Thursday, 10 January 2013

Malingering today and remembering the Winter Weather 1962/3



Fifty years ago we were sick of the Big Freeze – I was sick then too ... kept home from school for ten days or more ... then my parents had to drive me the 30 miles to Oxford.

Frost Fair 1883 - 84:
painted by Thomas Wyke

It had started snowing on Boxing Day – a magical time for kids ... and we’d been out making a snowman that lasted in its dirty lump until June.  I remember the Christmas lights ... so pretty ... in our outside playroom with its own Christmas Tree – and where we’d opened our presents on a brooding heavy snow-cloudy Christmas Day.


The room was big enough for a ping-pong table, a piano, bookcases – full of the Andrew Lang’s “Coloured” Fairy Books (12 in all) – which I remember sitting and devouring – a train set laid out on the verandah ...  a wonderful playroom for three children to lose themselves in with various hobbies, card games etc and at that stage hula hoops (I was hopeless and still am ....!!)


Piles of snow 1963
 The snow when it came enveloped everything – a complete white-out ... which did not improve for three months til the thaw started.  Over Christmas the sparkly snow, the icicles that hung as great skirts of daggers ... it was a magical time ... till the dreaded illness struck.


My brothers must have gone back to school and once I was well enough my parents set out in two cars ... in case one had to be abandoned I guess.  I don’t remember much of the journey – except that the white-out was everywhere ...

Satellite photo of Britain
showing extent of snow -
2009 - 2010

.... the ferocious cold, the bitter winds pushing fifteen foot drifts of snow across the fields were real enough.  We had snow ploughs keeping the main roads as clear as possible – but that didn’t stop the treacherous ice taking its toll.


The freeze never stopped and the new year of 1963 ushered in what would prove to be the coldest month of the 20th century.  We had quite a long garden ... and considering it was after the war the country had been through worse .. the winter of 1947/48 was not as severe, but was even snowier ... yet my parents seemed to be hardier and coped with just spades to clear the drive.  Once cleared – it was immediately snowed over yet again?!


Looks like our igloo!
Things didn’t stop in those days ... there was no working from home, coal had to be collected (there was no North Sea oil or gas), drinking water in the towns had to be distributed – the reservoirs froze feet thick ... I seem to remember the milk being delivered  - but perhaps that’s fanciful!


Life went on as best it could ...  the trains chugged through the snowy landscape, as I found out the roads were passable - I got back to school, the weather was extreme to put it mildly ... one of the cars conked out on the way back ... my father managed to fix it and my parents got home safely .... 

Christmas lights on tree

The sea froze off Kent, an ice-breaker was needed to keep Chatham Dockyard open.  Ice floes appeared in the upper reaches of the Thames, and by the end of January it was possible to walk across the river at Windsor.


The blanket of snow just stayed ... the weather has always been changeable and extreme at times ... but not always reported as it was in 1963. 

Song thrush in the snow
In early 1940 the weather was kept secret!  All references to the weather were censored by the authorities for fear that the information could prove useful to the enemy.


In fact it was an irrelevant precaution as the whole of Europe, including Spain and Portugal were held in an icy grip.  The temperature in Sussex went down to – 21 degree C ...


At the end of January in 1940 there was a spectacular ice storm ... birds were frozen by their feet to branches of trees, or fixed to rooves of houses ... sheep were frozen by their wool to gorse bushes on the Downs ...


... the sea was frozen off the coast, milk rounds-men took up skis, abandoning their wheeled vans to carry their deliveries on sledges, as did errand boys delivering the necessities of life ...
Glencoe, Scotland


That year at the start of World War Two the thaw arrived early in February, but it had been the coldest winter since 1895.


The weather has always varied ... the Thames froze over in Pepys’ time (1667) when frost fairs were held on the Thames during the period known as the Little Ice Age.


Apparently the Thames froze over in AD250 when it was frozen solid for nine weeks; again in AD923 the river was open to wheeled traffic for trade and the transport of goods for 13 weeks, while in the Middle Ages of AD1410 it lasted for 14 weeks.

Christmas 1950s lights
 The last frost fair was in 1814 ... an elephant was led across the river below Blackfriars Bridge ... the climate was growing milder; old London Bridge was demolished in 1831 and replaced with a new bridge with wider arches, allowing the tide to flow more freely; additionally the river was embanked in stages during the 19th century, making the river less likely to freeze.


Since 2003 a revival ‘frost’ festival, the Bankside Winter Festival, takes place over 12 days along the south side of the Thames, having been modelled on the European Christmas markets.


As boarders we were allowed to have one day out either side of half-term that last from Friday afternoon, until Monday early evening ... when we were back in our boarding houses.  I have no idea whether that ‘spring’ term of 1963 I had a day out ... our house was about an hour from school, so days out were relatively easy ... but not when the country was covered in snow.
Jerusalem 10 January 2013


Surprisingly 2012 has not been the wettest year on record that occurred at the start of the Millennium, which had 7mm more rain than we’ve just experienced ...


... as we await the arrival of a cold snap, and the threat of snow – we will see what the middle of January 2013 will bring ...


Part 2 will tell of the flooding ... and other important tales to tell on Sunday the 13th ...


At least we’re not struggling with fire as the Australians are ... my thoughts go out to them ...


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

45 comments:

Suzanne Furness said...

Snow at Christmas must have been magical. I understand we are entering a cold snap very soon so I wonder if we will have snow and where it will fall.

The fires in Australia are indeed terrible.

Sara said...

Oh My Gosh! I can't believe I'm the first one here. Usually, I don't get here until you've had 50+ comments.

I don't know if I can take the pressure of being the first to comment on a Hilary post. I probably shouldn't be the first to comment on this one, given the temperature where I'm at is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. We still have flowers in bloom!

Weather is so strange. The one thing that consistent about weather is that it's NOT consistent.

Regarding the part of being home and playing, I remember the hula hoop as well. I couldn't do it either. I'd try and it would slip down to floor with a plop. My sister was great at it, which didn't help.

Stay warm and dry, Hilary!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You could walk across the Thames. That is just hard to fathom.
Life went on then, but where I live in the states, a hint of snow shuts down half the city. When I lived in the midwest, trust me - it only shut down during a blizzard.

Janie Junebug said...

It's interesting that you should write about that particular winter because that is when Sylvia Plath, the poet, killed herself in London. Many accounts say her depression was worsened by the severe cold and snow and inability to get services. She couldn't get a telephone installed and had to queue up to use a pay telephone, from which she desperately made calls for doctors' appointments. I think she killed herself in the early morning hours of Feb. 3rd.

Love,
Janie

Sara said...

Oops. That's weird. There was someone before me. Whew. The pressure if off.

Happy day to you...again:~)

Chatty Crone said...

I have not heard about the fires in Australia.

I have never seen Christmas lights like those unless I can't remember them.

I do love reading this - we were all so much stronger and heartier back then - weren't we?

I mean if you had to go to school - you have to go to school.

I didn't know it was the coldest winter there ever either.

Lots of great information!

sandie

Romance Reader - Nas said...

I would love to be there now. We have hot and humid at the moment! To a person in tropics, snow sounds just dreamy!

Annalisa Crawford said...

After the snows of 2010 and 2011, I'm not so keen on it any more. My town is on 4 large hills, nowhere is flat and it was treacherous just leaving my front garden. The ice lasted a couple of weeks, just refreezing every night. Fingers crossed we'll miss is down my way this way.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Hilary. As Nas said, snow sounds delicious to people in the throes of the other end of the spectrum. Australia had its hottest year in 2012 and this January has been the hottest on record - average 40C for all over Australia. Half of Australia is burning up with bushfires - a few near me in Queensland, but not dangerous to me. The next state, New South Wales has over 100 bushfires and houses are being destroyed as are the livestock - over 90% of the sheep and cattle have been burnt or shot. But Australia is used to natural disasters, happens every summer. Everyone chips in and helps each other.
I was saddened to read the above account of Sylvia Plath. I didn't know those finer points of her suicide, but it is a well known fact that prolonged cold and lack of light is very depressive.
Thanks as always for a most informative post Hilary.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Alex is right, in some parts here in the states, an inch of snow is cause for panic! I would have loved to experience this.

Nick Wilford said...

Your posts are so packed with interesting snippets! You definitely take research seriously.

Snow is magical when you're a kid but as an adult you're more aware of the untold problems it can cause. I never knew about that ice snap during the war in the same place I grew up. It makes sense that the government would keep details about the weather hush hush.

Luanne Smith said...

Those huge storms were the best when we were kids, with the drifts over our heads. My brother and I would spend all day making snow caves with benches and windows in them...until our ambition had us reaching too far and the whole thing would collapse.

Wonderful memories of snow from your childhood. And, uh, I may "borrow" that description of the sheep freezing to the gorse for a scene in my novel. That's cold!! :D

The Golden Eagle said...

Brrr. We recently had a lot of snow, but it's beginning to melt away now and we're entering into an "Indian summer".

Great pictures!

Suze said...

'In early 1940 the weather was kept secret! All references to the weather were censored by the authorities for fear that the information could prove useful to the enemy.'

This has me gobsmacked, Hil.

Last week, my daughter and husband made a snowman -- Cold Jack -- and he's lasted in a hard lump through the sunshine. I can't imagine one clinging on until June!

Botanist said...

I remember 1962/3 though I was only 2 1/2 years old at the time. Luckily, sunny Guernsey never gets as cold as the mainland UK so the island fared better than most. Much to my disappointment it was years before I saw snow again.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Snow at Christmas is magical, but snow still hanging around in June would have to be sheer torture. I remember having snow on the ground for weeks and weeks on end when I was a kid, but never THAT long. As for milk delivery, I remember picking the milk bottles off the front porch in cold weather when the mild would be semi-frozen, and the cream would be popped up off the bottle with the cap sitting on top of it like Charlie Chaplin's derby.

~Sia McKye~ said...

You all are definitely in the cold this year.

We've had lots of near misses this year and now I know where our snow has gone--to visit Europe. lol!

Interesting post, Hilary! The true state of the weather being a big secret was a new thing for me. Who knew?

Mike Goad said...

Our snow from Christmas was finally melted completely just a couple of days ago. That's a very long time for it to last in Arkansas. Recognized the picture of the frost far for what it was -- also knew about the frost fairs during the Little Ice Age. Perhaps they'll be having them again in the next few years if these insane winters get worse.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Suzanne - we're waiting to see if the January cold snap is on its way - they say it is ..

@ Sara - always lovely to see .. wherever you end up commenting .. Suzanne must have had her typing fingers on too.

Lucky you with 70 deg F .. actually it's not that cold here at the moment - at the weekend it's due to change ..

So pleased you I have another friend who can't hula hoop! It used to frustrate me ..

@ Alex - the Thames was quite sluggish ... so there were one or two fording areas too - once they built the embankments - the Thames flowed much faster. But I agree to think we could walk across ..

Life in continental States re the snow - I always find interesting at the differences .. and I'm glad to read your city shuts down now at the hint of snow - makes our shut downs seem not so bad ...

@ Janie - that's so interesting to read - I hadn't realised Sylvia Plath killed herself at this time ... queuing for a phone must have been terrible .... trying to get a doctor's appointment by phone now is just draining ... Depression is such an all encompassing disease ... so difficult to cope with ...

Thanks for adding this interesting bit of history here - I'll need to read up a little more on it ... I see it was actually 11th February - but Wikipedia has an interesting write-up.

@ Sandie - the fires in Aus are dreadful ... the Christmas lights may not be accurate - but I couldn't find anything really suitable .. at the bulbs look like they unscrew - as ours always needed adjusting!

We seemed to be stronger and come from hardier stock back then - I do so agree. Well one of the journalist's notes said he had to walk to school everyday - and school opened - not like today when they just shut at the first sign of snow!

It was a pretty unbearable winter - especially for all adults ...

@ Nas - I know how you feel - too much heat and we long for the colder weather ...

@ Annalisa - yes the snows of the last two years (2010 and 2011) were terrible up this way too - not sure what the weekend holds ... except those Siberian winds are going to be streaming in ...

@ Denise - well I'm glad you've given us a little detail of the fires - it does sound quite ferocious - but good to know you're safe. It is the effect of fire on wildlife and livestock that always 'worries' me ... I wondered if they'd been shooting them ..

I'm glad to read the Aussies help everyone else ... SAD disorder - winter time is pretty depressing - it's been interesting to add to the post re Sylvia Plath. She was in Yorkshire at the time ...

@ Keith - it was a quite extraordinary time ... the weather was extreme to put it mildly ..



Cheers everyone - such fun to log on and find all these wonderful comments ... have fun weekends - Hilary

Then Blogger has 'made' me put the reply into two comments ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Part two of my replies:

@ Nick - thanks so much, I just pick up snippets and add them together ... and I enjoy finding things out - such as the weather being unreported during the War.

Snow for children is just wonderful isn't it .. but for us older folk - well that's another potential treacherous storyline or hardship - so true.

@ Luanne - love the thought of your brother and you making snow caves ... before they caved in. I only remember making the igloo once - the snow was the right sort!

You may borrow the details of the poor animals .. it must have been very cold for that to happen .. wind-chill too ...

@ Golden Eagle - lucky you with the warmer tinge to your winter ..

@ Suze - that bit of secret Britain surprised me too ...

Love the thought of you and your daughter out making a snowman - lovely for your daughter to see (Cold Jack too - he's named ... great name!)

@ Ian - the weather certainly impressed didn't it ... you're from Guernsey, well the weather is certainly warmer in the Channel Islands ... every year we'd want snow for Christmas too - rarely got it - the snow came in January ...

@ Susan - those six months must have been torture for all the adults I agree - the next episode (flooding) is pretty ghastly too ...

I remember those popped cream tops out of the milk bottle - always looked such fun - you describe them perfectly ... Charlie Chaplin's hat ...

@ Sia - we're alright so far .. it's been warm and mild - but the last couple of years have been pretty horrid winters ..

Europe has been struck with much worse weather than we've experienced so far this winter - but what is around the corner for the rest of January/February remains to be seen ...

Secret weather = yes!! Surprising isn't it ...

@ Mike - interesting to read your Arkansas snow hung around this year.

Frost Fairs wouldn't be allowed now - too much Health and Safety!

I loved the painting though .. it was the elephant walking across the Thames that took me aback ... poor creature - still no-one understood in those days ...

Cheers everyone - such fun to log on and find all these wonderful comments ... have fun weekends - Hilary

Bob Scotney said...

I was 10 in 1947 and remember the great snowfall then. Our village was cut off and I walked across the drifts to meet the snowplough that eventually got through to us. 1963 was just cold but not as cold as Norway when I was there in the 1980s. At 75 I don't look forward to snow anymore.
You have unlocked some memories with this post, Hilary.

Slamdunk said...

I love the thought of a large playroom full of activity on a wintery day.

Our garage has become a large playroom with a ping-pong table. Which makes me frown some when I have to go outside and scrape car windows--when they used to be parked warm and protected in the garage.

Julie Flanders said...

Oh, I love the 1950s Christmas lights! I am always nostalgic when it comes to Christmas decorations.

I can't imagine a winter like this one you write about. I love to see the photos, but I definitely wouldn't want to live through it.

Manzanita said...

It seems to me, too, that we had more snow and severe winters years ago. I never knew you couldn't get weather reports during the war years. Makes perfect sense to me, though. We never had that restriction (as I remember) because we were not being bombed as you were. That was a huge room in your house to accommodate such big pieces of furniture. You must have had fun in that room.

I shoveled 4 times yesterday as it snowed all day and it's easier for me to shovel small amounts.
Love and peace

Mike Goad said...

Sounds like you're headed into more cold weather. We're supposed to be at 68°F (20°C) today for a high and then Sunday we're in for a high 20°F lower during the day, dropping below freezing overnight with a chance of snow. Coming out of a drought last year, we need the moisture.

Lynn said...

I love the way you write - this was a lovely narrative.

Kittie Howard said...

What an informative post, Hilary. I read with keen interest about the weather being kept a secret. . . and the elephant last being led over. We haven't had one snowflake where we live in Virginia. Our water table is way below normal. When we were in Louisiana, the Mississippi River looked like a mere shadow of its former majestic self. There is much dredging near St. Louis so barges can pass. If the problem continues and ships can't dock in New Orleans, enormous consumer problems emerge. The River's never been this low before.

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Hilary. Quite an informative post.

I seem to remember an ice storm that had schools shut down and us without power for a few days. Can't remember what year that was though.

Today the temperature got up to about 55 degrees, so a lot of the snow we had has melted. Another warm day for tomorrow and then back in the 30's after that. I'm sure we'll be in for more snow soon as our winter is no where near over.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Bob .. I'm sure we must have briefly been cut off - as everyone was .. but the north was affected much more. Wonderful memory of walking across the drifts to meet the snow plough ... I can believe Norway is colder.

I love that initial look of the snow - then quelle horror! .. and now I'm just glad I can stay where I am. Delighted the post brings back some of the memories ... others keep stirring for us.

@ Slamdunk - the playroom was a fabulous place for us. Oh oh - I can see the frustration re the garage - defrosting the car is such a pain! Still the kids have the ping-pong table and 'garage games room' .. lucky things!

@ Julie - I remember hours happily (or unhappily) screwing all the lights up to make sure they worked and then again - as inevitably one or more of the bulbs didn't work once on the tree.

Sadly - weather doesn't give us the freedom of choice! But the memories are worth it ...

@ Manzanita - the weather has changed since I was a child ... but that restrictive reporting in the War was an interesting snippet.

Our room was outside ... the house used to be a dairy farm (small holding) ... and I expect that was a grain-store or something .. the dairy part was attached to the house (kitchen) ... it went back to the mid 1800s ...

Well done on shovelling snow at your house ... I really struggled in recent years when it has snowed - just grateful I didn't really have to worry!

@ Mike - thanks for the Express newspaper weather forecast - love their photo ... but they are one of our more extreme of reporting papers - ie sales first ...

The forecasters aren't sure what's happening ... low pressure fronts coming in across the Atlantic - meeting Siberian winds ... it's raining now! It'll get colder though that's for sure ...

I'm always surprised that snow doesn't give us moisture - it seems plain muddy-melt to me ...

Reading Kittie's comment re the Mississippi - is interesting and 'frightening' ...

@ Lynn - many many thanks ...

@ Kittie - well what a great additional comment - messing with water courses never seems that sensible ... especially the flood plains as they've done here ... last year it showed.

The Delta in New Orleans must be silting up and then I can see the problems that would cause for any number of reasons .. shipping, access etc I note the US Army Corps of Engineers are responsible for 'managing' the flow of the river ...

Thanks Kittie for this informative comment ..

@ Susanne - everyone's added to the mix - which is wonderful .. memories are great to read. I wonder when your ice-storm was ...

I see the States is having its mix of weather ... but everyone is saying it might get really cold again .. So true - winter is never really quite over is it - and we can get cold snaps in April ... or even later in the year sometimes.

Thanks everyone - loved reading all your remembrances too ... have lovely weekends - whatever the weather!! Cheers Hilary

Stephen Tremp said...

I do miss a great snowstorm. I love huge snowdrifts. We used to be out all day if school was called off. Ice skates. Sleds. Tobaggans. We had them all.

I'd also make a lot of money shoveling sidewalks and driveways. I could haul in a few hundred dollars over a few days after a big snowstorm.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I like to see snow if I wanted to go skiing but other that that you can keep it. This is a great post though explaining what it was like way back then. Thankfully we were in Rhodesia 50 years ago! It is predicted that we should see snow next week :(( Keep well Diane

D.G. Hudson said...

An excellent post, Hilary, and hope you're feeling better. Enjoyed this post of winters past in the UK. Coming by here late, due to connectivity problems.

Our winters seem to be influenced by whether the warm Pacific currents (El Nino)is flowing our way. The southwest coast in BC has some of the mildest Canadian weather.

Your snow post made me think of Dickens for some reason.

Laura Eno said...

That reads like an incredible story! I love the way you write, Hilary. I wish for some snow, no way in Florida, but certainly not that much.

The weather seems odd of late. I suppose it's a cycle but you wonder what comes next.

A Lady's Life said...

What a story! In Quebec we often had such storms but our province was equipped for it as opposed to New York where kids were sent home for one inch of snow. Now they get a lot more snow.
Here in BC we are chilly these days and my small dog stopped going outside to pee and this concerns me.
I have to keep her tied until she does. Maybe I should put on her swetaer and then she will change her mind.
England and her stories are all enchanting.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I remember what a terrible winter you had last year, so here's hoping you get a bit of a reprieve this year. We're experiencing a mild winter so far. Maybe a foot a snow to date. This morning was the coldest so far at -30 with the wind. Thank goodness for the fireplace, otherwise my spoiled cats would be in agony. LOL.

Best to you, Hilary.

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,

Not quite ice skating on the Thames weather...yet. Although, ever noticed how they predict total chaos as in the impending snow we are supposed to be getting.

You brought back memories of that 1962/1963 winter. I lived at Blackheath and I remember hiding some chocolate bars in the snow to get them super cold. And yes, I did remember to go back and get them.

Yes, I was also surprised that it didn't turn out to be the wettest year on record. Although, some of the months, were the wettest on record.

Look forward to part 2. Yes, compared to Australia and the conditions on Tasmania, we are doing just fine.

Cheers and stay warm.

Gary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Stephen - Chicago still does have huge snow storms ... what fun to remember those days ... all the paraphernalia ready for the snows ..

Enterprising even then I see .. good for you ... that's a lot of money!

@ Diane - like you I like to see snow .. but the aftermath is always a slushy disruptive mess! My uncle was in Rhodesia at that stage ... and like you we're expecting some snow this coming week ...

@ DG - sorry about your connectivity problems ... others have mentioned the fact you're having a mild winter ...

I'm just glad we're not living in Dickens' time, but you're right about the thought ..

@ Laura - many thanks .. you have the Burmese Python gathering in Florida don't you ... I wonder how successful that will be ...

The weather has definitely changed its cycles since the War ...

@ A Lady's Life - Canada and its snow ... but as you say you were equipped for it - we're not. Poor animals ...

@ Joylene - last year with all the flooding was terrible ... the wind-chill factor does make it that much colder ...

I could do with your fireplace .. lucky cats!!

@ Gary - yes the newspapers 'tell' all kinds of stories - we'll see what happens this week .. though I gather there's a sprinkling of snow around....

Chocolate in the fridge in summer was/is always delicious .. but hiding chocolate bars in the snow - well done for getting your squirrelling instincts to find them again!

Last year with all the rain - it was just plain terrible for everyone and we'll be reaping 'the rewards' for years to come ...

But as you say compared to Australia we're lucky ...

Many thanks to you all - it's great to read so many of us remember those frozen days of 50 years ago .. Cheers Hilary

Empty Nest Insider said...

It's incredible that you had a snowman that lasted until June! I remember the Blizzard of '67 in Chicago when our parents took us shopping for groceries by sled. Looking forward to Part II Hilary! Julie

Val Poore said...

Fantastic descriptive memories, Hilary. My book, the Skipper's Child, is about the 62/62 winter on the waterways of Europe. I felt the cold as I was writing it :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Julie - it was a cold year .. the snowman was probably in the shade but even so .. the melting ball took ages to thaw ...

What fun to remember going shopping by sled ... the weather must have been awful though ... mind you Chicago is renowned for its weather isn't it ...

@ Val - that's great to read about your book - historically I imagine it'd be very interesting ... and I'd learn about the waterways of Europe ...

I feel cold now - what I felt like 50 years I don't remember fortunately!!

Cheers Julie and Val .. great added information .. Hilary

prufrocksdilemma said...

Hilary: hooray! I seem to have been able to leave a comment from my iPad--this device, which is supposed to untether me from my computer, is not perfect, as it turns out! Anyway, I do hope you're feeling better by now. Here, the snow that occasioned my current post has almost vanished, though I gather that tomorrow, more is in store!

juliet said...

What serious snow that was! I was interested to read about the 1940 conditions, because my ex-husband was born then, I remember him saying that it was an exceptionally cold winter. I had no idea that the weather had to be kept secret. No chance of that nowadays.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sue ... oh how wonderful to see you here ... thank you for trying again - who knows what goes on! Anyway wonderful ..

I must come over to read your post and comment .. we too are due for more snow ... we'll see ...

@ Juliet - yes .. the snow was incredible back then ... and I was interested to read the 1940 conditions .. and if your ex remembered the conditions - no wonder he went off to NZ! No there isn't a chance of us not knowing what's going on now-a-days is there .. especially weather-wise ..

Cheers Susan and Juliet .. thanks for coming here .. Hilary

Glynis said...

One of my strong memories was of Boxing Day that year! The whole family joined my grandparents in their little terraced house. They had 11 children, who all had two or more of their own. We kids were outside, I was a little girl, and my big cousins made me feel so special. We walked home in the dark, stars shone, and the men were merry. A wonderful memory of my father is linked to this day. Thank you for reminding me, Hilary.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Glynis .. so pleased I brought back some happy memories of your father and your family at that time.

Boxing Day is my day of memories too - though I suspect I've blended the lights, and the icicles in ... but the whole snowstormy winter was incredible ... and I do remember the snowdrifts towering above us as we drove to Oxford ...

So pleased to read this .. cheers Hilary