“Oh no, not more snow!”
>> pictures at the end again!
These are words we had never expected to hear from our youngest, but hear them we did. The first snow was greeted with delight, but it wasn’t really very much, just a light covering. But then, after the thaw, came much more – 15cms overnight. More delight, although this was tempered by the fact that their school had already broken up for Christmas, and it is well known that the very best snowfall is the sort that means school has to close. We all enjoyed exploring the new white world, with Ozzie bounding around flinging snow everywhere.
But then it began to snow on top of the snow, and it started to get really cold, until one night our local town recorded the lowest temperature in the country at the time: -18 Celsius. For some readers used to ‘proper’ winter temperatures, -18 may seem positively mild. But for us, in the soft, cosy midlands, it was bloomin’ cold. We went out for a walk the following morning through more fresh snow, and it was so cold it made Ozzie’s paws bleed, forcing a hasty retreat. For the first time in 20 years living here we had frozen pipes, but thankfully we still had heating and power – plenty of areas of the country were not so lucky, and that must have been very unpleasant.
The snow persisted and persisted. Ozzie was never reluctant to go out in it, and his shaggy coat seemed to keep him adequately warm. However, the long fur on his paws tended to develop ice balls, and these would grow and grow, particularly between his pads, until they became painful. It also guaranteed that he made large puddles when he thawed out back home.
Snowball fights, snowmen and sledging came and went, as did several attempts to clear the lane. We also ‘enjoyed’ long, cold, snowy trudges across the fields and into town to the supermarket and back. With Christmas fast approaching, we began to think the unthinkable – would we be able to get away to visit Grandpa in Yorkshire for Christmas, as usual? He had much less snow, but getting there might still be a challenge, particularly as we hadn’t yet managed to get our rear-wheel drive car up the lane yet…