It may be day fourteen of the big freeze here in East Central Scotland but unlike Caron I don't suffer from chionophobia, so I've been out and about; mainly getting to work. But even with all my winter sports experience (skiing, skating and ice climbing) had a bit of a tough time of it today.
Firstly to fill you in weather wise while last night Bathgate has a further covering of snow it appears that Edinburgh, being slightly warmer, had either slight or light rain. When either melted some of the compacted snow which then froze, or froze itself forming an icy compote. Indeed no sooner had I sat on my bus and opened my laptop to read about Margaret Thatcher in the papers than it started to snow, maybe she ain't so much Iron Maiden as Ice Queen.
Anyway I got off my bus in Edinburgh late after a detour en route to the depot at Deans to fix one of the wipers, in time to follow the pavement gritter/plough as it made its way in the way I was walking. At least until it got along to the RBS building on Lochside Court. Then as I headed south he went north. He'd done as far as Lochside Way but beyond that to the station it started to get icy, even where it previously had been cleared in places. Time to put those times whizzing around the rink into practice, arms stretched out, to maintain an upright posture.
This was fine until through the other side the slight slope down towards the lights claimed me. Over I went unto my right wrist. Ow!
For those who know Edinburgh Park I then had to climb the hill up past the Royal Mail depot. While the pavement was ice there is a considerable grass verge which made the climb possible without risking life and limb on the road with delivery lorries, postal vans and early morning commuters.
Well at least I made it.
However, during the day the temperature rose above zero. There was a slight thaw before it dipped down below zero. So for the return trip the hill both the grass covering and the pavement was worse than in the morning. I remembered to bend the knees Pavel my ski instructor from Sinaia would have been proud. Lowering and moving the centre of gravity up the hill in this way allow be to avoid falling on my face, though there were a few slips and the presence of skis or crampons may have been a good idea rather than just my stout hiking boots.
Tomorrow is of course another day. But there is a chill in the air and the sky's are laden with clouds that look set to pour down more snow. Enough snow on the ice and it'll be passable, at least for tomorrow morning, but what about after that?