A slippery slope

Weather-wise, it’s been an interesting couple of days, that’s for sure.

The snow started here at about 4pm on Tuesday and began settling almost immediately. By late evening we had a blanket of maybe 3-4cm.

By yesterday morning it was over 20cm – not as bad as the Met Office warning of 40cm, but still more than enough to render our road pretty much undriveable and to make my decision to work from home an easy one.

Wednesday, 7.30am

I spent much of the morning with several of our neighbours clearing driveways and our road – our house is at the top of a fairly steep slope in the middle of an ungritted estate. (Who needs gym membership, eh?) And thankfully, although it snowed persistently for much of the afternoon, we didn’t have a significant fresh fall overnight, so there was only a thin dusting of snow on our road this morning.

Anyway, it hasn’t been all work and no play. Zac took a bit of coaxing to venture outside – he has an intense dislike of the cold – but, once he did, he had a whale of a time, trying out (and, for the most part, falling off) his sled, running up and down the freshly-cleared road and even happily wading through knee-deep snow.

Our little Antarctic explorer

The boy doesn’t know how lucky he is! How often have we gone four or five years without a proper snowfall, and now we’ve had three in the past twelve months. (Global warming? Arctic oscillation? Whatever.)

Having done some digging and even some work, I ventured out after lunch to visit the shops in town. Clearly, many other people had had the same idea several hours before, because both supermarkets had been cleared out of both milk and bread. I did, however, manage to secure all the major items on our emergency shopping list, so we’re good to go until the weekend at least. Although – just my luck – I managed to catch the worst of the afternoon snowstorm on my way home. Still, it was all very pretty.

Wednesday, 3pm

Most importantly, from a birth perspective everything is still on track. The birthing pool was delivered Tuesday lunchtime (about three hours before the snow began), has been assembled and filled, and is now being maintained at a pleasant 37 degrees Celsius. The newspaper delivery man has been up our road this morning in his front-wheel drive car, so it’s clearly not impossible for our midwife to get to us (or, in the event of an emergency, for us to get out). And Zac has been outside again this morning, trying to throw snowballs, falling over on the slippery ice patch on our driveway, but nonetheless loving every minute of it.

Indeed, as I type this the sky is blue and the sun is shining brightly. It’s (just) warm enough to melt the snow, which means we will probably have problems with icy roads after everything refreezes tonight – our road is already, literally, a slippery slope – but I’m feeling much less stressed about the impending birth today than I would have been if Heather had gone into labour yesterday morning.

In fact, the only thing irking me at the moment is the fact that this is my third day in a row working at home and I’m starting to suffer from cabin fever. Still, I’d much rather stay here than be virtually alone in the office worrying about whether or not I can get home!