Tag Archives: Snow

My Morning So Far

19 Jan

Alarm clocks, Glee, breakfast, snow, dogs

Spud had to be up at six-thirty this morning, to catch an early bus to school for a rehearsal of The Bacchae, in which he’s playing The Messenger, 1970s’ style. He’s in two plays in two months; he obviously wants to catch up on the five years he wasn’t performing.

He took my alarm clock and set his phone alarm, as he doesn’t need me to get him up on a Saturday.  Of course I woke about six and lay in bed for forty-five minutes, waiting for him to get up.  I don’t want to be a mollycoddling mummy, believing that children should take responsibility for themselves at some point, especially on Saturdays but, by 6:46 I could stand it no longer and I jumped out of bed to harry him along.  I walked in on him as he was changing.

Oops, I did it again, as Rachel sang in Episode 2, Series 4 of Glee.  I snuggled on the couch under my Vivquilt, catching up on some TV, eating cereal and sipping hot tea while Spud glowered around me.  I don’t envy him, going out in the dark and cold and snow.  There’s something to be said for letting your kids grow up – bad weather is no longer to be feared every Monday to Friday, 08:30-09:00 and 15:00-15:30 in term time.

We’ve had a fair bit of snow in Stockport but it’s not worthy of the name.  It has been constant but fine, useless for playing in.  Even the dogs showed no interest and they usually love snow.  On our walk yesterday I had to drag Molly.  It was like pulling a hairy sled.

I’ll probably leave her at home today and just walk Toby.  She is snuggled under a fleecy blanket on the couch and I don’t expect to see her until lunch time.

It has started snowing again.  I think I’ll join her.  Toby can walk himself; it’s Saturday.


Joke 619

2 Dec

Thanks to Granny1947 for this one.

English: A joke in Grateley Crescent Note the ...

A joke in Grateley Crescent Note the car with snow apparently covering it. No-one else’s car looked like this: I suspect it was a wind-up. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Since the snow came, all the Hub has done is look through the window.

If it gets any worse, I’ll have to let him in.



I Am A Snow Flake

28 Jan

Is it snowing in the blogosphere?

Snow in Veria

Image via Wikipedia

It is only 10:44 in the morning and I’ve had 884 hits on an old post, Some Snow Facts.  Over six hundred people found it because they want to know the size of the world’s largest snowflake. 

For the record, it was 15 inches in diameter/38cm wide and 20cm thick.  It was observed in Montana, USA in 1887 and described by witnesses as “larger than a milk pan”. 

What a useless description – how many people use milk pans these days?  If one that size fell today, would we describe it as “half the size of a microwave – a big microwave, that is; about 2/3 of a small microwave, probably, unless you want me to go by the size of the inside, measuring around the glass front.  Does it matter what colour the microwave is?  I got it from IKEA: does that help?”


As my stats for today are almost at 2000, I Googled ‘World’s Largest Snowflake’.  Guess what?  Google Doodle are celebrating the 125th anniversary of the world’s largest recorded snowflake.

Thanks for mucking up my stats, Google.  Time to give you the cold shoulder.  Consider me an ice maiden.  Who looks like a snowman.

For more Six Word Saturdays, go here.

Joke 258

7 Dec

The Michaels family owned a small farm in Canada, just yards away from the North Dakota border.  Their land had been the subject of a minor dispute between the United States and Canada for generations.  Mrs. Michaels, who had just celebrated her ninetieth birthday, lived on the farm with her son and three grandchildren.

One day, her son came into her room holding a letter.  “I just got some news, Mom,” he said.  “The government has come to an agreement with the people in Washington. They’ve decided that our land is really part of the United States.  We have the right to approve or disapprove of the agreement. What do you think?”

“What do I think?” his mother said.  “Jump at it! Call them right now and tell them we accept! I don’t think I could stand another one of those Canadian winters!”

A Mixed Bag Today

3 Dec

Earlybird pointed me in the direction of different types of snow and I have extended my earlier poem as a result:

Snow Lesson

Eat yellow
snow at
your peril.

Graupel melts
something awful.

Snirt will
make your
insides hurt.

It’s not coming home; it’s not coming home: football’s not coming home. 

Gloom in the room when Russia won the right to host the 2018 World Cup; and mortification at what can only be described as a rout: two votes, and one of those was ours.

I baked a couple of cakes the other day.  I only mention it because they were surprisingly edible, if you don’t mind the aftertaste.

I spent yesterday doing the dreaded housework; I had no choice: Tory Boy is coming home this weekend.  It took me four hours to find his bed under the junk I had stored on it; then I had to put it all in Spud’s room.  On Monday I’ll have to move it all back again.  Why o why did I have children?


There’s a new poem on my other blog.  It’s only two lines so why don’t you take a peek?

Some Snow Facts

2 Dec

Alexandra Park the day before it really snowed. That white bit in front is the frozen reservoir.

  • The tops of clouds must be below 0 degrees Celsius/32 degrees Farenheit for snow. 
  • Snow can come from any cloud that is layered.


  • Technically, snow is a mineral, like iron and salt.
  • Snow appears white because its crystals act as prisms, breaking up the light of the sun into the entire spectrum of color.  It is actually transparent.

  •  A single snowstorm can drop 40 million tons of snow, carrying the energy equivalent to 120 atom bombs.
  • Most snowflakes are less than one-half inch across. The largest snowflake recorded was fifteen inches in diameter.



  • The most snow produced in a single snowstorm is 4.8 meters (15.75ft) at Mt Shasta Ski Bowl, California (USA) between 13 and 19 February 1959.
  • It is a fallacy that no two snowflakes are alike (wouldn’t you hate to be the guy given the job of finding that one out?)

  • According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest snowflake on record measured 38cm wide and 20cm thick. It was observed in Montana, USA in 1887 and described by witnesses as “larger than a milk pan”.
  • Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the only permanent snow cap within sight of the equator.

I hate to be the one to say it, but snow is dull.  I Googled ‘interesting facts about snow’ and this is the best I could find.  I wanted to call this post ‘Interesting Facts About Snow’ (why waste a copy & paste?), but I was afraid I’d be prosecuted under the Trades Description Act. 

If you know anything about snow that actually is interesting, please share it with us.


What’s In A Name?

1 Dec
Screenshot of Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed in ...

Image via Wikipedia

To celebrate the 1st of December, I watched It’s A Wonderful Life again last night.  It’s a wonderful film and the ending still chokes me up; I love it. 

For the first time, I noticed something about the names in the film, one of those tricks of the brain.  There’s nothing scientific about this; it’s just a bit of fun.

  • The cop is called Bert and the cab driver is Ernie.  Bert & Ernie are Muppets who live on Sesame Street.
  • Ernie’s full name is Ernie Bishop.  Ernie Bishop was a character on Coronation Street.  He was gunned down.  It’s the first television murder I remember seeing (they say you never forget your first) (actually, they don’t say that; I just put it in to be funny) (did it work?).
  • There is a bar called Martini’s.  Martini is a drink served in a bar.
  • The young brothers are called George and Harry Bailey.  My Dad’s name was George Harry.  Sadly, his surname wasn’t Bailey.  I did know a Julie Bailey once, if that helps; and there’s a Doctor Bailey on Grey’s Anatomy.  I feel like I know her*.
  • The uncle is William Bailey, or Uncle Billy.  Bill Bailey.  I feel a song coming on.  Sung by a long-haired British comedian, a trilogy by Catherine Cookson, and a scene from The West Wing when the character Will Bailey is hazed by the staff.
  • The villian, Potter, is told he will have a Potter’s field somedayPotter’s Field is associated with the death of Judas Iscariot.
  • Potter’s full name is Henry F. Potter.  ‘Harry’ is a nickname for ‘Henry’ so he is the first fictional Harry Potter.  The latest Harry Potter film is out and I haven’t seen it yet and that puts me in a very bad mood so the first Harry Potter and I have something in common.


This was taken last year; it was thicker than that last night

Last night we finally had a taste of what the country’s been moaning about.  After the film I looked out of the window and the snow was falling thick and fast, like the million clichés in this blog.  It lay untouched on the ground, so I grabbed the Hub and the dogs – having first thrown my long winter coat over my long winter dressing gown, my long winter pyjamas, my long winter socks and my long winter long johns – and we went for an almost-midnight walk.  I adore walking in night snow; it’s magical and muffled and a delicate orange**.


I had been stumped for my final poem for the Poetic Asides Poem A Day Challenge until then: write a lessons learned poem.  I’ll leave you to decide if this is based on bitter experience or imagination.


A Hard-Earned Lesson

Eat yellow
snow at
your peril





*Sad, isn’t it?

**Sad, aren’t I?


There is a new poem on my South Africa blog.

It’s Snow Good

10 Jan

I am so bored of this weather, and yet more snow is forecast.  One of the advantages of living in this country is its changeable but mild weather.  Britain is not keeping its side of the bargain. 

I am annoyed because I couldn’t go to the cemetery yesterday.   I never miss a cemetery date but I had no choice because it is in Widnes, half-an-hour away; the roads are bad and we are still being advised* to keep journeys to the essentials.  Stockport Council have taken that literally and so we have bin bags piled up in the streets.  Collections are confined to main, cleared roads.  The bags are not smelling, thank goodness, because the cold is preserving them.  Recycling bins are overflowing.   Dirty snow looks slushy but is frozen.  The heating is on most of the time.  Even the Hub felt the cold yesterday, which he hardly ever does because his CFS/ME keeps his temperature raised.  Today is milder: -1.  Warm enough to go out without hat, scarf and gloves and only three layers under my coat. 

My Mum died two years ago yesterday.  I still miss her terribly and I feel bad that I didn’t get there.  The Hub says she would want me to stay home and safe and, yes, she would; but I don’t visit the cemetery for her, I visit it for ME.  She’s not even there, really: she was cremated and her ashes interred so I’m visiting a wooden box and a carved stone; but I need to do it on anniversaries.  I’ll go when the weather clears but it won’t be the same.

Don’t mind me: I’m a little grumpy today.  I was expecting to have my house re-wired tomorrow but the engineer who visited on Friday declared that we have too much stuff and they can’t do it unless it’s all gone.  They won’t be able to access all areas as they need to, so it’s hard lines for us.  I have spent all weekend emptying the loft and Freecycling years of Hub-accumulated junk but I’m a modern Canute and I know I can’t stop the tide of crap rolling over me.   The engineer is coming again tomorrow to check on my progress, in the hope of doing the job next week; but I can’t see it happening.

Never mind.  At least now I have some space in my loft.  Maybe I should dig up Mum and store her there; I could visit no matter what the weather then.



*I find Government advice peculiar.  We often hear The Government is advising people not to panic; but we never hear The Government is advising people it is now okay to panic


Snow: The Dirty Underbelly

7 Jan

The snow fun is starting to fade: the central heating is on all day, waiting to infect us with its germs; neighbours’ bones are being broken on ice traps; dog poo lurks beneath each virgin crunch.  Yesterday we took the boys to a new park so they could use their sled – fantastic bargain: I bought it in 1996 for £6.99; it’s made of cheap plastic (blue, naturally) but it has lasted the boys 13 winters.  They were having great fun coming down a hill and we were having great fun watching them, when we were suddenly under a hail of snowballs.  A bunch of lads thought we were a perfect target.  Fortunately, we were just behind a young tree and it gave us some protection; I moved Toby between us.   It wasn’t a normal, fun snowball fight, like my neighbour’s three daughters ganging up on him in the car park this morning;  it was a malicious targeting.  The Hub saw something similar the day before, when a gang of boys aimed a volley at two little girls – walking with their parents! – across the road.  He was in the car and reacted quickly enough to put it between the lads and their victims, so the snowballs (some with stones inside) were intercepted before they could do any damage.

The Hub had terse words with the lads firing at us (along the lines of ‘this stick’ and ‘shove it where the sun don’t shine’), but he was wasting his breath.  We moved away and the lads followed us.  It was horrible.  The question is, what do you do in such a situation?  In his younger, healthier and angrier days it wouldn’t have been a question at all, but the Hub is a little older, a lot less healthy, and very much wiser than he once was, and he knew it wasn’t worth fighting back: if they don’t bring out sticks, knives, stones, whatever, they know the law is on their side.  Any fightback on the Hub’s part and he’s the one facing jail for defending us.  Britain is a mess.  An Englishman’s home is no longer his castle, but the Council’s, who can walk in any time to check that you are recycling or illegally hypnotising your husband or for a thousand other reasons (see this link: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2785678/Shock-figures-reveal-high-numbers-of-council-staff-can-break-into-our-homes.html).  If his castle can no longer be defended then it follows he’s got no chance out on the street.  We did the sensible thing and walked away, but it stuck in the craw.  British citizens’ rights are being lost, one snowball at a time.

If you are wondering what our boys were doing while this was happening, Spud was oblivious to it, being too busy freewheeling down wet hillsides on an abandoned road sign.  Three slides in and the sled died, I’m sorry to report: the boys came down the hill together on it and hit the ramp they had been aiming for; the sled snapped in two and Tory Boy flew off on his piece to the left; Spud flew off right on the other.  Thank goodness for sign-stealing vandals, I say, or how would our children be able to play?

As soon as TB realised something was going on he went on alert.  He encouraged his brother to carry on sledding while he stood and watched carefully in case it all kicked off.  He is very much like his father and not afraid of a fight, but he has at least listened to Dad and doesn’t now just throw himself in there.  We have taught the boys not to be afraid of a fight, but to walk away from it if at all possible.  I would have liked to be able to teach them to turn the other cheek but, in the world in which we live, that could easily mean a bottle in the face.  I don’t want them turning a literal blind eye to trouble.

TB did not leave his post until we had walked away from the bother.  I was scared for him but proud of him.  But how I wish I wasn’t.  I would love to live in a place where there are no thugs roaming the streets; no vandals ripping down road signs; no viciousness.  I know it doesn’t exist, but I’d like to think it’s possible.  Perhaps I was Sir Thomas More in a previous life.

Twelve Pictures

6 Jan

We had a sprinkling of snow in the night

Cushion Kitsch

In honour of Twelfth Night, here is a picture of some of my Christmas cushion covers, as promised.  I have picked them up over the years at car boot sales and £ shops.  This is not all of them – an excess of turkey caused a slight problem with Toby’s bowels and I had to throw a couple away. 


Included just because it's pretty


Ours is the end house. Taken from the flats across the road.Then it snowed a little more.

Because of the blog author's techneptitude, the caption for this photograph appears at the end of the caption for the previous photograph. Don't ask me....









Look carefully to see splashes of colour

Our washing line

Top of the fence. In case you are wondering about the dull subjects, the point of these photos is to show how much snow fell in less than 24 hours.

Toby attacking a snowball

Tory Boy preparing for the hustings

The future's bright; the future's orange

Gorsey Bank - believe it or not, the grottiest place in Stockport. Another reason to love snow.

Walking The Crab

5 Jan

The dog seemed to be losing his fur

I had a horrible day yesterday.  I inadvertently made a mistake in December that only came to light yesterday.  I won’t bore you with the details but I was a mess of snot and tears for a couple of hours.  Fortunately, my knight on a white charger and his trusty sidekick, Rum & Rummer, came to my rescue and sorted it all.  The Rum Hub refused to let me fall apart and came up with a solution and a box of tissues and the Rummer Tory Boy implemented it.   It was nothing that a good family and a strong cup of Earl Grey couldn’t settle, but it knocked me for six.  Life is like that sometimes, I find; but you have to deal with it and move on. 

Moving on, it’s snowing again.  It’s snowing so bad that Spud only got halfway to school when  he had to turn around and come home again.  He catches two buses and the one that goes up the A6 was cancelled.  There was a huge accident and the road was closed, as was his school, but only after he had already left home this morning.  There were no buses coming back this way so he had to walk home and it took him an hour.  The snow it was snowing and has been since seven last night; it is almost calf deep.  Spud tells me I am a wise woman because his friend was in flimsy shoes and tights whereas I had made Spud wear a pair of trainers and carry his school shoes.  He was also in fur hat, coat, and thick gloves over his uniform.  His friend had only her blazer.  I don’t know about ‘wise’ so much as ‘fussy and over-protective’, but he was glad of it for once.  When he got home I had dry clothes warming on the radiator and hot chocolate and hot, buttered toast ready for him.  There are some advantages to being a stay-at-home Mum. 

I have mentioned before that the dog is not a morning person but that’s before you throw snow into the equation.  He adores snow.  I adore walking in it when it is fresh and deep and dark outside.  For just that reason I walked to the bus stop with Spud this morning at 7:45 and on to buy the paper, then I took Toby out for his constitutional.  There is nowhere that is not white: it is glorious.  At eight in the morning the sky is beginning to lighten but the street lights are still on so there is a warm, orange glow to the world.  I gave the excited dog a good run on the park but I didn’t realise that the snow would cling to him quite so fiercely.  Each leg and his underbelly looked like they had their own little bunch of haemorrhoids and were just as tenacious as the real thing.  Toby stood patiently for half an hour while I tried various removal methods, including squashing, sliding, squeezing, slipping, snipping, rubbing and the hairdryer.  He was shivering so much after that time that I had to simply wrap him in a towel and two blankets and let him melt in his basket.  Once he had dissolved I gave him a good rub and he rewarded me by eating half my toast. 

So here I am, wrapped in four layers and sunglasses from the snow glare shining through the window.  It is still snowing at 11:21 a.m. and the nation has ground to a halt.  We are fortunate in that we went into Stockport yesterday instead of today so our bills are all paid.  There was one period when I was sitting tittylipped alone in the car and I thought I’m not having this so I started to sing.  Nothing cheers me up like incredulous passers-by staring in at the strange woman singing to herself in an old Citroen.  I heartily recommend it as an antidote to self-pity.  Something else you might try is counting your blessings; which brings me to today’s photo: it was taken by the Hub on one his trips to Madagscar or Mauritius or Mozambique (I know it had a coastline and began with an ‘M’, and he’s been to all three of those countries).  These cheerful boys had nothing and no hope of ever getting anything, so they looked around and adopted a crab as a pet for the day.  If you look at how they are dressed, they are comparatively wealthy compared to some of the children the Hub saw over the years – he once saw a naked child licking cellophane from a dustbin in Madagascar.  I have posted this photo to remind me that my family is safe; we have heating; food; running water and electricity; we are rich in everything that matters; and no problem is so great that it cannot be temporarily ameliorated by walking the crab.

Have a happy day!


Snow Fun

20 Dec

Pink Fizz

It is still snowing; everywhere looks so clean, one advantage of snow which, sadly, will all turn slushy and messy and dirty brown.  But it’s nice while it lasts.  The Hub, Spud, the dog and I are going up to the park this afternoon to have a snowball fight.  It should be fun: the Hub will overdo it; Spud will try patricide; I will get cross because they keep hitting me; the dog will run away.  We just need Tory Boy and his aggressive right arm to complete the picture, but he won’t be home until Christmas Eve, by which time the snow will probably be gone.

Don’t mind me; I have a headache.

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

18 Dec

Three flakes and Britain grinds to a halt...

You may have heard on the news that Britain has been gripped by fierce snowstorms.  This is the view from our house last ahem November 2005.   As usual, being sheltered by the Pennines, our weather is a feeble copy of the rest of the country’s.  They get snow; we get a frosty sneeze.  I could take a photograph of how it really looks outside at present, but I’ll have to travel into the hills if you want a snow scene.  We have a light covering that is turning to ice because it’s so cold – I’m a nightshirt, wrapped in a dressing gown, inside a blanket; I’m going to have to start thinking about possibly maybe perhaps turning on the central heating.  It’s  -2 outside, but I can’t get over my prejudice that central heating is the root of all health evils.  The Hub is full of a cold and Spud just went back to school after his bug, and I think it’s because I put on the heat for ten minutes, a week last Thursday.  

The news is full of the usual chaos stories: schools closed; traffic accidents; power failures.  Hey, people!  Newsflash: we get bad weather every winter; it’s always been that way: isn’t it time you were prepared?  I don’t know why we are always caught unawares – it usually snows for a couple of days in winter in Britain; order some grit in summer, whydon’tyou?  Borrow a snow plough!  

I will probably not be writing for a couple of weeks now: having tempted fate, I’m bound to slip and break my neck when I go out later today.

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