Thursday, 25 November 2010

Snow & geese

Well the forecasters were right - the North East of Scotland woke up to snow this morning. 

As we are right by the sea we tend to only have a light covering here, but the main coast road gets pretty heavy snowfalls.  As a result, the school transport taking children to secondary school in Stonehaven is often cancelled when there's hardly any snow in the village.  My older daughter was delighted to hear that her bus wasn't running this morning, and when it was announced that Johnshaven Primary would also be closed, her wee sister was chuffed too!

 Beside the harbour this morning.

I'm not complaining - I hate the thought of Eilidh travelling to school in bad weather.  My dad and I had a terrifying experience in dreadful snow 20 years ago, and it's something neither of us will ever forget.

I was a student at Worcester College of H.E. and he was due to pick me up to go home (to Sutton Coldfield) at the end of term.  The Midlands had been hit by very heavy snow to the extent that the M6 was closed and no trains were running.  We were told that we could stay in the halls of residence for an extra night, but by the time I phoned home to tell my parents this, dad had already set off. 

Of course, this was in ye olden days when there were no mobile phones, so I just had to sit and wait and hope that he'd arrive safely.  When he eventually got to Worcester, we loaded the car up with all my belongings and set off home. 

Beside open fields near Kidderminster it was still snowing heavily and snow was drifting from the fields on to the road when we came across stationary traffic.    Dad managed to stop our car in time but the vehicle behind us drove straight into the back of us.  The one behind that did the same, shunting us off the road, smashing our lights and making a terrible mess of the back of our car.  Bear in mind that ALL my stuff was in the boot!!

The snow was still falling thick and fast and we were concerned that we would be stuck for hours and spending the night in the car but the police appeared, declared the road closed and helped everyone to turn their cars around.

We set off back to Worcester in a blizzard, in a white car and with NO lights working on the back of the vehicle.  We were virtually invisible to other road users.  We crawled along very, very slowly and I was absolutely terrified. 

Finally arriving back in the city of Worcester we were still crawling along when the windscreen wipers stopped working.  Dad had to stop every few metres to wipe snow off the windscreen, but with no brake lights to warn the car behind that we were about to stop, it was nerve wracking every time.

Eventually we arrived safely back at college and dad spent the night in my friend's empty room.  If only he'd stayed at home, if only we hadn't set off from Worcester... it's easy to be wise after the event.  At one point, as we were talking to the person who'd driven into us, I'd been hit on the legs by our car as it was shunted by the second one, but neither of us were injured, just very frightened.

Dad seemed calm throughout the entire experience - it was only later that he admitted how scared he'd been.  He had recurring nightmares about it for years afterwards.

So, I am very much of the opinion that unless a journey is absolutely necessary there is no point setting off in the snow.  You just never know what's going to happen and I would much rather my girls had a day off school than I had to worry about whether they'd get home safely.

Whilst I was out taking photos of the snow this morning there was an incredible 'honking' sound as hundreds of geese flew overhead.  The photos really can't do justice to this amazing sight, but here they are anyway to give you an idea!

Oh, and here's evidence that the seagulls have been out for a walk together!

1 comment:

  1. What a horrendous journey! Never experienced anything like that. Our school was always closed to country kids when it snowed but my Mum tried driving us in one day and we did a 360 degree spin on the main Creiff to Perth Rd! Also, one time we were driving down the Dundee road in a blizzard, crawling along behind a lorry when it suddenly stopped and we realised we were in Glencarse....we hadn't even realised we'd turned off the dual carriageway!
    I do love it when the sun comes out after it has been snowing though. Love sea gull prints too : )


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