Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday's spotlight - Let it snow!

By guest blogger Pete.

"Let it snow!"

Last Sunday I told you about the cold weather we have been SUFFERING (aaaaaahhhhhhhh!) here in the UK. Yesterday we had the heaviest snow fall for 18 years (more aaaahhhhhs). Normally we don't get much snow in the midlands and south of England but we sure made up for it yesterday.

My elder daughter and her family couldn't get to work or school (the boys were absolutely distraught about missing school!!) and they went sledging. The boys built a ramp, which made them airborne. They must take after their father!

People panic here when it snows and yesterday was no exception. For 18 years we've had little or now snow. Because of that we have a good percentage of drivers who have never driven in snow. Some of them seem to have thought that the faster you drive the quicker you get home and out of the snow. There was an additional stop in that order for some - a lift to the local hospital.

When we had the last bad snowfall it was on a Friday. When the forecast came through (more than a little later than usual) thoughtful employers sent their workforces home rather than have them stuck in the office or factory for the weekend. They all poured onto the motorways - some slid, lorries jack-knifed, some crashed and pretty soon the motorways were gridlocked. The gritting lorries were slower than the workers in getting out and so couldn't get onto the motorways. Chaos is a wonderful human invention!

The painting is from a photo I took of my wife, Pam, in our local park, about 2 minutes from where we live. There was a dusting of snow on the ground that day. It's a great place and has a very attractive lake in the middle of it. The dog on Pam's lap is a Bichon and her name was Lucy, We've had quite a few dogs in our time but Lucy was, by far, the biggest character amongst them all.

As if the present "credit crunch " - UK speak for the global economic situation - wasn't bad enough we've now got unofficial strikes going on in the UK. The pickets must have frozen to the spot yesterday. I didn't want to venture forth to my art group so I stayed at painted in the warmth of our home. I didn't facing sitting for 2 hours in a temperature at its best described as moderate - plus face the prospect of the conga dancing priest and his people setting off the alarm (see last Sunday's blog). As I painted I decided that the gondoliers in the image were deciding whether or not to strike. The bosses had decided that their employees had knees that were too nobbly for their delicate customers and so everyone must wear long trousers! Some of them decided that they wanted to go on wearing short and didn't want to be dictated to. Thus a strike was forthcoming.

Thanks Hamish and Florcita for your comments. Yes, you can see gondolas in the sketch but the setting isn't Venice. Get away from Italy and where else would you find a Venice? Thanks also, Florcita, for the info on "Baby, it's cold outside". I thought it was a duet but couldn't remember that it was sung by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.

Have a good week. Perhaps we'll have the hottest week for 18 years. Then, perhaps not........"


florcita said...

You are welcome :)
Where else would one find a Venice...eeerrrmmm...I don't many countries claim to have the "Venice of...". Here in NL they call Amsterdam the Venice of Northern Europe...but there are no gondolas. Are we talking about the Venice reproduced in Las Vegas?? jajaj don't know!

We had that very strong snowfall on the beginning of January. But people here are a bit obsessed with weather so everyone check the internet or tv all the time for the forecast. Before it starts freezing there are tracks putting salt on the streets. Big streets and Highways (The Netherlands is one big highway) got cleared before people got out.Still, I think they all knew the snow was coming because they had been glued to the weather forecast page! (they were expecting for temps to stay bellow 0C for a couple of days so the channels, rivers and lakes stayed frozen...for skating!)
And funnily enough, or weirdly enough, they gave an accurate forecast!

Anyway, hope you are all surviving. Snow melts, don't worry :) Good for you, stay indoors and just venture out dressed up to your ears and for a walk. :)
Have a nice week yourself.

Ruth said...

So how many hours do you think the whole painting will have taken you to completion?