Taming the Beast from the East
All week we’d been hearing horror stories about the impending “Beast from the East” and on the Wednesday we finally awoke to snow. We were all a little bit disappointed to be honest. Whilst it was lovely to have some snow it wasn’t quite the amount we’d been expecting. Don’t get me wrong we were just being greedy, there was plenty for sledging but nothing befitting the red alert we had. Well we shouldn’t have worried the Beast from the East had more it store for us -much more!
We always normally bike to school but the snow on the Wednesday meant that was out of the question but it did mean Sophie got to use her new skis she’d been itching to try out. Our school run isn’t a nice downhill run, so I had to take on the role of pack horse. The snow continued to come down on and off throughout the day and by the time it was pick up time there was more than enough for a decent sledge.
It seemed like everybody else had the same idea and there was a mass exodus from the playground to the sledging hill the other side of the village. There was a huge crowd of us, with everybody sharing sledges and the older ones helping the younger ones. A few runs in and there was a collective groan from the adults followed by a unanimous cheer from the kids as everybody’s school app pinged to let them know tomorrow was going to be a snow day.
This in itself was a bit of rarity, as a very small rural school with a couple of staff living in the village, it never normally closes. In fact this was the first time ever I’d known it to close, but the council had ordered a council wide closure. Just as I was wondering what on earth I was going to do about childcare whilst I was at work, I got another message – my office was closed as well so problem sorted. I was starting to think perhaps we should take heed of the forecast and go and get some milk and bread but the sledging was just too tempting and well surely everyone was panicking over nothing.
Well Thursday came and so did the snow, we certainly didn’t need to worry about not having enough. After a quick bowl of porridge James and Sophie were desperate to get making the most of their snow day. It wasn’t long before I was summoned to help with their igloo they were building. By help they meant I did all the hard work building whilst they were in charge of design. It needed to be big enough for both of them to sit in – well I couldn’t argue we didn’t have enough snow for it. All this igloo building was exhausting work so we headed out for a rest sledging. Well sledging didn’t quite go to plan, there was too much snow. There was so much snow, the sledges kept disappearing into the drifts. We needed a piste groomer or at least a lot more people to head down the hill and flatten it out a bit. But it at least this meant we could carry on with operation igloo build.
Friday was another snow day for everybody and Sophie and James didn’t even make it inside for lunch, choosing to eat their lunch in the newly finished igloo. As we were walking Jarvis that afternoon we bumped into one James’ friends as they nipped to the village shop for milk. As we chatted their Mum commented that cabin fever had already set in and the snow was still set to linger on and how were we coping. Cabin fever, seemed very wishful thinking, we’d barely set foot indoors since the snow came and I for one was exhausted. James and Sophie were very much grateful to Little Trekkers, with their ice breaker merino wool thermals, Spotty Otter cosy socks, Spotty Otter explorer jackets and Spotty otter trapper hats and gloves there was absolutely no chance of them getting cold or wet and needing to come inside. I must admit I did secretly wish on a couple of occasions their gloves would leak just a little bit, so they’d be tempted inside so I could warm up but nae chance! How did everybody else cope in the snow?
About the Author
About Me & Mine
James' family is James' (aged 7 months), daddy - Dominic, mummy - Helena and Jarvis the dog. We currently live in Norwich but head to the mountains of Snowdonia and the Lake District as often as we can.
Before James was born we were a very active family doing lots of canoeing, hill walking, camping and snowboarding. Since having James we are determined that having a family and enjoying the outdoors are both possible. We are keen to make sure James can not only join in with our adventures, but that he will be happy and comfortable at the same time.
Favourite place in the world:
It's a tough choice but Arisaig on the West coast of Scotland gets our vote. With the whitest sand and bluest sea we've seen, you have to keep reminding yourself you're in Scotland rather than a tropical paradise. The views out towards the Small Isles and the Cuillins on Skye are stunning; it really is a magical place. With sea kayaks it's easy to find your own private beach - well apart from the odd otter (real ones rather than Spotty ones) and seal to share it with. It's definitely somewhere we plan to take James to as soon as possible.
Favourite things to do outdoors:
We are keen canoeists and love to get out on the water as much as possible - whitewater, flat water touring or sea kayaking; we're not fussed as long as it's wet. We are both qualified instructors and enjoy passing on our love of paddle sports to others at our local canoe club. We have already has our own little bow paddler in the making, James, out in the canoe and are looking forward to many more trips.
We also do a lot of walking. We get out everyday to visit our local woods and parks to walk our coker spaniel, Jarvis. When we get the chance though, we prefer something a bit more challenging and regularly visit the mountains of Snowdonia and the Lake District. James' dad Dom, is a qualified mountain leader and is keen to pass on these skils as soon as possible.