Tunbridge Wells - The Big Freeze
22nd December 2009
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Over a foot of snow, blocked roads, no gritters on many side roads, ice, schools closed, people unable to get to work... Once again we seemed completely unprepared for the recent snowfall! How (un)lucky I am to work from home.

My mother called last Friday morning to check we had enough bread and milk in the freezer (staple diet if you're cut off apparently - same phone call every time it snows heavily), although as we hadn't I'm not sure exactly what she planned to do about it!

In the end - yes we were totally unprepared for the big freeze shopping-wise - we set off on foot, dragging a pram and a sledge behind us. An unexpected forced day working from home for my other half, we took the opportunity to trudge our little ice-explorer team through the village to the local supermarket (how convenient they are, sadly against all my usual moral shop-small-shop-local ethics) and stocked up.

I have plenty of friends and colleagues who were slightly more cut off by the weather over the weekend, and some still are. Looks like it's warming up a bit today though, so freedom can't be far away.

Our garden was as pretty as a picture on Friday morning, covered in a thick layer of snow, drifting at the edges, leaves and branches weighed heavily with the white stuff. First thing that morning we set off into it with shovels, not just to dig the car out or clear the paths, but to find several rather chilly chickens and guinea pigs.

Somewhat unimpressed with the results of the night's weather events, most of them have steadfastly refused to come out for some days now. Although two more brave hens have been tiptoeing round in the snow since Friday, clucking their disapproval; "What's this, what's this? I'm sure this isn't right Vera! White and wet, we didn't order this did we?" Amazingly they're still laying eggs despite the cold.

Een though a bit of a thaw started today, it's caused other problems with more ice. It took 5 run-ups to get the car up the hill at the end of our road today. I kept getting within a hair's gasp of the top and would then slide back down again. Many thanks to the patient lady-driver waiting at the top, who smiled as I waved bye-bye to her as my car slid backward once again...

So I do hope life is returning more to normal for those in more outlying areas of the borough of Tunbridge Wells - I know the novelty can wear off after a while.

Just be thankful you're not a chicken, finding wellies that fit is a nightmare.



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Natelie Fitzroy is a freelance writer and photographer with The Little White Studio.

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