It was a snow week.
I realise your probably sick of snow photos all over social media, blogs and the like. I am too. But that’s not going to stop me sharing mine.
So just in case you somehow missed it the UK was hit by The Beast From The East last week, the white stuff was everywhere. Then ‘Emma’ came to visit, the least scary name for a storm possible. Who’s idea was that? Don’t judge a book by its cover though, or a storm by its name. Emma was a pretty powerful force of nature that when combined with The Beast From The East became quite deadly. Fact.
It all started last Tuesday here in Norfolk. I was excited, we don’t get a lot of snow in these parts, I can’t remember when we last had enough to build a snowman. Well by Wednesday morning there was enough for a whole snow nation. Raymond Briggs would have been inspired!
Love or hate the white stuff you can’t deny how pretty it makes everything. It’s like walking through a wardrobe to Narnia, it makes the world a different place. You notice things you never did, because now they have snow on. The snow highlights every leaf and every branch on the trees.
You can see all the pathways people have taken before you, the traces they have left behind. Footprints. Wheel marks. People, big and small. Wheels big and small.
On Thursday we woke to what looked like a world in where someone had seriously ticked off Princess Elsa. ‘Emma’ had caused snow drifts that in places came up to your waist. The weather had been below freezing for a couple of days and it was like having your own personal ice rink.
I love snow. For a day.
The crunchy sound under wheel. The challenging wheelchair driving conditions can be quite fun. For a bit. Not that I can drive a car, but it’s probably a bit like that, stay in a slow gear, don’t stop moving whatever you do. Keep it steady.
Snow for me is a little easier than slush and ice. My tires get to grips with the snow a little more. There’s something for them to work with. Ice on the other hand is almost a no go. But you know by now, there’s not really such thing as a no go to me. If I think I can’t. I will.
Anyway I had a pre arranged doctors appointment on the Thursday. A follow up to the week before and the week before, I’ve not been well for a while as you may have read (it’s ok though now, it’s March, things are looking up. Health wise anyway!). So I had this Doctors appointment that I was determined to attend. The first obstacle was exiting my front door. My driveway comes to a gradual ramp towards my door to allow me easy (step free) access. This slope was deep in snow which has been trampled on and then frozen. I slowly wheeled over the lip in the doorway hoping I wouldn’t just carry on wheel skiing down the ramp and collide with the neighbour’s wall! I managed with just a little skid as I turned the corner. I was free!
I stuck to the road a lot of the way. It wasn’t busy. The cars had squished up a lot of the snow and this was easier for me to drive on. Also some of the pavements that had hardly been used you couldn’t see where the path ended and the road began. I’d have fallen off an unseen curb into deep snow never to be seen again!
With a steady snail pace I made it there.
The return journey went slightly less smoothly. I went home via the pharmacy, which involved a small slope. I started up this slope just fine, until my wheels lost grip and started spinning. I was sliding down the slope quicker than I could get up!
It reminded me of that time at Latitude festival when I got stuck in deep mud, wheels spinning, and friendly (drunk) festival goers came to my rescue and pushed me through. Well this snow storm also brought out the kindness in people (not drunk ones this time) and a gentlemanly passerby came to my rescue to give me a shove. Don’t stress, through all this I am not alone, I have my trusty PA with me that’s doing the best she can to assist me whilst staying upright herself.
This small gesture of kindness was nothing compared to what others were doing to help their fellow beings. Social media and television news were full of stories about communities coming together. People shovelling snow to get emergency services through to a village. Care home staff working 3 days straight, day and night, because other staff couldn’t get in to relieve them and take over their role. Cars being dug out by neighbours or pushed while their wheels are spinning. People on Facebook offering to help those that need assistance, whose relatives or carers can’t get to them. Checking on elderly and vulnerable friends and neighbors. Donating things and time to those living on the streets. I cannot even imagine what it is like to live on the streets. I have heating yet still use a hot water bottle.
So by Saturday (day 4) cabin fever had set in.
I hadn’t seen many faces. At least I’d seen some, unlike many.
I’m sure I’d usually jump at the chance of a quiet few days at home reading and catching up with telly. Doing crafts. You know. But we never want what we have do we. All I wanted was to get out. I needed to get out. I really fancied a nice posh coffee. But I couldn’t.
My relationship with snow is a bit of a love hate one. I love how it makes us look at the world differently, see the beauty around us. Makes us come together and be a community. I hate how it shows our weaknesses, causes danger and interrupts our lives.
I have realised one thing. We in England are not cut out for weather. Weather in all its form stumps us. Controls us. Brings us to a halt. We are at our best on a slightly cloudy day in May, where the temperature reaches 20 degrees and there’s a mid morning shower.
The snow has pretty much gone now, and I miss it already. A little. But I don’t want it to come back too soon.