My Biggest Icicle… EVER!

Stardate December 3rd 2010

Before all the leaves had even completely fallen off the trees, it came. I don’t think anybody expected snow in November. It made world news, I mean, what else is there to talk about except the weather? The British seem to find comfort in discussing it. How cold it is, how it’s too hot, wet, or dry. Unlike the recent first snowfalls of the year, this year it really threw it down like it meant it. I can’t remember seeing as much snow on the farm. Working from home’s been great, just as well I do, because I’ve been snowed in for over a week now.

Thousands of schools, college’s and universities closed due to bad weather. This makes me laugh, and rarely happened when I was at school, though we always used to look forward to the bus not turning up when the roads were bad. My brother and me used to feel pretty smug, knowing all the town kids would have to go to lessons while we went arse first down the snowy hills on plastic fert bags filled with straw, and had snowball fights with the other village kids. Three words, ‘Health and Safety’. The decision to close so many public buildings, I reckon, is down to the panic spewing from the pen pushers, that some yob, heaven forbid, might make a skiddies slide in the school playground. ‘We’ll be sued to ruin, close them all until this blasted stuff melts’. Great for the kids, a welcome relief for the teachers. The staff get a week off, probably on full pay, and the kids get a weeks holiday courtesy of mother nature.

So ‘extreme’ weather has gripped the UK. Leeming in North Yorkshire, just down the road from here, had its lowest temperature of -17.9C (-0.5F) last night, the lowest since records began in 1945. Quite chilly I suppose, not really extreme though. I didn’t sit up all night watching the mercury, so I don’t know what it got to here. It would though, be extreme if you had to sleep outside in it, and I feel for those who do. We’ve got headlines such as ‘ Snow misery – your stories’, and, ‘UK covered in snow’ splattering the media. I don’t find snow at all miserable, what’s miserable about it? Yes, I think we know the country is covered in snow, so sick of hearing about it, I just want to hear from the people who live in the only place where there isn’t any. Is there nothing else happening in this country? Oh that’s right, yes of course there is, how could we forget Strictly Come Dancing, and I’m a Celebrity… Get me out of here? And the Russians, that wasn’t rigged.

This morning I had my first real outing in almost ten days. I went to town, a ride into Thirsk with Dad in the 4 X 4. The roads just aren’t worth tackling in anything less powerful up here at the moment. This is an indication of how incontinent our country has become. We haven’t had any mail deliveries for over a week now, too scared to dare the roads. More likely down to those three words again. We rang the main sorting office up this morning, and politely asked, ‘when are we going to get our mail? Are you bringing it today?’ The snapped reply to this being, ‘No’. Not much else was exchanged, and we realised we would have to go and retrieve our own mail. So off we went, to the sorting office. Dad being the angel he is, also collected the pension cash for Kepwick and Silton post offices, other villagers mail, and all the Friday and weekend Newspapers for the locals. We then delivered it all, this took quite a few hours. I had a nice sightseeing tour around the local villages, and got to see a couple of people I hadn’t seen for years. Decades of postal deliveries carried out by postman pat, in his van, you’d think by now they’d have worked out what the weather gets like at this time of year and invested in a few 4 X 4’s. Or how about a nice thrifty alternative, some snow chains. No, lets just not deliver the mail.

I have to mention just how amazing my Dad is actually. Yesterday, a man pulled into the bottom of our road unable to get any further because of the road conditions. He was trying to get up into the village to find the house of a local who had just had major surgery on his spine. Basically, the wife of the patient had been trying, in vain for days to get an ambulance to bring her husband home from James Cook Hospital in Teesside. The job had been taken on by this chap, with no beds for Mr Crick to stay in hospital, and no ambulance to bring him home either. So facing a major predicament, even if he did collect him from hospital, he couldn’t taxi him all the way back home anyway, not in his car. The man, after all had just had surgery on his spine and I would say needed to move around as little as possible. Doing 360’s on the ice, probably not a great idea. Dad told the man to go and collect the patient, and to ring him when they got back to the country lanes. Dad then waited for them to return, a couple of hours, went with the truck and met them on the road. Intercepted Mr Crick, and took him home safe in the 4 X 4. Salt of the Earth my Pops. My Dad’s 71 years old.

So, the big freeze continues. In between work, what better way to amuse myself than to walk around in circles taking photographs of the landscape? Even though I have had a limited trajectory, due to the snow being over my knees in places, the landscape over the last week has changed so much everyday. New snowfall, a drop in temperature, sunshine and blizzards, It’s been amazing.

Be careful out there…
Captain … Over and Out…

My Biggest icicle.. EVER!

This impressive specimen started off a tiddler at about four inches. In the space of three days it was over 8 foot long, and is the biggest icicle I have ever seen! How lucky to have it at our house!



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