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Friday, 6 February 2009

Snow Games

Today’s entertainment started as a result of a short phone conversation with my mate Brian from Nenthead.

I arrived at in a sunny but snowy Nenthead city centre just before brunch to the sound of many spades, shovels and those big red plastic snow-shifting thingies. Even the Council was heaving snow over a wall using a JCB. There’s a lot of snow at Nenthead.

Any road up, the day was broken up into a series of short games or pastimes.

Game 1. Having a rant about the lack of attention from the gritters. Brian was wandering around with a video camera taking pics of the chaos that was Nenthead.
He’d rung the gritting people who, for some bizarre reason, seem to be based in Warrington. He threatened them with the BBC. Later, a gritter turned up. You can tell when a gritting service has been privatised. On the first pass they put down the absolute minimal amount of grit possible to still be able to claim they were gritting. On the second pass, they gritted not. Neither did they salt. Neither was their snowplough sullied by snow. They did wave, a bit regally as they went back to the gritting station to return their grit.

Game 2 Consisted of trying to hurtle down a field full of powder snow on a bicycle with skis on instead of wheels. This was very good fun until you had to return the bike to the top. Which was hard work. Nevertheless, several runs were runned. Speed was not involved due to the tendency for the front runner to slide beneath the snow. Some falling off was completed.

Coffee break.

Game 3 Digging a tunnel into the large pile of snow outside Brian’s house. This took a couple of hours and was interrupted by lunch of some extremely nice soup that Brian had made and a cheese and pickle sandwich.
The next door neighbour asked what I was doing.
“Digging a hole” said I.
“What for” said she.
“We’re going to take in lodgers”
“Hmmm” Shuts door. Sound of many locks and bolts…
When finished, the hole was just big enough for two inside, had a plant pot which had somehow got buried a few days ago, a carpet (building supplies bag), an electricity supply, two large icicle decorations, a watering can a “for sale” sign and a “to let” sign, which the coalman misread as “toilet”
The neighbour who had come around to the idea, suggested spraying it with water to preserve it. (ice – the temperature had increased from minus 7 to a balmy minus 2)
We determined to include some fruit cordial in the spray and so, achieve a little pink, orange or red effect. This wasn’t very successful, but was a good idea.

Game 4 taking two enormous dogs for a walk in the snowdrifts on the moor. It was whilst travelling to this particular gig that we discovered that the gritters had only, in fact, been performing their act whilst passing Brian’s front door. They had neglected to plough out the drifts on the road, or to deal with the bit where the dustbin wagon had slid off the road a week or so earlier. The walk went well. The dogs bounced around and we didn’t.
After a feedback and plenary session


fatdogwalks said...

Enjoyed a good chuckle at that Mike.

Where I stay near Falkirk we haven't seen much snow at all and can't understand what the fuss is all about!

mike knipe said...

To be fair, there's not all that much snow everywhere else, it just seems a lot, but really, when I was alive (1960's 70's etc), this is what winters were like.
If we ever get a hard winter, they'll be shipping in disaster aid from abroad.
Its great fun, playing in the snow, though...

Tykelad said...

Like fatdogwalks we've had very little here on the Costa Del Yorkshire. Been very lucky for a change, we're often the first to get it.

Typical them soft southerners have to be such bloody drama queens.... :p

mike knipe said...

I expect you're on the waiting list for a bit of snow Tykelad - just needs an Easterly with a front on it...
We're having a bit more snow tonight, and there's a warning out for Cumbria. Watch out for avalanches!

Tykelad said...

Me and my big trap !!

Woke up this morning and it's white over !!

Phreerunner said...

So, Mike, you've got a job as a coalman, eh?
Anything to keep the old boy off the streets!
Greetings from the Costa del Timperley, by the way...

mike knipe said...

Eh wha? Coalman?
I did once have an inviolvement with sacking, but I worked in NHS Personnel. Didn't happen very often, though, I mainly counted nurses. "Ooo look, there's another one. Make a note."
Is that you back to dear old blighty?

Phreerunner said...

".....and a “to let” sign, which the coalman misread as “toilet”"

Sorry Mike, I thought that was your code for 'I got caught short!'
Yes, back in blighty and trying to write a bit about the ski marathon.
Sadly confined to barracks until my pension arrives - must apply for the bus pass, etc...

mike knipe said...

You can have a lot of fun with a pension. This move to pensionness is something you're very unlikely to regret. Specially when its chucking it down outside and somebody on the radio is giving out info on the latest traffic jams.
Shall i have another cup of tea, or will it be coffeee....?
smug mode...

Phreerunner said...

Yes, Pensionness will be wonderful. Maybe even better than Rileyness, which I managed to sustain for a year. Trouble is, last week I announced a move from Rileyness to pensionness, but I seem to have jumped the gun by a few days and have no liquid assets at present.
Happily, they should have arrived by the time we meet up at The Snake.

mike knipe said...

...looking forward to meeting everybody at The Snake... I'll be in the bar.....