Thursday, 7 January 2010
It was all very neighbourly today.
I had a bunch of phone call meetings from early morning until early afternoon and then as the sun arrived I decided to clear some of the snow.
Our part of the road is on a gentle slope almost unnoticeable in normal conditions, although the incident with the wall and a neighbour's car and the stranding of my own vehicle last year illustrates that there is lurking treachery.
Twenty five centimetres / nine inches of snow doesn't sound all that much until you start to shovel it away. Between myself and another neighbour we set about regaining vehicular access. Malcolm and I worked on our own sections until I had to go for another conference call (that ol' excuse!). He continued and made a neat line at the point when he also had to do something else.
I started again and had a clear run. It looked an immense distance from the house to the adjacent very minor road. I shovelled for hours and the snow was at least a metre high along the edge of the pavement where I'd been working. My garden shovel was nowhere near as fancy as other neighbours with some kind of proper Canadian snow shovel.
With the sunshine and common purpose, it was all quite chatty. Others were backpacking to the shops and we compared notes about the local snowmen and igloos. I'm sure other countries more used to snow would smirk at this type of activity, compared with having a motorised mini snowplough drive along pavements and roads to clear everything. Remember even Gatwick Airport was snowplough challenged. When I talked to my Norwegian friend during one of the conference calls, he commented that it was quite tough at the moment around minus 30 Centigrade.
Between the neighbours we've even found some grippy stuff. The neighbour's cat litter worked surprisingly well. Later another neighbour passed, marvelling at my roadbuilding handiwork and offering salt pellets. At this rate we will have a serviceable road again by tomorrow, although I have slight misgivings that it might be 'one way'.
Time for a long soak in a bath.