Saturday, December 18, 2010

The weather outside is frightful

Well, actually, not as frightful as it has been. But it's pretty cold. If you are reading in Canada or Alaska or the Midwestern US or Norway or somewhere (is anybody?) then you will probably be laughing hollowly at Britain's lack of fortitude and proper snowploughing equipment, but...

Currently we are not under a lot of snow, but everything is rather slippery, and we did have a lot in late November and the first half of December. I am almost the only person I know who managed to make it in to work all the way through this, so perhaps I don't have too much to complain about. (Actually, maybe my dad did. And Mum would have except that the college she works at was closed during the worst weather.)

Just to add to the dangers of falling over on the ice, we have had no streetlights in our road for a couple of days, which is not great when it gets dark at about 4 p.m. Though I can see that icy conditions may make the council less keen/able to get out there and fix the problem.

Struggling through the snow was made slightly more difficult by my not having any wellies. I haven't ever felt the desire for wellies since... probably the last time I was at Guide Camp, which could've been 1994 or so. But now I see the point. Unfortunately I can't find any that fit me - not even the expensive Hunter ones with extensible calf inserts - since I have average-sized feet but serious calves; I like to think it's the cycling that does it.

Ah, cycling. Yes. I haven't been out on my bike since before this weather started. Last year I kept on cycling in everything but the worst weather, but then I fell off three times on black ice and I'm really keen not to do that this year. J has kept going except on the snowiest days, but then his route to work is more along main roads. I am feeling somewhat under-exercised, which is a pity since generally the bike provides exercise that takes no time out of my day (if I didn't cycle, I'd have to spend at least as long on a bus). I shall have to think of something else. Walking gingerly over icy pavements doesn't really get the heart-rate up, or not in a good way.

Oh, moan moan moan moan moan. This is one reason I haven't posted since 23 November (really?) because all I have to say is a bit moany. Sense of perspective here! Our heating is working, and we now have boiler insurance (unlike last winter when the boiler broke in January) and the guinea pigs are fine and there are people with actual misfortunes out there. And I do now have some hiking boots, advertised as waterproof - reduced from £49.99 to £32! and in black, rather than lilac or turquoise! So if deep snow returns, I will be slightly better shod.

And I have now done considerably more Christmas shopping than I had this morning, although the house still looks resolutely unChristmassy. But I'm hoping this will change tomorrow.

I was at an educational/IT one-day conference on Tuesday and live-Tweeted it at the request of the organisers (not a special request to me personally, you understand, but to all the attendees). I now have about 200 new people who want to follow me on Twitter. I hope they won't be horribly disappointed when I revert to very infrequent tweets about my insomniac tendencies or the guinea pigs...

Oh, and Loth - I would happily knit you a Kindle cover. Any time.


--V said...

I was thinking about you when I heard of Scotland snow emergency there for a while. I was wondering if you were anywhere near all of that.

--V said...

Me again. Do they have something over there called "Yaktrax?" They're these black rubber things that go over your shoes, and they're wrapped with wires. They grip snow and ice really, really well. I have a pair and they're wonderful. They make me feel completely sure-footed no matter what the sidewalks are like.

Here's an URL to a page that shows you what they look like:

You might be able to find them in a sporting good store over there. If you can't, let me know. I'll send you a pair. Sounds like you could use them.

old_black said...

I am absolutely amazed that anyone cycles in those conditions. You're a much braver lot than ever gave you credit for!! I love hearing about how awful it is because it makes me realize how lucky I am to not need a pair of Yaktrax, Wellies, or any other rubber goods of that nature.

Loth said...

Ah, you're too kind! I sympathise with you on the welly front though - I can't find any to fit my .....ahem....."sturdy" calves either. I ended up buying a cheap pair and then cutting them down to ankle boot length. Keeps your feet dry although your trouser legs get soaked!

Isabelle said...

Oh dear, didn't realise you didn't have wellies! Alas! I feel I've failed in my duties as a mother.


RWD said...

Your parents have YakTrax and can thoroughly recommend them. In use once again today as I struggled in to work. As you surmised I too have not missed a day because of the weather.

Your loving father.

Stomper Girl said...

Happy New Year K! I'm sure it will be xx