Saturday, November 27, 2010


About 2 hours North of Edinburgh we drove into a natural, hazardous, Christmas Winter Wonderland.  It is the one time when you can barely see the sheep in fields, since the fields are no longer defined by the variety of greens in their grasses. They are cloaked in snow. Each time a plump of snow was about to fall, the sky grew an ominous grey.  Though not nightfall, natural light was dimmed. Visibility reduced. The world around us looked, at that stage, very uninviting.

We drove many miles behind a gritter/snow-plough, a large vehicle with powerful lights.  Though a slow and majestic mover, the usual frustrations associated with sedate driving did not figure in the weather conditions that prevailed.  A crawler lane for overtaking slow vehicles, literally was a crawl forward.  Without the remains of a one car accident on the other carriageway, with emergency services still in attendance, it might have been possible to demurely overtake the snow-plough.  As it was not possible, we stayed in file, behind it.  I found it quite comforting. 

At nightfall we were negotiating steep roads and hairpin bends, (shiny with a covering of ice) behind a vehicle with a heavily laden trailer; it was a peculiarly shaped load, possibly a kind of huge transformer together with some other heavy duty machinery. The vehicle almost came to a stop at the most sharp and steep part of the journey. We took deep breaths, kept our distance and trusted to hope.  By staggered degrees of movement, the vehicle made its way onward and upward.

 Magically, we gently moved through a vortex of falling snow.  I imagined stars speeding by us in outer space.  On the other side of the vortex was  deep dark stillness either side of us.  A large rectangle of red light, with twinkling red lights at its four corners was elegantly moving ahead of us.  The lights of another car beamed behind.  In this quiet manner we processed home.


Anonymous said...

driving in snow and ice is no fun at all but the wintry scene is lovely to view either on foot or from the comfort of the great indoors.

we're forecast snow within the next hour or two but as yet, not a sausage!

ZACL said...

Ah, when your snow sausage arrives, it has to be white. ;)

Snow won't lie for long around Pompey I guess, it's too close to the coast.

You're right about the dangers of travelling in the snow and ice outdoors. Trudging in snow laid on top of ice is also a problem.

keiko amano said...


It's a beautiful and serene picture. But living there must be hard.

ZACL said...

Hello Keiko,

How are you?

There have been extraordinary levels of snowfall in the UK. Wales and Scotland, where I live, have had the major falls of snow so far. This weather, is also much earlier than expected. 200 miles South of where I am, in Aberdeenshire, schools have had to close. If this snowy weather is going to be a frequent event this Winter, schools will fall far behind on their curriculums. Schools in the North of Scotland do allow for some lost days, usually about mid January or February. It is all very beautiful but, there will be many other social difficulties in tandem with this icy beauty.

The picture I took and posted, is of a beautiful area of the Northern Highlands, many miles from where I live. We drove past it on our way home. It's on part of our route North or South.