Thursday, 13 January 2022

Brain Rambler - another year gone ...

 

Snowdrops - Spring bloomers

It's that time of year again … the birth of a “Saint” – albeit in the 20th century, somebody with microscopic literary intent – the birth of a blog, and reminiscences from a mere 59 years ago …


Happy Falstaff - Hilary too
true to my name

Yes – I am still 'St Hilary' Peregrinating with Respair in my heart – just like last year … or Brain Rambling on with hope that 2022 will let us back into a normal life …




January's change … this year is very unseasonal, it's relatively 'warm' and when the sun shines it is bliss for winter – especially when I remember this day 59 years ago … or those times …


I'm happy - a 
big grin!
In 1962/3 we'd had snow for two and a half weeks … it started on Boxing Day – pretty with Christmas lights up, long icicles everywhere – I next saw icicles that long in New York in 1976 in May when I was visiting.



Snowflake through microscope

It snowed, and snowed and snowed – no doubt a few other things in between … I've written four weather posts about that time (in 2013) – and this year the BBC showed film from the archives … perhaps to remind us that our lives today are not so bad.



I was at school in Oxford, a 30 mile trip on 1960s roads, but ended up being ill – perhaps a bad cold or flu – eventually due to the bad weather my parents set off in both cars … one did break down on the way home, but they'd dealt with the war's 1940s weather so knew how to cope – how many of us today would … I know I would struggle.




Walking through drifts 1963

We drove through snow drifts 20 foot high – the road in a narrow cutting, then the hedged field banked with snow, topped with a blizzarded white drift … I do remember the height … it was an amazing journey.



Once the snow stayed around in late December 1962 we co-erced our parents to help build us an igloo … it wasn't large enough to live in – but it was still there at Easter 1963!



Clock patience

Strange but true … I had a virus at the end of term and they isolated me for 10 days, before I could be collected … I played a lot of card patience, read, listened to the radio and looked at the daily newspaper where snow and flood scenes were shown …



I don't remember being ill per se – but have some minor stretch marks to remind me of those days … I've no idea what caused it – or how I caught it, seeing as I was sequestered in a girls' boarding school. Apparently I was one of 9 in the Oxford area to have 'said' virus.



Pepper Virus

Today – we're still being safe … but some meetings are going ahead … last night we had a business dinner for about 50 (socially distanced in a large room), and this morning I'll be at another group meeting … probably 8 or so … then later on I'll meet up with friends for a drink and light meal …. where there is plenty of space.




I hope that 2022 brings more light into our lives and we can put 'respair' out of our minds to enjoy life … as Bob Marley put it:


Don't forget your History

Nor your Destiny


My history is fine and you find out about my thoughts in that direction … destiny is another matter – but living life applies!


Bob Marley quote

Thanks to you all for being so supportive … into my 15th year of blogging … the years of life are toddling along – my enjoyment in blogging hasn't evaporated …




I so enjoy the friendships, the comments and the learning about different ways of life I read through your blogs – also I teach myself about so much as I post.




Overlooking Keswick, in the
Lake District


Normality will resume here – I have a number of posts to write up … and as we reach towards Spring I'll be so pleased if it stays 'warm' as the days lengthen … the blackbirds continue to sing, the blossom flourishes, and those beautiful bulbs safely appear.


Beautiful anemones - my mother's
favourite bulbs and flowers

With thanks and all the best for this coming year …




Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


29 comments:

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Oh, I have memories of that Big Winter too - mother was pregnant with the third daughter and we were visiting the grandparents' farm in the Borders for some reason (we normally travelled there in the summer)... up the back road of the hill only a couple of miles from the farm, a blizzard struck in again and in a short time, the car was locked in. Dad tramped all the way to get Uncle Andrew and the tractor with shovel bucket to rescue us... &*> No question we have been having unseasonal balmy-ness. Here that has meant ridiculous amounts of fog. I wonder if it can remain so, though... All the best Hilary. YAM xx

Joanne said...

congrats on 15 years It's been a lot of fun being on your rambles. I hope 2022 brings more light into the world. glad you are able to venture out more and socialize. No snow here, but TX is always full of weather surprises. Cheers and good health

Liz A. said...

Happy birthday. I can't imagine such a winter. Of course, it does not snow here, so I have nothing to base it on.

Elephant's Child said...

I am endlessly fascinated - and grateful - for the places and times your mind and research takes us. Many, many thanks.

Sandra Cox said...

I'm stunned that igloo lasted till Easter.
Happy Birthday, Hils:) Enjoy it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's a long time for an igloo to last!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi Hilary,

Wow, those are some MAJOR snow drifts. In NYC, where I was born and raised, I remember three foot snow drifts and being out of school for a few days in the late 60's. I could barely walk through them because I was only six or seven years old. The snow forts my brother's and I built on the apartment building grounds was amazing.

Glad to hear you are have a lovely, mild winter. Here in NW IL, it is sporatic. A few nice days of 30's F and then WHAM, back down to below 0 in the minus F degress for a week. Not fun. I plan to leave for the south in six more weeks. By late February/March, I need to get out of the cold, damp weather and feel the sunshine. So, when I get back, spring will be starting. But, we never know when. We can have snow in May! Hoping we all have an early spring and a safe and healthy year!

Debbie D. said...

Happy Birthday, Hilary and congratulations on your blogging longevity! How nice to have a mild winter. Hope it lasts for you. I was surprised you had such severe weather in the 1960s. I thought England was more like Germany, where rain was the norm and snow an infrequent occurrence. I can remember the crocuses blooming in February already. Glad you recovered well from the mystery virus. Here's hoping those contracting COVID now will do so, also. Fingers crossed, our lives will get back to normal sometime this year. All the best!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Yam - oh your story about the Big Freeze up in 1962/3 is a memory bank isn't it ... I wonder if your grandparents weren't going to look after you two, while your parents' third child was born - all I can say you were lucky you were only a couple of miles away ... some of the stories back then are quite extraordinary. Glad to see you all made it safely!! Lots of fog down here on occasions too ... but now it's beautiful sunshines again.

@ Joanne - thanks ... I've enjoyed my Brain Rambles and I have a few or more posts awaiting revelation. Your Texas weather has had its day this year hasn't it - surprises certainly.

@ Liz - thank you ... a winter like that is almost unbelievable - so much so, that I and others still talk about it ... I'm quite glad to have varying weather ... but do understand the love of sun ...

@ EC - it's been fun being able to ramble down rabbit holes and consider what I find down there ...

@ Sandra - yes the igloo lasted (not in its entirety) for over 3 months ... it was extremely cold. Thanks for the birthday wishes ...

@ Alex - thinking back ... it was extraordinary that we were able to build it, and then it stayed there ...

@ Michael - it was an unbelievable time - hence the memory stays with me ... we had a long drive ... so there must have been lots of snow shovelling - but that I don't remember. Snow was common place back in the day ... while children always play don't they ...

Yes - here it is very mild compared to the old days ... living in the middle of a continent makes the weather very different from that experienced by us in this little island ...

@ Debbie - thanks for your wishes ... we really need some cold, to kill off some of the bugs and set some normality as far as Nature is concerned ... but not so far this year ...

Germany's weather, I think, is normally more varied than ours ... we're a tiny island compared to Europe's continental style weather - influenced by land, rather than ours by sea/ocean ...

I hope the virus fades and doesn't impact us any more ... and we can get back to a relatively normal living ...

Thanks so much to you all for visiting and for being here, being supportive over the years ... cheers - and all the best for 2022 - Hilary

Susan Scott said...

BIG happy birthday for yesterday Hilary - sounds like a good time was had by all! May this new year be the birth of something even more fresh, satisfying and on going creativity - good health of course to be thrown into the mix, prosperity also.

The weather here is odd ... today promises to be a scorcher after yesterday when the mist rolled in and it was cool ..

Alles van die beste, goie wense - if my memory serves me correctly, this says everything of the best and all good wishes xx

Dan said...

I’m trying to imagine your harrowing journey home. You are right about your folks having lived through much worse than we could likely stand today. I’ve seen drifts that high, in the mountain passes in the Pacific Northwest, but they were on the sides of modern highways and the roads were cleared by modern equipment, I wouldn’t ‘t have wanted to make that trip in the early 60s.

I hope we are able to return to normal in 2022, at least a lot closer than we are. Enjoy the mild weather. I think you’ve seen enough winter and isolation.

Jemima Pett said...

Hope you had a happy birthday :)
Yes, many memories of that winter, but mainly about being wrapped up in sweaters, wellies with socks up over my knees, scarf and hat, and traipsing around the white playground that was the field our house backed onto. Loved checking for new footprints, wondering what they were - mostly cats, but probably a fox and some mice among them.
Still love looking for footprints when it snows.
Glad your virus didnt carry you off!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Happy birthday!

That must've been wild driving through snowbanks so tall. The highest ones I've ever seen were on the way up to Mt. Hood to go skiing. They were maybe five feet at the tallest in places.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Happy belated birthday, Hilary. We need to thank you for all the wonderful blogs you have produced. You make us think, you lead us to reflect on our lives, you send us off to do a little research, and along the way you entertain us in the most wonderful ways. To say that I look forward to your every post is a statement without even a smidgeon of hyperbole. Where you will take us next, nobody knows! As for snow, let me tell you, Honey, we Canadians could tell you a little about snow! Hugs from Ontario. David

Jacqui Murray said...

Love the personal history, Hilary. You've opened windows for me. Love the word 'peregrinate'. I will be using that in the future. And the Bob Marley quote--excellent. I went through a brief period of addiction to Marley but missed that quote.

Inger said...

I so agree about the joy of blogging. I spent two winters in London, 59/60, 60/61 and not a snowflake fell then. It still snowed a lot in Stockholm back then, so it felt very strange, but comfortable.

Annalisa Crawford said...

It's incredible your igloo was still there at Easter. I'll have to ask my mum about her memories of that year - she lived in Manchester so I imagine she has similar stories. Congrats on your 15th year of blogging.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susan – thanks so much for your FB and for this comment … we had a good time – yes … and it'd be wonderful if this coming year blessed us all … and definitely with health and prosperity …

Our weather is odd … but I missed the Siberian Freeze in 2018 when I was over in Canada … and if we get sea mist then it is grey and cool.

Thanks for your reminder of the Afrikaans 'very best wishes' … I often hear it spoken – there's quite a few South Africans here in Eastbourne …

@ Dan – I suspect my parents must have been more worried than me – but there were appalling winters in 1940/1 and then again in 1947/8 – they were relatively common place back then. It was an extraordinary time … and I'm sure stays in everyone's memory bank, who experienced it. I had some pretty snowy journeys before life moved me across to South Africa and then home …

Like you and us all I do hope 2022 turns itself around for us – still beautiful blue days, but the grey about to return … still it is getting lighter everyday …

@ Jemima – I don't remember that … but clothes and I weren't aligned – I can't wear wool … so keeping warm was quite difficult. Excellent you had an interest in bird life and feline footprints so early in life – what fun … and yes you're right even now – it's good to check out the snow to identify some critters.

I don't really remember being ill with that 1960s virus, but I definitely had SARS back in 2003 – completely out of it … thankfully not more serious than that … but pretty serious …

@ Diane – thank you re birthday wishes … I have to say I'm somewhat surprised that Jemima and I are the only ones who've really experienced snows like these; but I have been where more modern equipment is used to clear the roads … an essential in today's world …

@ David – thank you … no worries re the belated – I'm happy to spread my birthday greetings out over a few days.

I'm so chuffed that you think so highly of this little place in the world – it keeps me going and bolsters my esteem no end – especially to know that you're happy to read, to think about, to reflect and then to go down my rabbit holes.

Oh yes – I know about some of your snow … having lived on a Vancouver Island farm for a year … I experienced snow and snow – thankfully for a farmer son, and grandson who could help! But I'm glad I'm back here … mostly!!

@ Jacqui – great to see you and am glad you too are a-wandering off courtesy of my thoughts here and there. Perigrinate is a wonderful word – the English language is special … thankfully we speak it. The Bob Marley quote popped up somewhere recently and I thought that applies to me … so into the post it was written.

@ Inger – excellent to see you ...and to read more about your time here in England – I don't remember winters much – just cold, damp and foggy with some snow thrown in – but that year was just incredible. Presumably it still snows in Stockholm at this time of year … I must check … and yes comfortable is a good word for a winter, which is not extreme …

@ Annalisa – oh it'd be great to see what your mother thought of those times … and our igloo had melted down somewhat by Easter – but it had created an igloo melt-pile and was visible. Thanks for thought re my blogging years …

Cheers to you all – so lovely to have your comments and thoughts … Hilary

Keith's Ramblings said...

it would be nice to see some snow again, perhaps not on the scale we saw back then, but enough for a snowman or two! I did see a patch of snowdrops this morning though so spring must be just around the corner! Here's to another 15 years of blogging - at least!

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Reading about igloos and snow on a hot day ddoesn't make me cooler

Hels said...

When you had a virus and were isolated for 10 days, you survived by playing cards, books, listening to the radio and reading the daily newspaper. I would have done exactly the same things, except if the virus was after 1962, I could have added tv.

But now being isolated for 10 days is a crisis. So I am totally grateful that since Feb 2020, we have had the computer, tv, radio, the grandchildren on zoom and blogging.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Keith - oh so good to know the snowdrops are out ... but snow is lovely for a brief time - such different colouring. Spring feels like it's there ... some of the blossom is out. Looks like the blog will keep on being there ... I've 'a few' more subjects I could write up - so thanks for the thumbs up.

@ Jo-Anne - thank you ...

@ Hels - remember I was isolated next to the matron's room ... so no tv up there - we'd only got one tv in the school house I was in - and that was in the house-mistresses' sitting room - not upstairs. But we'd only recently got tv at home ... so for me it wasn't the norm - I was happy - not much else I could do.

But of course I so agree being 'self-isolating' all this time I'm so grateful for the computer, tv, radio, phone etc - even for me without children or grandchildren ...

Cheers to the three of you ... snowdrops - wonderful to think about ... all the best - Hilary

retirementreflections said...

Congratulations on your 15th year of blogging, Hilary. That is VERY impressive. I join you in your hope that 2022 brings more light into our lives!

21 Wits said...

What a wonderful post so many exciting adventures too, and congratulations on 15 years of blogging it's a marvelous journey as well. Thank you too for stopping by my blog, and your lovely comment, I try to do Words for Wednesday as often as possible. Looking forward to the next set of words! Enjoy your weekend.

Truedessa said...

I saw that it was your birthday over at Sandra's place so I came over to wish you a Happy Birthday!. Congratulations on 15 years.

Vallypee said...

Gosh, Hilary, yes! I remember that winter all too well, but I think it still ranks as the longest cold winter of the century, so maybe that's not surprising. I had the Hong Kong flu in 1969 and was the 'illest' I've ever been in my life. What's odd is that we had quite an outbreak of it at my boarding school, but there was little in the way of isolation, and as I remember it, there were no lockdowns or masks for the greater public. Things like viruses were just accepted in those days, I suppose.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Donna - thanks so much ... it's made a great difference to my life - and yes I do hope 2022 releases us from the space we seem to be inhabiting at the moment ... but we can all stay in touch over the air waves.

@ 21 Wits - great to see you here ... and thanks for coming by ... yes I hope to make it another 'few + ' years of blogging. Words for Wednesday is a fun challenge to do each week ...

@ Truedessa - thanks for coming by after Sandra's jog and her birthday wish on her blog ... she seems to catch us all on the appropriate day ...

@ Val - I think any of us who were here in the UK in 1962/3 - that year was pretty monumental. Interesting - I hadn't heard about the 'Hong Kong flu' - but I'd left school by then and was living in the country.

Well ... I suppose no-one knew how things were passed around - and 'masks' hadn't become commonplace ... we just got through it - or not - in those days: as you imply either because of good genes, or because any underlying disease wasn't known about and people succumbed.

Thank you so much for commenting and being here - always fun to read your thoughts - cheers Hilary

Friko said...

I remember that winter, bitterly cold and moving into a new house without heating. Brrr, no thanks; I am glad that a) our winters are much milder and b) I live with convenient heating.

15 years of blogging! I must see what my tally is, I can't be far behind you.

I haven't started a full social life yet, too many round here have covid - the milder strain - and I am still rather concerned about catching it in spite of being fully vaxed.

If you are ever round this way again, let me know and pop in.

Deniz Bevan said...

Love all that snow! It must have been so nice and quiet...
Funny, I notice references to quarantines and isolation a lot more now -- my daughter and I were reading the Mallory Towers books by Enid Blyton; every term they had to appear at school with their vaccination and health cards!