Well, today has been interesting to say the least...
You know I've been penned indoors like a prisoner for days by the snow, well seeing as there had been no fresh snow overnight, and the temperatures were looking more favourable, we thought we would try to dive out while we could in my car, to seek provisions.
Honestly, each worsening winter, it gets more as if we're living like pioneers in the Rockies.
So, we spent two hours clearing and warming the car (well GJ did, I mainly ate porridge, drank tea, watched Homes Under The Hammer, and tippy-tappied here).
And we sallied forth, we did, full steam ahead, man the breakers, watch the ice-bergs, that kind of thing!
We had some dicey icy moments, to be fair. The bit where we had to overtake a JCB on a single carriageway, crossing over the roadside equivalent of the Himalayas was interesting, to say the least. Never corkscrewed in a car before... There's always a first time for everything, they say!
But, the supermarket was attained, provisions were purchased, the boot was filled and Fhina breathed a sigh of contentment at being re-united with a healthy supply of chocolate.
The snowflakes were falling again as we took the supermarket trolley back to its roost, and temperatures were plummeting once again, so we scarpered sharpish.
The return journey was also interesting, for the roads homeward weren't half as clear as they were earlier, and we encountered a tractor this time.
When he'd pulled over to allow the lengthy snake of cars to over-take him, we wended homeward. We crossed the little mediaeval bridge that leads to our country road, and found ourselves in a veritable cavalcade of transport. It seemed that all of my neighbours had carpe'd the diem and had all ventured out at the same time.
On a steep ungritted hill with only hope for brakes, we halted in a line of vehicles, handbrakes were applied and creaked under the strain of slithering back on ice...
People were getting out of their cars with snow-shovels and spades and we were all wondering what was going on?
Up in front there was White Van Man, stuck fast on the packed snow and ice, being rapidly dug out by my neighbours, whom we call The Intrepid Greenacres, for no rain, hail or snow prevents them from donning skis or snow-shoes and venturing out to climb the nearest mountain in Britain and in Europe.
I was talking to another lady, standing beside her flat-top truck, to try to find out what was the hold-up. It turned out that said White Van Man had by this time already been dug and pushed out of his predicament five times by people in the cars behind and was trying to reach the Terrace. Of course, having been snowed in for more than a week, no-one in his right mind would have even attempted the journey if they didn't have four wheel drive. White Van Man hadn't stood a chance.
Right at that moment, a tractor arrived to help, having been called to the rescue by his wife and daughter who were also stuck in the queue... Whether he intended to drive over the four cars (including mine) in order to reach White Van Man and dig him out wasn't quite clear.
Manned up as we were, I felt able to offer to push the White Van. I was, of course, getting desperate for the loo and was fearful of my chocolate melting in the warmth of the car, which GJ hadn't moved from. Bless him.
So, five of us neighbours set to, heels firmly dug into the ice and snow, to give us some chance if the van rolled backwards, and pressed hands, arms and shoulders to the task of pushing the van.
As if in labour, we PUSHED!
Then the driver took off his handbrake.
With that we soon began to motor, and we found ourselves running up the hill, as if glued to the van doors. Success!
Such incidents only happen in the Terrace where I live. Here, there is cameraderie, spirit, bravery and often intense care for others.
Of course, passing the flat bed truck, I espied that a diverse selection of wines in the bottle were set right into the flat-bed, pressed firmly into the packed snow that lay there. Fabulous! Someone was going to enjoy a well-chilled Chablis by this evening after all that hard work...
Phew! Chin-chin, what?!