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Pre-snow / pre-cold spell - share your traditions!


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Posted
  • Location: Berkshire
  • Location: Berkshire

    Hello everyone! ❄️☃️

    Disclaimer - this is my first post and I am conscious that it might be against the rules to start a new topic for something like this, but I thought I'd give it a go... Mods, please move/delete as you see fit 🙂

    Now that it seems we can all feel confident that proper cold is on the way, with decent snow opportunities likely to appear all over the place, I thought it would be fun to share some of our traditions that we may have ahead of cold and snow arriving. That is of course assuming that you all have traditions - I certainly have a few...

    I first started reading these forums (fairly non-stop) after the snowfalls of 2 and 5 February 2009, which from memory each resulted in about 10cm of snow here, just outside Reading. The first fall was very dry, powdery snow, and the second was more sticky. That week was the first significant snow I can remember seeing in my lifetime (I was 15 at the time) and I was hooked from then! I remember desperately scouring the forums (as a lurker) for possible future snow opportunities, and luckily I did not have long to wait...

    Overnight going into December 18 2009 saw another 10cm fall (dates and depths are just from memory so might be a bit out) of powdery snow, which was the last day of term before Christmas when I was in year 11. The night the snow arrived - 17 December 2009 - I watched a Simpsons episode called Skinner's Sense of Snow (a quick google shows it was first aired on 17 December 2000 - what a coincidence!), in which snow causes lots of school closures on the last day of term before Christmas (apart from Springfield Elementary!). I thought it was the perfect episode for the occasion, and the tradition has now stuck - I'll watch it the night before any major snow event is predicted to take place!

    Unbelievably, we got a 15cm fall of sticky snow on 21 December 2009, and then about 25-30cm of perfect snow on 5 January 2010! For me, Feb 2009 - January 2010 was the pinnacle - obviously December 2010 and Feb/March 2018 were amazing and cold, but the snowfalls were definitely less impressive here specifically. We also had a very decent fall of about 12cm in January 2013. I'm hoping that February 2021 will be memorable for both cold and snow!

    So anyway, here are some of my traditions pre-cold spell / pre-snow.

    • Watching the Simpsons episode Skinner's Sense of Snow the night before snow arrives (as detailed above)
    • Watching Groundhog Day a couple of days before cold sets in
    • Enjoying BBC News coverage of various correspondents standing around the country by motorways, piles of grit etc as the snow starts to fall
    • Lamp post watching for evening/overnight falls (the best kind!!)
    • Meanwhile having about 1 million tabs open with radars, forums, forecasts, news etc (similar to my General Elections night - is my nerd nature shining through??)
    • Late night/early morning snowy walks - because let's face it I probably won't be sleeping and it's so pretty and quiet!
    • A few days in advance, chopping up lots of wood for the log burner (that's today's job!)
    • Making a big lasagne (Delia's classic recipe - 4 hours in the oven, incredible) just at the start of the cold spell
    • Ordering a domino's (winter survival deal!) at some point during the cold spell
    • Lots of red wine, scented candles and nice hot baths
    • Of course the standard snowman building, sledging (although not this year 😪) etc
    • Scrapbooking! My phone is currently crammed full with forecast and chart and forum screenshots, which I plan to make into some kind of scrapbook 
    • Some kind of video compilation of all the snowy pictures and videos
    • Feeding the birds constantly and breaking up the ice in the bird bath

    I'd love to hear yours, so please do reply to this and share them! Looking forward to hearing all about them!

    Quozzle ❄️

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    Posted
  • Location: Up North like
  • Location: Up North like

    Breaking the ice in the water fountain is a must. I think Blue Peter drilled this into me in the late 70's or was that having a tennis ball in your pond to let the air in ? 

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    Posted
  • Location: High Wycombe East
  • Location: High Wycombe East

    I always make a home-made soup and fill up the bird feeders beforehand.

    After it snows I make snow lanterns by making a sort of mound of snowballs and putting a tealight inside.

    I recommend reading Moominland Midwinter for adults and children as it's basically all about cold and snow, and accidentally waking up and making sense of  a world full of snow while you're meant to be hibernating. 

    IMG_2032 (2).JPG

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    Posted
  • Location: Blackburn - 180m asl
  • Location: Blackburn - 180m asl

    It depends which direction it's coming from round here. For an easterly like the one upcoming (and I'm sure the same applies for the East Coast when we get a stonking NW'ly too 😛 )

     

    • Turn off the national news.
    • Start planning walks in the bright sunshine and crisp cold I'll see for the next few weeks.
    • Look up the traffic cams of areas likely to be buried
    • check house prices in the Highlands.

     

    In all seriousness actual plans coming up to a cold spell tend to be.....

     

    •  Check house prices in the Highlands
    •  Check the grit supplies.
    •  Check the snow shovel is still whether it's been for the past few months.
    • Look at youtube videos of historic events from all around the world of deep cold and heavy snow
    • Contemplating whether it's close enough to Christmas to get the decorations back out... (this one isn't)
    • Dig out the electric heaters.
    • Watch The Day After Tomorrow 
    • Tell everybody there's nothing to worry about and the media are overhyping the whole thing to be on the safe side 😉 

     

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    Posted
  • Location: Basingstoke
  • Location: Basingstoke

    Fill buckets with water

    clear garden

    buy loads of red wine

    get hammered and be hungover when the kids want to go sledging.

    Thing is I love watching it snow, could sit for hours by the fire with a glass of red watching the lamp post but I’m 45 and have no interest in playing in it, obviously with 2 young kids I have no choice,  the wife never comes out as she says as I love snow so much it’s up to me. 

    3 years ago I took the kids sledging at 7am during the beast from the east, we were the only people at the hill, was minus 8 and we lasted 5 minutes before my son who was 4 at the time started crying saying he was too cold. Result. 

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    Posted
  • Location: Berkshire
  • Location: Berkshire

    Thanks everyone for the replies, and to @Paul for sharing on Twitter and in the other thread! Some really nice, fun and interesting traditions to read about!

    @saintkip totally agree about watching the snow by the fire with red wine, and the tradition of a hangover - it's especially harsh in the bright white of snowy surroundings!! I laughed out loud at "Result." hahaha.

    @Frosty the Snowman completely agree about youtube videos, totally forgot about doing that! Looking up Highlands homes is the kind of thing I could get into, too... As for Christmas decorations, I insisted we left our lights up outside this year - they're fairly harmless soft yellow lights, and I wanted to brighten up lockdown a bit, and was also kind of hoping for snow - looks like it will happen!

    @Team Squirrel great call on the soup - I've decided to do the same tomorrow! Will have a look through my Covent Garden book now 🙂 Snow lanterns sound incredible, definitely stealing that idea too! And thanks for the book recommendation, looks good!!

    @Cakie tennis ball is a great tip! I always get a video of the slab of ice being smashed on the patio as well.

    All of these posts have reminded me of a few more things...

    • Looking through my old weather scrapbook covering February 2009-December 2010 - screenshots of forecasts, weather warnings etc. Have just found it and I can't believe how dated it all looks!!! So exciting though.
    • YouTube videos of old snow events as Frosty said. I love this one especially - Trafalgar Square Feb 2009, the chimes of Big Ben are so atmospheric!
    • Putting a bottle or two of prosecco and some beers outside in the snow - very insta friendly haha

    Keep them coming, it's building up my excitement even more!

     

     

    Edited by Quozzle
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    Posted
  • Location: Andover, Hampshire
  • Location: Andover, Hampshire

    I always make bacon sandwiches for whoever is around - a tradition I continued the sunday morning before last when it was snowing.

    When I lived in Whitchurch, I would trudge to my friend's house where we would have bacon sandwiches and then we would make suits out of bin-bags and trek the mile or so to a place called "the hangings" which has a large hill. Often large numbers from the town would congregate there - cue enormous snowball fights and sledging etc.

    After that, we would make the journey back home, stopping to buy ingredients for a roast dinner - soaked and exhausted, we would cook a roast then veg out on the sofa until it became time to go home.

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    Posted
  • Location: Andover, Hampshire
  • Location: Andover, Hampshire

    Also, I have a great memory of going to beacon hill when I was a teen to meet some friends in the snow.

    After a slightly dodgy drive up the A34, we began our ascent of Beacon Hill wearing no waterproof clothing of any kind and just your standard footwear. It took us over an hour to get to the top and about half way up, the path had completely gone and the snow was up to our knees.

    When we reached the top, we realised all of our friends already up there had sledges to get back down again, whereas me and my friend had absolutely nothing.

    We watched them zoom away from us down the hill, laughing and giggling as they shrunk into the distance and became tiny black specs against the white landscape.

    Not to be defeated, we decided to just sledge down the hill ourselves...on our faces.

    Mustering all our strength, we took a lunge and jump and penguin-dived face first into the snow over the brow of the hill. Slowly but surely, we began to gather pace - rocketing down the slope at a rate of knots - 2 streamline human missiles sped down the incline.

    At some point, I hit a badger set and flew into an unstoppable summersault. I began rolling down the hill violently, tumbling head over heels, unsure of which way was the right way up. It was then I saw my friend flash past me upside down screaming as he careened through the air like a spinning bullet in a violent pirouette.  

    I remember thinking to myself "this was a bad idea" as I smashed off another rabbit hole with a hollow thump and I could hear the tormented cries of my friend nearby as he barrelled down the hill next to me, but mercifully, I began to come to a halt as I reached the bottom and more gentle, flatter land.

    Eventually I came to a complete stop and managed to catch a glimpse of my friend as he slowly and pathetically slid up against the wire-fence at the bottom of the hill, face-down and completely motionless.

     

    Amazingly, neither of us were hurt(seriously) and we managed to beat the guys on the sledges to the bottom!

     

    Edited by Azazel
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    Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl

    Watching old BBC footage of snow events from yesteryear, with expectation such reports will be shown again covering upcoming event! Need something to kick covid off the headlines.

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    Posted
  • Location: Berkshire
  • Location: Berkshire

    Great posts @Azazel - think I'll steal the bacon sandwiches idea and quite possibly the roast too! Love the Beacon Hill story! My sledging spot was a fairly modest hill going down alongside some steps (with metal railings) into a field - I still wince when I think about going down on my sledge backwards, picking up speed, and coming within a whisker of smashing into the metal! I think that would have been January 2010, though possibly February or December 2009.

    Good point @damianslaw - I reckon snow will get the top spot on news coverage but they'll inevitably find a way to link it to covid - police break up sledging / snowball fights...vaccination appointments cancelled...etc. 

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    Posted
  • Location: Berkshire
  • Location: Berkshire

    Another tradition I just remembered - not that I'm at school anymore! - was obsessively checking the school website and local radio station websites, and frantically texting all my friends to try and establish whether school was open or not. I remember quite often all of the sites would crash because there was so much traffic! 

    Most of the snow days we got off school, but I remember one devastating day in the January 2010 snow week (of met office red warning fame!!) where we were the only school in all of Wokingham to open, and in our school, mine was the only year group to have to go in! Year 11 I think, so my GCSE year. They had dug out thin paths in the 20cm or so of snow and we trudged around in single file, heading to lessons (mostly with cover teachers as our usual teachers couldn't drive in!) who put on DVDs. So pointless, but luckily it all froze again overnight and they were forced to shut for a few more days!

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    Posted
  • Location: Guisborough
  • Location: Guisborough

    Definitely fill the bird feeders all, if this hangs around birds will be struggling. Just been to the local store, £20 on seed, suet, nuts etc , bird feeders filled on a daily basis.

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    Posted
  • Location: Berkshire
  • Location: Berkshire
    1 minute ago, Gizzy said:

    Definitely fill the bird feeders all, if this hangs around birds will be struggling. Just been to the local store, £20 on seed, suet, nuts etc , bird feeders filled on a daily basis.

    Good call. Just been out to fill them up myself, and some more seeds are coming in the delivery this morning! 🐤

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    Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
    3 hours ago, Quozzle said:

    Great posts @Azazel - think I'll steal the bacon sandwiches idea and quite possibly the roast too! Love the Beacon Hill story! My sledging spot was a fairly modest hill going down alongside some steps (with metal railings) into a field - I still wince when I think about going down on my sledge backwards, picking up speed, and coming within a whisker of smashing into the metal! I think that would have been January 2010, though possibly February or December 2009.

    Good point @damianslaw - I reckon snow will get the top spot on news coverage but they'll inevitably find a way to link it to covid - police break up sledging / snowball fights...vaccination appointments cancelled...etc. 

    Get ready for the usual gloomy Monday news coverage, can see them gearing up now.. it's a serious point people will struggle to be vaccinated and it may put back achieving the target 15 Feb, there will be coverage if people feeling even more isolated, struggling to get food and heating and associated costs, but this is always normal. Expect somewhere such as Southend to feature. It will be very sensationalist and more so given SE will be affected. Note to myself do not watch any BBC coverage Monday!

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    Posted
  • Location: Berkshire
  • Location: Berkshire
    47 minutes ago, damianslaw said:

    Get ready for the usual gloomy Monday news coverage, can see them gearing up now.. it's a serious point people will struggle to be vaccinated and it may put back achieving the target 15 Feb, there will be coverage if people feeling even more isolated, struggling to get food and heating and associated costs, but this is always normal. Expect somewhere such as Southend to feature. It will be very sensationalist and more so given SE will be affected. Note to myself do not watch any BBC coverage Monday!

    SO true about Southend! My standard guess for BBC coverage is Thanet haha. Yep absolutely, delay to vaccine, missed target ("begs the question - why weren't we prepared for snow?" etc etc), potential knock-on effects on loosening of restrictions...the list goes on. I don't think I'll be able to resist seeing if we're right - I'll be watching!!

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    Posted
  • Location: South Ockendon, Thurrock, SW Essex
  • Weather Preferences: Severe frosts, Heavy snowfall, Thunder and lightning, Stormy weather
  • Location: South Ockendon, Thurrock, SW Essex

    My pre-snow traditions are:

    Watch past UK and Ireland snow videos of the winter of February 2009

    Wear my pyjamas back to front and inside out

    Put a metal spoon underneath my pillow

    Do a snow dance by running anti-clockwise around a table

    Pray for snow

    Plant wildlife friendly shrubs, wildflowers and tress in my back garden

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    Posted
  • Location: South Ockendon, Thurrock, SW Essex
  • Weather Preferences: Severe frosts, Heavy snowfall, Thunder and lightning, Stormy weather
  • Location: South Ockendon, Thurrock, SW Essex

    Playing the Snow making song/dance

    Throw ice cubes at trees, hedges and shrubs and throw ice cubes down the toilet

    Place coins on the window pane 1 coin = 1cm of snow

    Listen to snow poems/songs/films

    Pray to Oro Munroe aka Storm as well as Catlin Snow, Captain and Bobby Drake

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    Posted
  • Location: Broxbourne, Herts
  • Weather Preferences: Snow snow and snow
  • Location: Broxbourne, Herts

    I practise my disappointed face.

     

    Still can't get it right though, it never matches up to the disappointment I really end up feeling......

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