Monday, 4 February 2019

There's No Business Like Snow Business

Thus far this year, every week has turned out a little differently than expected. Notably
  • having an extra week's teaching, when I thought the job ended at Christmas
  • spending 1 day in Manchester instead of 5
  • spending a night in Hospital
  • losing a dear friend, and having to attend her funeral
  • spending 5 days in Norfolk instead of 1½
Bob had an important committee meeting on 31st, so I knew if I went, I'd have to go alone.This last trip was meant to be "drive up on Wednesday, attend funeral on Thursday, drive back Thursday afternoon - or if tired, being sensible and returning Friday" But life got very complicated and I ended up driving on the Monday, via Elephant and Castle. Liz rang to say that Rosie was too unwell to go to Nursery, and workmen changing windows meant their London flat was too cold for her to stay home.
I collected Liz and a rather poorly Rosie, and the three of us went up to Norfolk together. Due to an accident on the A11 we arrived just before midnight!
Liz caught the heavy cold too, but still managed to do work 'from home'. We had a remarkably relaxed week [what I needed really] Lots of lolling about on the sofa, plenty of cuddling and story-times, and a little bit of sewing. The plan was that on Thursday I would drive back down, and Jon would drive up, and they'd return together over the weekend. But he rang to say he had the cold and the workmen hadn't finished. I said I'd go back Friday, and take L&R back with me.
Here's the view from my kitchen window at Cornerstones on the morning of Jean's funeral. Isn't it beautiful? I love the snow on the trees.
Very grateful to Adrian and Marion, who collected me so I could travel to the Crematorium with them, and then to the Thanksgiving at church. The three of us went out for a meal in the evening.
Friday my car was loaded and on the road soon after 9 - various neighbours wished us a safe journey. 
We set off. Then a 2 hour delay, totally stationary, due to accident on M11. We entertained Rosie by singing Abba songs and doing hand jives [a driver in adjacent lane was taking pictures on his phone- presumably we're now out there on the Internet!] 
A brief stop in E&C to deliver L&R, and grab a snack, then I set off again. It was raining slightly in London. Just after 3, when I'd got onto the M3, the gantries began flashing "Jns 5-7, 60 minutes delay" and light snow started falling. I decided to come off at the next junction [4] and go down the A31 instead. As did almost everyone else - at which point the snow came down very suddenly and incredibly heavily. 
I was sensible - I could see things were getting worse, and I needed to get off the road and have a rest from driving. I diverted to Bob's sister's house, in Farnham, just a few miles from the M3. The snow got thicker, and the roads got worse, and drivers were skidding, or abandoning their cars... I persevered, and did ok till the final hill up to her home. The line of cars ground to a halt - more drivers parking and walking off- but an enthusiastic crowd of cheerful guys, well wrapped up against the weather, appeared with big shovels and strong muscles, They really helped, by giving our cars encouraging pushes to get us going. I am so grateful to these young men.
I arrived at Denise and Kevin's home at 7. They were wonderful - producing tea immediately, then hot chicken soup, toast, and then insisted I should stay the night. Next morning, we watched the reports of motorists stranded on the M3 - and I was grateful to God that I had left the motorway when I did, and that I had a loving family close by! We discovered my hazard lights were flashing intermittently - and the battery was flat. Kevin charged it up. One of his neighbours had already cleared their road, so I was able to drive away around 10.45am, in beautiful sunshine. 
The clear roads and snowy trees on the Surrey/Hampshire border looked so delightful. Acompletely different picture from the night before, when the freezing cold, falling snow, deserted cars, and the dark had been much less pleasant.
I finally got home at 12.15pm.
What a long week it was! 
Bob had almost forgotten what I looked like - he hadn't expected me to be away for 5 whole days. Yes my week was crazy - but...
  • I got to see lots of family members
  • I had plenty of enforced rest
  • Despite incidents en route, we were kept safe, and I [& car}got home in one piece.
  • Bob's meeting was cancelled [due to weather] freeing up time for him to do other things.
"Have you got snow in Ferndown?" I asked him on the phone. "Just a light dusting" he replied. "I try to avoid dusting" I responded - but I came home anyway. I'm feeling so much better than I did a fortnight ago - but continue to be as sensible as I can and take things easy [mostly!] I am so sorry for all the people who were involved in accidents, or stuck in cold snow-bound cars overnight. I know the Scandinavians say "there is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing" but all the gloves, boots, and woolly hats in the world don't make travel any easier when it is like this.
Stay safe, keep warm, keep well- wherever you are.


  1. I am so thankful that you had a safe journey home, even with all the delays and detours! How wonderful that you were able to stay the night with family. So glad everything turned out OK. Driving in snow can be so treacherous.

  2. I'm so glad you were able to be rescuer AND reacuee last week! Getting stuck in the snow is definitely serious. I can't imagine having to spend a night in the car, thank God for your relatives!x

  3. Phew, what an eventful time you have had. I'm glad you were safe, think you must now need a holiday to recover.

  4. Loving families are wonderful!

  5. Goodness, you sound as if you were looked after and not just by family and friends x

    1. Far be it from me to claim Psalm 91;11 - but yes, God was very gracious to me


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