I met my OH in 1982, during the worst English winter in two decades. After that interlude, we rarely saw snow. Then we moved right out into the middle of the English countryside. It was a bit of a worry that the last mile from our house to the nearest decent road was like an Escher staircase, but as the media told us cold winters were a thing of the past, we took the risk.
Until a couple of years ago, our gamble paid off. Then in 2010 we were snowed in several times, if only for a couple of days. Last winter, it began snowing just before Christmas, and we were cut off from the main road for nearly two weeks.
The guy delivering our turkey couldn't get within a mile of us, so the bird had to be towed the rest of the way to our house by sledge. Being snowed in was such a novelty, we didn't succumb to cabin fever. Clearing paths, digging out to the road and feeding the birds filled a lot of our time. Luckily, we only lost the electricity supply for the first twelve hours, so the freezer contents weren't damaged. After the power was restored we had TV and internet access to keep us amused.
Photo by Andrew Smith
The unpredictability of English weather means it isn't cost-effective for the-powers-that-be to invest in snow-clearing equipment which might only be used once in ten years, so everything grinds to a halt here at the first hint of the white stuff. People living in the country keep holiday in hand in case they can't get to work, or arrange to work from home (like my OH). In this area we all keep emergency supplies. Some, like us, can get snowed in, while those at the bottom end of the village suffer from flooding. With so much rain, the river has been running ten feet higher than normal - see the submerged trees in the top photo! Torch and radio batteries, tinned food (pet and human), powdered milk and toiletries need to be on hand here in winter. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best is the motto.
I always make sure there are a few treats squirrelled away in our emergency box, along with the bare necessities. Bars of chocolate and a new book or two fill any spare time nicely.
What little treats would you hide away with your emergency supplies? There's a signed book from my backlist for a comment picked at random.
Christina Hollis has written both Historical fiction and Modern Romance/Presents for Harlequin Mills and Boon Ltd, as well non-fiction for national magazines and prize-winning short stories. Her current release, Lady Rascal is available for download from Amazon, iTunes and many other retailers, while her next book, Changing Fortunes, will be published in the summer. She loves to hear from readers - you can contact her through her website or her blog.