21 February 2010


I don't write many posts about life in Derbyshire as it's humdrum compared to our adventures in France but today I felt the urge.

We awoke this morning to about 3" of snow. It wasn't there at 3am when Nick let Lulu out - she woke us up to ask to go out into the garden.

This photo was taken in the lane two days ago. It's grey and snowing today.

The forecast is for snow every day this week. The road outside our house is covered so Nick is unable to go to the local reservoir for the fishing club working party. He is required to do this once a year as a condition of his membership. He was unable to make the last one as he was working abroad and a phone call has confirmed that today's has been cancelled due to the snow. He wouldn't be able to get there anyway.

My dad will be unable to come round for his dinner and sometimes we take a plateful round for him if I think it's unsafe for him to leave the house- he lives a 5-minute drive away - meals on wheels. He has unrealistic ideas of his abilities and apart from driving in the bad conditions which is stressful, he could even fall on his sloping drive getting to the car. I have already phoned him to check he is ok and ban him from going out, also that he has enough food in the house to feed himself for a few days if we are all grounded. He lives on a road that is never cleared when it snows. We will have to see if it is fit to drive round with his dinner later this evening, otherwise he's got lots of tinned soup in, he says.

I will be unable to go to work this morning, which was my plan while Nick was out at the reservoir. The business isn't open on Sundays but it was my intention to go and sort out the mess left behind by people covering for me whilst I have been off for 6 weeks after the operation. I hate turning up for work on the first day back after a spell off (usually for a holiday) to find all my stuff moved and out of order. I usually go in and tidy up so that I can get on with the job properly straight away. Otherwise it's a bit like trying to bake a cake in someone else's kitchen.

As I don't work Mondays I had a dental appointment tomorrow which I will have to rearrange because my dentist is a 20-mile drive away. I have had to rearrange the last two appointments for various reasons.

I should be back to work on Tuesday. The place will be a tip because I haven't got in to clear up. I will have to leave much earlier than usual because even if the main roads are clear of snow, the country route that I usually take may be too difficult. Consequently everyone will be on the main roads and it will be very slow going. My work colleague who lives nearby will be phoning me early on, whilst I am in the thick of getting ready, sorting out the dog and clearing snow off the car, to ask for a lift. This means I will have to leave even earlier than the earlier I had planned.

Then there's the footwear issue. When it snowed before Christmas, I wore my ancient moon-boots dating back to the skiing holidays I used to take years ago. They look cute and have a fantastic grip in the snow. Now I can't get them on as one foot is still swollen. The only shoes I can wear at the moment are an old and loose pair of black trainers which would look ok for work but have no grip at all in the snow. I can also get Nick's wellington boots on, which I have been using to take the dog to the field each day, and his fishing boots which are waterproof and also have a fantastic grip. So it will have to be those then. I will take the trainers with me to change into at work. (I hope I remember that bit in the mayhem.)

The snow has stopped falling at about 11.30 and a few cars have ventured out. We're keeping our fingers crossed for my dad's dinner. It's boeuf bourguignon tonight.

So to all those people who sneer at us when we get a few inches of snow, usually because they are under several feet of it all winter, I would say - does it cause you this much trouble ? Reading Ken's blog this morning, my first words today were the same as his when he looked out yesterday morning, "merde !"


  1. I'm sorry for smiling Jean, I know none of these things are funny but you wrote them in a very amusing manner. It's so true what you say, a little snow and the life as we know it can grind to a halt.

    Take comfort from the fact that with all the snow in Sweden they still haven't managed to overcome the trouble it brings with it.:)

  2. Jean,
    I'm too afraid to post a comment after all of that!!! Looks like a good time to open a good book or sit down with an old time DVD.
    Spring is on its way.

  3. Jennifer - I had hoped this would all be behind us by the time I returned to work.

    Leon - we long for spring now. I think I will attack the ironing and take my annoyance out on that.

  4. Jean, The southern part of Belgium got another 5cm of snow overnight. We've escaped ... for once! But why does it always snow when we have to get back to work??? I'll think of you tomorrow morning and hope that all goes well.

    Personally I have an akward day ahead on Tuesday! I have to get to the other side of the centre of Brussels to attend a seminar! There's NO way I'll take the car, so it'll be my first experience with public transport in 25 years! Ouch ... I'm not looking forward to it. So good luck to us both ;))

  5. Hi Jean,
    I love snow, but appreciate your plight. I am hoping for even more overnight and a day off school tomorrow!
    Our neighbours should have travelled to Corsica today, but due to the snow their flight from Liverpool to Nice was cancelled and they can't get another until Thursday.
    I'll bet Lulu loves to play in the snow....
    Hope your journey into work tomorrow is not as bad as you fear.

  6. Martine - good luck with the public transport.

    Gaynor - Are you back ? I hope you had a good week. If your friends only had a week off their holiday is ruined due to the snow. How annoying is that ?

  7. I agree with Cleobytheseao.
    By 1:00 most of the snow had disappeared from the main roads around here.
    Have a good week Jean.

  8. Jean, you seem like an ideal employee, not to mention co-worker. I love working with people like you--organized and conscientious.

    It sounds like you've thought through everything you need to do to get ready for work, pick up your co-worker, drive on bad roads, and get to the office. Some call this worrying--I call it planning. You've thought of the worst--now let's hope none of the problems you've planned for actually happen.

  9. Ken and Carolyn - the snow did melt a bit and I was eventually able to get into work for an hour or so. I was determined.

    Also, my Dad was determined to come for his dinner ! We had leek, parsnip and ginger soup followed by boeuf bourgingnon and jacket potatoes. Nobody had any room left for the gooseberry and apple crumble (homegrown gooseberries from the freezer).

    The forecast for the rest of the week has mellowed slightly so let's hope it won't be so bad after all.

  10. Jean, I don't think I realised you were recovering from an op. Poor you - the last thing you need is to be thrown off balance by this awful white stuff. I know people bang on about how pretty it is - and I suppose it is (for about ten minutes) but it doesn't help but hinders.

    Glad to read in the comment that you dad came round for the most delicious sounding meal I have heard for ages. Drool, drool (I must be strong)

  11. Hi Jean, How was your first day at work ? Did you get there safely and manage to clean up the mess? 'Courage' for the rest of the week! Martine

  12. A friend who lives in Ross-on-Wye sent me the following terse message:

    "More pigging white stuff"

    Hope you're surviving being back at work.

    Mad x