An overdose of winter white stuff

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Flag of Canada  , Nova Scotia,
Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Well Bree has finally been winterized, with the water turned off at the campsite it came time to vacate our 'home' and get him ready for the winter...i.e. had antifreeze (special for drinking water systems) pumped through all his tubes so that he doesn't burst a pipe when the temperature drops. This of course has meant that we've had to leave him; fortunately some friends here in Halifax have come to our rescue. They went to Italy on holiday and kindly offered us their house and Oliver, their cat, to look after whilst they were away. How lucky could we be? The house is in a superb spot with fantastic views across an ocean inlet, but within walking distance of town. It was wonderful to have a whole house to ourselves and we really felt at home, Oliver took a few days to get used to us, but is a delightfully 'knowing' cat who seemed very interested in all we did...and told us so!
So a first in house sitting - we are taking bookings, in fact we have a second sitting lined up already! However it turned out to be not the only you can see snow came early this year! All those people who told us that it wouldn't snow this side of Xmas told some 'white' lies. Not only did it snow, but it dropped about a foot of the stuff overnight! I have to say it was stunning, the views were just wonderful -  it's probably the most snow I've ever seen in one go...I'm not a skier so have not been to winter resorts, and although we lived in Derby there was never that much. Malc on the other hand has skied and grew up in Ashby de la Zouch (exotic eh?) where heavier snow was more usual. Let's face it if Bournemouth gets an inch everything stands still and panic sets in! This storm was unusually early and conditions deteriorated quite quickly, causing lots of problems on the roads.
When we woke there was a thick blanket covering everything, Malc had had the foresight to fit snow tyres to Toad the day before but we weren't going anywhere as he was all but buried! Toad that is, not Malc. So having found some snow shovels in the basement (I do so love this idea of a basement and would love to have one of my very own...Malc says Bree has a basement (it's the bins below!) anyway, having found the shovels he gallantly went out to clear the path before breakfast!! Then we both tackled the drive so that the car wouldn't be totally trapped if everything froze again overnight. Well I have to say I have never shoveled snow in my life and what began as a novelty soon became not quite so much fun. Was there a clause about snow removal in the house sitting contract? If there was it was in very small print!!
The snow plough had been out overnight and cleared the road, but of course the snow has to be put somewhere so it was piled up on the kerb, now every household has by law to clear the 'sidewalk' sorry been here too long... anyway we had to shovel the lovely white powdery stuff - perfect for snowmen if you had the time and inclination- off the drive without piling it on the pavement (sorry, slipping back to English there). I wasn't too good at this to start with but after some "words of advice" from my husband I got better. The biggest problem is that with a limited area you have to pile the snow higher and higher, that gets harder and harder, the powdery stuff seems to get heavier and heavier! And your muscles that you'd forgotten (or never even knew were there) got achier and achier! Anyway the bottom line is I'm not sure that snow is so pretty anymore!
Neighbours were also out clearing, some with fancy snow blowers others with shovels like us. Some were obviously very prepared and had already engaged contractors to do the job for them. The temperature stayed below freezing for a couple of days, so the snow stayed pretty much where everyone had put it! Cars in the shopping mall car parks became dwarfed by the huge piles of snow 'sculpted' by the ploughs! Now the roads are bordered by mounds of filthy snow that is no longer attractive.
Today, the temperature has risen so the thaw has begun and it's also raining so now it won't take long. Friends tell us now we are real 'canucks' that's OK then!
We are again back at Leo & Natalie's, though he's in Florida working, or so he says! All in all it's still great to be here, though Florida does sound appealing.
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