Wednesday, 27 January 2010

In Praise of Skipoles

All this talk about the wonder and beauty of snow is all very well (see my previous post) but there are downsides.

The first of these is the peril of snow turning to ice. As regular readers of this blog will know, I live in a small village near the top of a hill and I usually use public transport, which means a thirty minute walk downhill. However in this weather the walk can take at least fifteen minutes more. The reason for this is the local council sends a snowplough up the road to clear the snow - great if you have a car, not so good if you are on shanks's pony. The snow is piled up on the roadsides, too deep to walk on and disguising the ditch! So you end up walking on a road where the snow has been compacted by passing cars and turned to ice. The council is probably right, no one in their right mind walks along that road in the snow, just that mad Brit. I have noticed that sometimes only my footprints can be seen in the snow for days. Gone are the days when I would have found sliding on ice fun, so my thanks to fellow blogger Salamander for lending me her skipoles and making my journey to and from the house feasible and safe. They have transformed my experience and increased my confidence tremendously.

The second peril is when the snow begins to thaw. You will notice Czechs looking up as they walk along the street and then walking in the centre of the road. After a while you will see why, as blocks of compacted snow and even blocks of ice fall from roofs. At times it can be quite funny, but it can have very serious consequences - this year a baby was seriously injured by ice falling on its pram in Prague.

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