Wednesday, 5 January 2011

What weather!!

Friends and family from elsewhere in the UK and abroad have seen our little town of Auchterarder mentioned in news reports about the extreme weather we have been having, and it certainly is the main topic of conversation here!

 Better not to drive at all!!

The snow started on 26th November, by the 27th we were already cancelling journeys (I was meant to be going to the opera in Edinburgh) and for the next week or so our little town was intermittently cut off, cars buried under 2 feet of snow, no deliveries to the shops or petrol station so no milk, bread, veg, fresh meat etc and eventually no diesel (the only cars that could get about were 4x4s so they used up all the diesel but the petrol cars were mostly stuck!)

I think it's mine!!!

At first it was fun to go out for a walk, and the views were spectacular (especially the warm soup or hot chocolate after coming home!) but after a few days it got too difficult to walk through the snow just for fun, and going to see what the shops didn't have in stock became a local pastime.

In the first two snowy weeks I only managed to get to work once, but I can do a lot of my work from home and anything that would have required my physical presence had been canceled anyway. The following week was more or less normal, although as there are still great piles of snow (now frozen solid) in all the parking places a car is becoming a liability. Then the already low temperatures plummeted - in the week before christmas it was down to minus ten during the day and minus 18 at night. At those temperatures the salt that they put on the roads no longer melts the ice and we were cut off again several times, by lorries jack-knifing and blocking the roads. Much of the UK has been affected and it has caused all sorts of problems, not just with transport but things like postal services have been badly disrupted, at their busiest time. However Auchterarder does seem to be getting a reputation for snow!!! Our local council must be getting plenty of practice at dealing with it, because our main road and pavements were kept in a much better state than surrounding places I have visited lately.

Hamish doesn't like snow! Not 2 feet of it anyway!

As the snow started to melt we had icicles hanging from the roof that were as thick as my arm and about 4 feet long.

I got home from work one evening to find the fire engine, blue lights flashing, outside my house (rather alarming to say the least!) and a fireman up a ladder chopping down the icicles in case they fell and hit someone walking on the pavement in front of the house. It took them over 4 hours.

On Christmas Day the weather was dry, although bitterly cold and we managed to drive the 92 miles over to Oban to see my stepfather. It was very icy on the pavements there although the roads were clear - because it is on the coast Oban gets relatively little snow and they clearly aren't used to having to clear the pavements the way they do here. As we got back from our hotel christmas lunch the sun was just setting over the bay, which was  like a mirror as there was no wind.

On the way home that evening the roads were covered in snow and slush between Loch Awe and Killin, but we got home ok.

The main roads are more or less clear now - we did have another two or three inches of snow on boxing day, once it had got a bit warmer, and it has snowed again this afternoon, with more forecast. Where the snow as not been disturbed there is now a solid frozen layer about 8 inches deep which will take some time to melt - we are getting up to about 3 degrees during the day now!!

Thankfully we have (so far) not had problems with frozen pipes - lots of people have. You can see from earlier posts that, while it has been very difficult and dangerous for anyone who has had to travel, even snow-clouds have a silver lining - it has been perfect weather for spinning and knitting!!!

1 comment:

  1. That was a lot of snow!! Looks beautiful - now it's over!