Tuesday, February 03, 2009

What's the weather like?

For two days I have been reading about travel chaos all over the UK. Every region has had heavy snow - except us and parts of North Wales!

When we began house hunting in Anglesey we talked to one vendor who had photos kept of a heavy snow fall simply because it was a rare occasion. Our good news is that Anglesey does not suffer heavy snow as a rule. Having lived here for over four years we can confirm that on one occasion only have we seen any really measurable depth of snow. The photo above is a record of the day it fell! It stayed for three or four days and then went. Mind you, it fell only on our side of the island. We travelled over on several days to find that no snow had fallen in Llangefni and south of it. It was amazing, therefore, to discover the Llangefni library was closed because of snow. We were advised that the staff could not get in! Yet, we who live on the affected side of the island had reached Llangefni easily! The woman in charge lived on the unaffected coast but could not get in.

I am of the opinion that it just as well that snow is pretty much a stranger here because it does not take much to put off would be travellers who live here. Whenever there is rain on a market day one sees a denuded market community. Sometimes there is only the veg stall and the mobile butcher in residence at Llangefni on a cold wet market day.

It reminds me of a story told by the travel writer, Arthur Eperon, when he travelled from Piraeus to Aegina in the Saronic Gulf. It was breezy and there were flurries of snow on this particular early spring day. So all the ferries, large and small were cancelled for the day. Only the Flying Dolphin hydrofoils were operating. When he arrived in Aegina all the shops and stalls were closed and people were huddled indoors. When the weather improved out they came again. It was just a slight deterioration in the weather but was enough to bring trade to a halt!

Over the past 2 days I have heard of so many journeys not started because of snow. When I lived a few miles outside the town of Oldham I always made it into work. Coming home one evening the traffic was so congested by stuck vehicles that my normally 15 minutes journey took two and a half hours. But I got home in one piece! Later, when I lived farther out from Oldham in the village of Milnrow, I came home to find I could not drive the car up the close. After tea the snow had ceased so my neighbour and I went and helped each other to get our cars back to our houses. After that we challenged our neighbours to a game of Trivial Pursuit and a tot of whisky! It was a good evening, for sure.

Our southern friends expect the roads to be kept clear just for them. They do not think they should ever be inconvenienced. No wonder they have a reputation as complainers! The Mayor of London, good old Boris, has told them that this is not an excuse for a long skive. But many will not be heeding those words, I fear.


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