Sunday, January 10, 2010

Snow Business

Frozen Britain taken by Nasa's Terra satellite on 7 January 2010

Snow is not a usual feature of Britain's winters. Sure, it can be found in the Highlands of Scotland and on the peaks in Wales and Northern England, and we have the occasional flurry which may hang around for a day or two, but nothing like this. This is snow that means business. It's several inches thick and it's here to stay at least for the time being. The big kid in me loves the snow even if it made it a little more inconvenient to go to work at first. What I can't stand is the perpetual whining from the majority of my fellow countrymen. I continually hear the chorus of 'Someone should do something about this'. Indeed, the Government should legislate against winter and ban the snow, except in areas where it is pretty and can be used to make snowmen, no?

Tintern in the snow

The shelves in many supermarkets have been stripped bare from panic buyers. There is no salt or kitty litter to be had as people are using to grit their paths, something they say, the council should be responsible for. The call for more cat litter and salt is putting additional demands on an already strained supply chain trying to cope with the panic buying of food. Hello?! Your home is your own responsibility and if we all go out there are cleared our drives and the path in front of our homes then these would be clear! This is all symptomatic of how the welfare state has enfeebled the country. Meanwhile, the same people whining about not being able to go to work are outside playing in the snow and building snowmen rather than going to work. If you travel a few miles to a hill to slide down it on a tea tray then you sure as hell can get to work. Not exactly the blitz spirit that our grandparents would recognise.

Tintern Abbey

Having been in work all week, I took the weekend as an opportunity to go out and see the snow and get some fresh (and freezing) air. I ventured over to Tintern to photograph the Abbey in the snow. The clouds were threatening more snow, but the sun kept breaking through to reveal a blue sky and make the snow glisten.

After a while my hands were so cold that I needed to get warm. We decided to retire to a local hostelry to thaw out and for sustenance. The Anchor, was beautifully warm and cosy inside. I had the most delicious burger I have ever tasted and soon felt the feeling come back to my numb fingers and cold cheeks.

Tintern is among the earliest of Cistercian settlements in Wales and was founded in 1131 by monks sent directly from Normandy at the behest of Walter fitz Richard de Clare, the Earl of Chepstow, on the banks of the river Wye. Tintern, as with all monastic institutions, was suppressed by Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, between 1536/9. The nearby Anchor Inn was probably the abbey's watergate and a 13th century arch links it with the slipway.

The Abbey is situated on the River Wye in Monmouthshire and the ruins have inspired the Wordsworth poem "Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey" and Tennysons's poem "Tears, Idle Tears" and more than one painting by Turner. It also featured in Prince of Thieves and in the video for Iron Maiden's "Can I Play With Madness".

Once we had warmed up,we ventured out again and walked along the river before heading back along the main road towards the Abbey again and the warmth of the car. It was cold, but beautiful and although we saw a few other stalwart souls, the place was quiet and still in the blanket of snow.


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Looks awesome. It's too cold here (wind chills below zero), or I'd break out the snowshoes and go have my own adventure. *sigh* I wish I could go...

R. Sherman said...

Well, of course, I see why everyone is complaining: your buildings have no roofs!

If it's any consolation, we've been stuck in a deep freeze here, many degrees of latitude south of you, with wind chills below zero Fahrenheit. Of course, the panic buying is ubiquitous. When the forecast calls for even an inch or two of winter precipitation, everyone rushes to stock up on milk and bread.

Stay thawed, dear.


Dulce said...

My godddess THIS IS gorgeous....
Beautiful great love those pics
Thank you

kenju said...

That satellite photo is amazing! You looks like the arctic circle!!

rashbre said...

Its been good fun wandering about int he snow the last few days. The secret is some good boots, gloves and layers.

We've also been in pubs and into areas where we'd maybe not stray on a regular weekend.

Like you, I was also surprised at the stripped shelves in the supermarket. I suppose there's no back room storage, so if a truck doesn't arrive then things run down quickly.

bodaat said...

Oooh, thank you for the pictures! What a treat! I have a lot of friends in England and they have all been talking about the snow. Being in Arizona I would love to have some snow. Actually Northern Arizona usually gets a good snowfall in the Winter so I should probably just head North!

bunnygirl said...

Your pics are beautiful, and I wish I were there. I'd brave the cold for Tintern!

I don't quite understand panic buying. It's not very expensive to build an emergency stash, if one starts early and keeps at it. Very few people are so poor that they can't afford one extra can of food each week, or one bag of cat litter or two-pack of batteries. In a year's time, the stash is complete and then it's just a matter or rotating the items that might go bad.

If everyone who could afford to stock up would do so, then the only emergency dashing about would be on behalf of the truly needy, who would be more likely to have their needs met.

Oh, well. It would make too much sense to plan ahead, I guess. Then what would we complain about?

Sleepypete said...

After reading about the burger in The Anchor, I'm very tempted to change one of my Pocket Dragon pics into an I Can Haz CheezBurger :-)

Strange how we find it so pretty when everything goes white ... And I think one reason I like the snow is because there's more challenge to it. Driving is something I can do on autopilot, so driving in snow makes it more interesting.

Kathryn said...

This is simply beautiful. :)

Thank you for sharing.

We get complaints here if we DON'T have enough snow, but our winter economy is based on folks coming here to ski & other snow play.

Hope you enjoy the season.

Dianne said...

your photos are beautiful!!
snow is so decorative although it is a royal pain

I'm surprised people aren't required to clear their own property, we are although a lot don't

when I lived in NYC if you didn't clear your walk you were fined and it was enforced

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

BEAUTIFUL, B-K....Really---It must be so wonderful to see all these places so beautifully blanketed. The quiet of snow is what I remember from back in the days when I lived bck east. It was so wonderfully quiet with all that snow blanketing everything!
It sounds like you had a great time out in all that great white beauty, even though it was so very cold!

Nikki-ann said...

Great photos! Ikeep meaning to go down to Tintern Abbey sometime... I'm sure I went there when I was a kid, but can't be sure!

The snow is pretty much gone here, with just bits of white here and there, and lots of water on the roads.

I love snow, but hated having to drive to work in it... especially as I could have been out taking photos!

I hope you're well :)

Smiler said...

" Indeed, the Government should legislate against winter and ban the snow"—much agreed!

Gorgeous pics by the way.


ColtonSteigerwald0314 said...
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kenju said...

Wonderful photos! I wish you good luck in the rest of the promotion process - but have no doubt you will come out on top!

David said...

your photos are so beautiful, and i am sure that the amazing architecture
never looked so good as with a dusting of snow.