Monday, March 24, 2008

Snow business

In our little pocket of coastal Northumberland, the snow rarely lingers. It has a tough battle against the salt air and needs to come fully equipped with reinforcements if it is to win the right to settle. It did - briefly - overnight but the roads are again wet and grass is peeping through the temporary dusting on lawns and fields.

It's a different story inland. Drive along an uncovered Beadnell Straight towards Swinhoe and before you reach the top, there will be snow. A definite line marks the end of the salty dominance. Looking out from my garden, the Cheviots have been white for a few days. And it's supposed to be spring.

I have a love-hate relationship with snow. Currently, I'm happy to be smothered in the stuff: I am off work for a week and the Grey Mare has a stable to be tucked into. But when I have to drive through it, and in previous years when she lived outside all year round, I hated it. Then, I was glad of our special little ecosystem.

Sometimes, though, the snow beats the salty air. At school, I prayed for snow, because it meant we would be sent home. The thickest I have ever seen was in February of 1987. We were all but blocked in for about a week. I loved it. The Grey Mare's predecessor (another grey mare, natch) lived at a dairy farm in the next village. I would trudge through the snow to feed her and be brought home by the tractor that had been called into service to deliver the milk.

The grey mare # 1 is long gone, and so is the dairy: houses occupy the field where the ponies grazed adjacent to black and white cows. I still think of them every time I pass by.

18 comments:

Expatmum said...

The one thing I can't get used to over here is snow on the beach. Chicago is on Lake Michigan, which is a fresh water lake. Quite often there's about a quarter mile ice covering on the lake and big piles of snow on the beach. Very surreal.

I might have to attach that Northumberland web site to my blog!

rilly super said...

it has been a strange weekend for weather M&M. Enjoy your week off won't you. After meeting a few horses on friday I can see why people love them so much but having said that you don't know the best thing to use after one has tried to eat a hermes mink riding coat do you?

Karen said...

We've had a bit of snow but it hasn't settled. I agree snow is best when you don't actually have to do anything whilst is around. I used to be quite good at wishing for snow so I didn't have to go to school and getting what I asked for.

The best snowfall we ever had was in 1996 I think - we got sent home from school early and ended up with 6ft drifts and were stuck in the village for a week.

Marianne said...

Strange times we live in M&M. Enjoy your week off work - why does it always fly by? We had icy blasts down here in Kent too, in more ways than one.

Winchester whisperer said...

Happy belated Easter M&M - I hope your hot cross buns cheered you and the grey mare.

Cait O'Connor said...

I was led to your blog in a roundabout way this morning, surfing as you do. I am sure I have visited before in the distant past. I live in Wales and we have snow on the tops too. Lovely blog, I will call again and add to my bookmarks.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

The picture you published with this blog is astonishingly pretty. Breathtaking scenery. You are lucky!

muddyboots said...

we've had a little snow here too, and on the beach! happy belated easter

Nunhead Mum of One said...

I love snow but the flurry we experienced on Sunday didn't do it for me.....I to build a snowman!

Lizzie said...

Hello again - stranger! My fault entirely. Hope you are really fine.Haven't at all forgotten you.
LotsaloveLizzie xxx

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Hope the week off is going well. I also used to want to be sent home becoz of snow, it used to happen quite often. The nuns would panic that they'd be stuck with us for the night, and at the slightest flurry of snow they would summon the coaches to take us home!
Pigx

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Though I don't believe in ghosts, I find myself surrounded by them.

Beth said...

Well, I grew up in Nova Scotia and you haven't seen snow untill you've lived in Canada!! I had a Shetland Pony growing up and she sometimes used to have to JUMP from place to place in her paddock as the ddrifts were up to her belly.

beta mum said...

We didn't get any snow down south - lots of wind and rain though. I remember snow just once in my childhood.
My daughter has just started riding lessons and wants to know if she has enough in her bank account to buy a pony.
Oh dear.

Expatmum said...

I don't know what the weather's like in S. houses, but if it doesn't clear up by summer we're not coming for our ice cream and walk along the pier/jetty thingy. (Although I am drawn to that National Trust shop I have to say.) It's still freezing in Chicago.

Semaj Mahgih said...

Good luck to you up there in G-d's own country - Northumbria.

GeraniumCat said...

We've been properly snowed in two or three since we moved to Northumberland, the dogs were blissful and it was lovely except for digging ourselves out - I'm always surprised by how heavy snow is. Last Sunday was nasty, though, it was slushy and foggy and it took hours to get to Newcastle.

Semaj Mahgih said...

I have a love-love relationship with snow.