Sunday, 20 January 2013


OK, so coming home this morning wasn't the best timing.  After a week, where the only matter requiring serious effort was deciding which open air cafe to sit in for a coffee/beer (if you exclude the apparently allied problems of which top goes with which sandals and 'does my bum look big in these?'), we then come back to the one week when the entire country is paralysed by snow.

I had sort of expected to arrive here just as the neighbours were beginning to emerge, like hibernating bears, scratching themselves and lumbering off to Tescos for fresh supplies of honey.  All I can say is that they had at least cleared the snow from our road, so that, when we eventually reached home, I could roll straight into my drive (they hadn't cleared my drive, but they had allowed me to gain enough momentum to plough my way in).  Actually, I was able to reverse back out again this morning when we went down to Tescos to restock with sausages, shortbread biscuits, honey, etc.  We'll be OK now if we get cut off in fresh snow falls.

But here's the sight that greeted us at Fuerteventura airport when we checked in at 6pm:

Fuerteventura 152 

Yes, we were headed to London.  Not taking the flight to Liverpool, which was leaving on time; not to Dublin (or Hanover for that matter) which were boarding, nor to Manchester, which left only a little delayed.  So a bit of a wait.  In fact, it became quite exciting.  Fuerteventura airport closes down at 11pm and our flight hadn't actually left UK, four hours away, by 7pm.  At 8, we were told that the flight had taken off and that, if it could arrive and leave before 12, we would be away.  So a nail-biting few hours (which I spent rather pleasantly in the bar - why should I fret about being unable to leave this balmy island paradise?).

Anyway, the plane landed at 11.15 to the combined cheers of the assembled observers, rather like the way passengers onboard Aeroflot flights cheer when the pilot manages to land safely (the next flight was due out at 7am, so only our fellow passengers were sitting there) and we began boarding immediately.  And, with a bit of a fudge of ICAO cleaning requirements (and not much of a stopover for the crew), we taxied out at 11.55, fully loaded, and took off without delay.

It was similarly an easy journey at this end (if a few hours later than we intended) with main roads cleared of snow and not so many other cars around at 4 in the morning.  And here we are -  bronzed and poorly camouflaged against the snow drifts, feeling the 25 degree difference in temperature, but health and morale improved after the break, and enjoying the reversion to wholesome, filling stews and root veg soups.  Yes, on balance, it's good to be back.

And not only that, as we hunker down in front of a roaring fire, wondering whether we should be feeling guilty about not going out - the Africa Cup of Nations tournament has just started . . .


  1. Maybe God was on your side. The flight was delayed so all the roads could get plowed before you needed to use them. That's a good theory. But I must admit that I am jealous of your week in the heat. It isn't cold here, for Canada, but we aren't sitting out to tan yet.

    1. I looked at it the same way, Karyn. It was very hard working out the weather with only BBC World News to watch. Snow was apparently heavy in north Wales and across the Midlands and North, and also (oddly) in the West, but I could work out how that related to the rest of the country. I imagine when you say 'isn't cold' you mean only -7 or some such unimaginably painful temperature?

  2. I think I may have been tempted to stay out there longer if I'd heard about the snow. Actually, here in Pembrokeshire the snow missed us completely, whereas the rest of Wales got quite a lot!!

    1. Yes, I was tempted, Mitch. But I was on a cheapo flight, which became seriously more expensive if we changed timings.

      I am amazed by what you say about Pembrokeshire, although, as I said above, weather reports are often not sufficiently location specific - Surrey is apparently one of the worst counties for school closures, but looking out the window, it's hard to see why they are closed; we drove into town this morning with no problems and it's not seriously cold (perhaps this area has a higher density of private and formerly private schools on rural lanes?).

  3. Good that you arrived home safely .