There’s a certain light, even at night, that tells you there is snow outside. Even through thick curtains I could tell there was a blanket covering the road and gardens this morning. It was a little warmer than the night before, too. I looked out of the window and there it was.
I was looking forward to trying out the 4×4 in these conditions, as I needed to get confident in driving in them. An early morning start for work was the ideal opportunity. There would be little traffic on the roads and I could get to grips (pun intended) with 4 wheel drive. I set off just before 7am, down the hill towards the main road. I knew that 4wd wouldn’t help me stop; in fact, the heavier car would make it harder. So I let the engine do the braking and with little effort made it safely to the bottom.
The main road wasn’t much better than my road, and the car in front was struggling to make any of the little inclines. In the end, I had to move into the opposite lane to get past it as it got completely stuck. On the journey to work, I had to do this several times as people were not keeping momentum going, and finding it impossible to do hill starts. I had no problems in the Freelander – it was much better than I expected and made the journey an enjoyable challenge rather than a stressful trek. It took me twice as long to get to work but I arrived safely. Of course, there were very few others in and the message telling people the office was closed had been issued after I set off from home. I stayed for a while but decided to leave when the snow started falling more heavily, and drifting in the wind.
The journey home, now in the light, was better. For the most part, the roads were a little clearer (although some drivers were still not keeping the momentum going and were struggling on hills). I stopped half way home to take some photos and then made it back to my house. It was so satisfying to slowly drive up my road, an impossible drive in any other car I’ve ever owned. I even managed an uphill parallel park outside my house. Big grin!
But that all disappeared when I got in to the house. I could smell gas straight away. The only gas fire that was on was in the hall, and when I checked, it had gone out. I opened all the windows, then the front and back door. That always creates a wind tunnel through the house and sure enough the wind howled from front to back, clearing the gas. It also blew in a load of snow from the front door, where it had drifted. Now my hall was snow-bound, too. As soon as it was safe to do so, I closed the doors and lit the fire in the living room.
After a well earned coffee, I thought I’d walk down to Singleton Park and take photos of the snow laden trees. I even hoped to catch a squirrel or two against the snow. I negotiated the slushy paths (it was harder than driving) and made it to the park. But there was no snow. I could have been in a different part of the country. What little snow there was appeared to be confined to little patches; most of the grass was green and the trees completely clear. I wandered down to the main road, also snow free, and the across to the beach. The tide was in and the sea was rough and grey. It was very choppy and there was a strong wind blowing in from the east.
Disappointed, I turned around and walked back. There were lots of families with sledges, looking for snow to slide down and all of the kids were complaining. Back in Sketty, the snow appeared again, and it started to snow quite heavily too. By the time I got back to my house, big flakes were coming down. I had to clear the steps from the street and as I was doing that, the snow was recovering them. In the end, I gave up. Coffee was calling.