We saw our first “heavy” snowfall anno 2012 last Friday in February! We did NOT have a white Christmas in 2011, unlike 2010 (check my post: The day after Christmas Day…). The average temperature in December was 6.1°C with a maximum recorded for the month at 12.3°C, a very spring winter season, indeed!
Friday, 3rd February 2012
With temperatures plummeting to below freezing point the past several days, we expected snow anytime soon, and it was forecasted to snow on Friday, 3rd February. Spot on, but why was there so much chaos on the roads that day?
The headline on one of the local newspapers the morning after, hollered: “3 cm of snow, 1,275 km of misery”
How could the insanely minute 3 cm snow almost crippled and grounded to a halt the entire road transportation system? Analogically speaking, I called this the “David and Goliath” syndrome.
It was a complete nightmare that Friday. I left the office – hastily – at 4pm (mind you, not my usual exit time) after seeing the snow weaving crisp white carpets all over. Beautiful to look at, without a doubt, but that’s just my phobia – driving on un-strewn salted roads. Leaving at 4pm was so wrong. In hindsight, I should have left an hour earlier, but no point crying over spilled milk, eh 😦
It looked like everyone else in Belgium had the same notion of leaving the office at 4pm on Friday, 3rd February, 2012! The roads became instantly congested and the snowflakes kept falling and mounting on the roads and on the cars. I kept looking at the clock on the odometer cum speedometer to check the time and making quick mental calculation in my head when I would arrive at my younger son’s school. Yep, I had to “rush” to pick him up before the school closed the gates at 6.30pm. No questions asked. I knew I could not reach the school on time with every single car driving with such laggard speed limit of 10km on a normal 50km to 90km speed limit roads that fateful Friday.
Gosh, I have never felt so agitated in my life. My speedometer kept flashing warning signs that the roads were slippery. As if I didn’t know. I felt the slips every so often (even though my car has winter tyres!).
Then I said a little prayer – and lo and behold – at 4.35pm my cell phone rang. Creepy….? Wait till you hear this… I saw the name flashing on my cell phone and boy, was I RELIEF! The caller wasn’t my other half, because he was still in the office. I just talked to him. The caller was a neighbour. To make a long story short, we just moved house recently and we got to know our new neighbours, by dropping greeting cards into each others’ letter boxes. Very old fashioned, but it worked wonders! Her daughter goes to the same school and is sitting in the same class as my son!! She was so kind to call me without my asking if it was okay for her to bring my son home. I couldn’t know that. I’m not even telepathic, but it’s like winning the lottery that day! How could one decline such offer? And I thanked God for that little prayer….
I felt so comforted and alleviated after THE call, akin to a ton of red hot bricks just crumbled and melted away from my chest. Thumbs up to good neighbours!
I took some pictures from by blackberry and promised myself to put this event down in words and pictures.
After a bit more than 3 hours on the road, lugging behind bumper to bumper on a stretch of nearly 1.300 km of traffic from all nooks and crannies of little Belgium that evening, I finally reached my humble home at 7.09pm. If you noticed the trip reader on my tripometer, it’s only 26.6km from the parking of my office to the parking spot of my house! I could drive to Frankfurt in that time frame, and the distance between Brussels (Belgium) to Frankfurt (Germany) is ca 313 km!
Let’s face it; the 3 + hour drive was an ordeal and a torture. Imagine a seemingly endless sitting hen position, with cramped legs and listening to four repeated hourly news at 4pm, 5pm, 6pm and 7pm: totally mesmeric and spellbound. Probably my worst nightmare was a part of my body transmitting signal to my brain: “Where are we now? Are we home yet? For Pete’s sake, I wanna pee……” LOL!
The day after
I took these pictures of our garden to show you the metamorphosis of just a flip of what a month’s difference could result in. Both pictures were taken in the same season called WINTER in the same year, 2012.
Picture of our walnut tree taken on 7th January 2012
This one was taken on 4th February 2012, just less than a month later …
Oh by the way, in case you haven’t noticed I have been MIA in the longest of time. No worries – as you can see – I’m still alive and kicking, but a couple of things really got way out of hand during my absence since my last blog. It’s good to be back 😉
See you (again) soon, and a belated Chap Goh Meh on 6th Feb to my family, friends and relatives everywhere!
Cheers and take care…