It was cold on the way home from Smoky-drinky.. No, it didn't last two days, I've been busy today sorting out pots and propagators ready for planting. I'm a little behind Junican because frost-safe time comes later here, and a long way behind Pat who's been growing indoors over winter. I have a bag of compost but that has to be indoors for a few days to warm up. It's been in the greenhouse and it hasn't been above freezing here for almost a week.
On the other hand, it hasn't been too far below either. Not a patch on last winter. The coldest my external thermometer has shown is -7C which is perfectly normal for the time of year. There's no snow on the ground. It falls, melts and then freezes into a perfectly clear glaze all across the streets. I'd rather have the snow. At least I can see where it is.
The Daily Heartattack thinks that four inches of snow is a disaster. They have a photo of a police car with a layer of snow you'd have to spend almost a minute brushing off before driving away, with the caption 'going nowhere'. Really? Last year we had three feet of snow here and -20C and the buses ran as normal most days, cars drove around (not always as carefully as they should), and everything seemed to be working okay. There was a period last year where I put the heating on continuously for two weeks and to hell with the cost because whenever it went off, I had flashbacks to childhood, outside toilets in winter (nobody bothered to read the news in there) and the tin bath in front of the fire. This year the heating goes off at night and there's no problem. It's off now, it went off at midnight. The insulation in the house can cope easily.
This year the serious cold is over Europe rather than here, although some parts of the UK aren't looking good. Sea ice in Poole! Still, looking at the real temperatures and the 'oooo, three inches of snow' scare stuff and comparing it with the photos, I have to wonder how many of those photos are from last year? The icicles labelled '-7C' look bigger than last years' -20C ones.
When did snow in winter become news? It's been called news for a few years now. I recall some hysterical floozy on the Scottish news about five years or so back, telling us that the terrible snow was coming to kill us all. She was on location, wasn't even wearing gloves and behind her, the ground looked as if someone had spilled a little talcum powder. She's telling this to people who had, in previous years, dug through snowdrifts taller than themselves in order to reach the pub. But then we didn't have to stand outside it in those days so it was worth the effort.
This winter, in Scotland, has been luxury. Yes, it's below freezing for days at a time but that's normal and it's been much further below freezing in the past. There's been very little snow and never anything that could be considered to be in the way.
Compared to last year and the year before, it's hardly winter at all. There was one winter in the mid-1990s where I opened the door to go to work, found a wall of snow halfway up it, closed the door and called work to say I wasn't going to be able to dig my way there for a day or so. Work was much further away than the pub and much less vital.
There have been winters milder than this one in the past too. I had carnations in bloom on Christmas day roughly ten years ago. Unfortunately a subsequent cold snap wiped them out so it was their last Christmas on this Earth. They enjoyed it, so it was worthwhile.
I'd quite like a little snow. Crocus leaves are up and their pattern would be easy to see if there was about an inch of snow around them. I couldn't get a good photo last year.
It's not news. It's winter. Why are the papers full of images of snowless roads with gritters merrily spreading grit without hindrance, and so-called 'Antarctic' views with grass poking through and trees with not a flake on them? That's not the Antarctic. Two-miles-thick ice with a lake under it - that's the Antarctic. The grass would have to be seriously in need of mowing to poke through that.
I blame Global Warming and babbling fools like Georgie Monoblot. They harp on about the weather as if they can control it. King Cnut proved that even a monarch with an anagrammatically filthy name could not control even the local tide. (You won't believe what Firefox's spell checker wants to replace Cnut with!)
Yet our latest Windy Miller, Chris (douze-point) Huhne thinks we can save the planet by having neodymium mines that create entire lakes of poison and putting huge steel structures on enormous blocks of concrete to generate no electricity at all when the wind isn't at exactly the right speed and then charge us more for electricity because the bloody things can't possibly pay for themselves. You listening, Salmond? No matter how many Glaswegians you stuff with Buckfast, beans and sprouts, those things are a waste of time and money.
Well, Chris (zippy) Huhne has been replaced with a similar idiot who is just as mesmerised by the roundy-roundy movement of ecologically devastating garden ornaments. There'll be no change in government idiocy even as we all freeze to death because they are all so incredibly stupid that nobody can possibly be convinced of it. Nobody could believe that a creature with absolutely no brain and a barely functioning nervous system, a creature that biology would classify as a fungus or at most, a nematode, could have achieved a position in charge of sorting paint colours in a factory that only produced white paint, much less a position in charge of overseeing the energy requirements of an entire country.
Yet here we are. Twice. Huhne is replaced by Ed 'I'm so green you'd think I was made of slime' Davey so the country is buggered still. There'll be bird mince for all and you'd better save the feathers to burn for heat because you'll get sod all out of the grid when he's finished with it. More Chinese death-lakes for future scientists to burrow through two miles of ice to reach.
Now wouldn't that be funny? What if those Russian scientists in Antarctica found that Lake Vostok was a two million year old toxic waste lake from neodymium mining that was used by early reptile people to produce the windmills that caused an ice age? What would they do?
Nothing. They'd be silenced by the Ninjas in Green.
Perhaps they already have been.