photo-geeks: a 1989-vintage Nikon F801 (or N8008 if you’re American) with a rather newer Nikkor 50mm f1.8D lens.
Driving in snow isn’t something I’ve ever done before, as far as I can remember. Today, I had to shovel a couple of inches off the windscreen before slowly trundling off towards the office.
I forgot, of course, to shovel it off the bonnet too, so was stuck peering around a large pile of snow as I drove along. Fortunately, everyone else was going just as slowly as I was, so I didn’t have to worry about getting in everybody else’s way. Sticking to my own tentative pace, wary of slipping or skidding, I gently rolled to work.
It’s strange how much noise a load of snow on your roof will make. The journey was filled with gentle creaks as the snow settled and moved. I felt like a passenger onboard a wooden sailing ship. Today’s trip to work was my very own Franklin expedition.
Yesterday,* we had the first snow of winter. When I left the house in the morning it was cold but dry; ten minutes from the office a few flakes started to appear in the air, and by the time I was inside at my desk everywhere already had a good covering.
Today, I got up, and the snow was gone. I had to go in to work again; it was the first time I’d been working out of hours, in my normal clothes,** since the Christmas holiday week last year. The weather was cold, windy, the air clear with a hint of rain. Normal English winter weather, in other words, and with everything in combination I felt seasonal for the first time this winter – it was Just Like Christmas.
(Sleighbells, to fade.)
* When I didn’t post, as I was rushed off my feet at work – hence going in today – and had been invited round to Colleague M’s mum’s house for tea afterwards.
** Even though I spend most of my waking time at work, and I wear office clothes five days out of seven, I still think of the other clothes as my normal ones.