Friday, January 01, 2010
A Happy New Year!
... to all our readers, from the frozen South West of Scotland. Last night, the temperature was ten below, and - in spite of being invited to an excellent party - we elected to stay put. Alan has arthritis and couldn't negotiate the bridge over the burn which is like a mini Cresta Run and has been, since well before Christmas. No sign of a thaw either. Although the house was reasonably warm you could feel the temperature dropping and dropping. We had a splendid Hogmanay, all the same, just the two of us (the youngsters having left for Edinburgh) - warm fire, candles, drinks, and ancient variety stars on STV. This year, STV's offering was like a parody of itself - you would have thought it was all a spoof, reading the listings - but the old film clips turned out to be as enchanting as such things usually are. Music Hall lingered long in Scotland, still does in the pantomimes, and the programme recording all this was wonderfully cheesy. When we found ourselves chorusing forgotten names in unison, we realised that we were enjoying ourselves very much indeed.
Today, it's so cold that I keep expecting to see the White Witch's sleigh trundling along the village street. This is incredibly unusual here. We almost never have snow and normally, when we do, it melts very quickly. Now, it's too solid even to make a snowman and reminds me of the two years I spent working in Finland when I was a young woman. Our local council, South Ayrshire, seems to have run out of grit. At any rate, none of the side roads, even in the county town of Ayr, seem to have been gritted and people keep having accidents. I suspect they budgetted for grit in anticipation of the 'warmest winter ever' - the tabloids had been running the usual stories about primroses blooming in November - every year without fail these appear - and this year the council believed them. Or perhaps they couldn't afford to stock up on grit. Now we're stuck with the coldest snap I can remember in all my years of living here, it seems set to continue well into the New Year and there's not a thing we can do about it. Except get out the Ayrshire blankets, the whisky macs (one part whisky to two parts Crabbie's Green Ginger - it HAS to be Crabbie's) and sit it out.
Posted by Catherine Czerkawska at 2:31 pm