The snow dusted garden was visited by a pack of robins as I made my breakfast this morning. They bobbed across the table leaving a trail of tiny footprints, and then had a comical interlude on the frozen bird-bath, before flying away into the next garden. Their playful exploits were backed by a gorgeous winter morning sky slowly transitioning from pastel reds and yellows, to a vibrant turquoise.
And the beauty of the weather soon lost its charm. Yesterday I had the pleasure of keeping warm, while simply admiring the snow, but today I had the daunting experience of actually being out in it. When I say snow, I do not mean the nice white powder your feet sort of sink into a little bit, I mean ice. Ice with a little bit of give. At half-eleven this morning I had to brave the cold to walk to work. By that time, the vestige of snow had been trampled to oblivion, coating the roads and streets with a layer of white-ice. Walking took on an odd turn. I found myself doing a weird motion where I lifted my legs higher than usual, and placed them down more slowly, to avoid slipping and sliding on the un-gritted pathways. The trouble with Plymouth in this kind of weather is one that has been around since the dawn of time; it’s not flat; we have a lot of hills.
On the way to and from work I encounter three hills, two of which are very steep. Granted on the way they weren’t actually too bad, because the perilous areas were visible, and a nice pathway had been carved by those who had walked them earlier in the day. I nearly slid twice, but nothing more. Walking back however, was a little more tricky, because the aforementioned evident ice took to the cover of darkness, and became ninja-ice. Where the snow had melted, liquidised and frozen again were patches of dark frost viewable only at close distance, and deceptive underfoot. A woman who had taken to the roads, much less effected than the crevice ridden pathways, in hopes of escaping the worse of the snow. Unfortunately, the waiting ninja-ice took away her footing and she ended up on her back. Fear not hypothetical audience, she was unharmed.
At the bottom of the second hill a natural dip occurs in the landscaping. The water from the melted sleet gathered in this dent during the day, and froze again as the air became cooler leaving a steep slope covered in a thick layer of ice. This area is a split between a pedestrian pathway and a bike lane, and so there are fortunately railings to grip as you head up the hill. Otherwise no one would get up the thing. It’s a hilly-hill of doom the rest of the way up, which is steep, and saw many a man without good footing sliding back down like penguins.
Thankfully, the worst and longest of the hills had been treated with grit, devastating to evil plans of the ninja-ice.
This is the last weather related blog post you will have to endure. Tomorrow and the following two days I will have to venture out again, but I am pretty certain, especially if you live in the UK, you are simply fed up of hearing about the cold climate, because it’s literally everywhere. I suppose I just wanted to show what is beautiful can also be deadly. (No, I just wanted to moan about the ice in a productive format).
Working was a pleasant surprise, because the weather had kept most of the shoppers at bay on a day that would otherwise be one of the most hectic of the year. As the last weekend before the big-santa-comming-to-town extravaganza, we were expecting a much higher percentage of costumers stampeding to buy the latest and greatest, but really it was one of the quietest Saturdays for weeks. That does however, make the time go quite slowly, unless you find something to occupy your mind, which I did. I give you a Haiku on the topic of today’s post:
Frozen water on the ground
People fall like stones.
My next post will not contain the following words: ‘ice’, ‘snow’, ‘cold’ and ‘weather’. Promise.