Wednesday, 7 March 2018

The 'Beast From The East'

The 'Beast From The East', or proper winter as it was called back in the day, has been and gone.

I wonder who first coined that phrase, and every time it appeared on television and in the papers did they turn to people and say "I came up with that name, that was my idea!" in a rather annoying manner? 

Even though I got my big coat out, following the advice of Northern friends on social media, I'm relieved to see the back of that weather.  It was the six foot high snow drifts that I found particularly unpleasant and a little bit scary; snow that's taller than me isn't something I relish.

We did have the discussion in our house that folk in Canada and continental Europe must chuckle to themselves when they see Britain grinding to a halt with snow amounts that they would consider a mild winter.

The best thing to come out of it - apart from the various reports of community spirit and people doing good deeds for neighbours and strangers alike, of course - were instructions from a council on how to walk on the ice.

No, this wasn't courtesy of Northants County Council, who must have been relieved that the 'Beast From The East' knocked them from the top story on both national and regional news for a couple of days.  The weather gave us a break from the endless Brexit negotiations too.

The council advice for negotiating icy pavements was to mimic the walk of a penguin.  Seems quite sensible - after all, if there's a creature that knows a lot about snow and ice it's our little feathered friends from the Antarctic.

I thought I'd give it a try.  There I was, walking outside my house, adopting the penguin walk of loose knees, toes slightly out-turned and arms out at my side for balance.

But after a severe bout of laughing, which did absolutely nothing to assist, I reverted to my usual ice walking stance - similar to John Wayne after four hours in the saddle.  Elegant it isn't, but it seems to work for me!

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