Friday, 11 October 2013

WordPress Daily Prompt: Mid-Season

For many of us the seasons are changing, bouncing unpredictably between cold and warm. Are you glad to be moving into a new season, or wishing for one more week of the old? 

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SEASONS.

Baselstrasse, snowing

When I have to drive home in road conditions like this, I really ask myself why I moved to such a winter unfriendly, dangerous, slip-slide-on-the-road country like Switzerland. OK I know it is famous for its mountains, skiing, sledging and winter sports in general. I should have known better, but I thought all that white stuff sort of hung around on the mountain slopes and the towns were more or less civilised, or fitted out with heated road surfaces.

It seems that even good old London has suffered from snowfalls over the past few years. In my childhood snow felt once or twice in winter. Of course, everything stopped in London. Snow ploughs were a foreign word; you just threw salt everywhere and took a garden shovel to get rid of it. It all started a couple of years ago when London and the surrounding areas were suddenly swamped with snow.

Some weather god decided to share a little of the cold weather with the British. The result was busses abandoned on the London streets because the driver could move no further, salt reserves exhausted and most people being housebound for a month. Schools were closed, much to the delight of the children. Any flat object with a shiny surface was used to make the most of the icy snow slopes formed in the London parks; a plastic bag, a suitcase, anything would do. Snow is just not a London thing.

In Switzerland this is normal. Almost every household with children has a sledge, some have skis and the world continues to turn. The layer of snow on the picture arrived during the day and caught the clearance men unawares. Usually the ploughs are out on the roads constantly and by mid-afternoon you can more or less travel on a snow free road.

Personally I am a Spring/Autumn person, not too hot, not too cold and no stress.Summer is OK, nice and hot: nature explodes, lots of interesting things to photograph. In my younger days I was a sun bathing disciple. I believe somewhere in the ancestral past we had south European influence in the family. My dad and I have never suffered from sun burn, we just turn brown – ideal I suppose. With age I tend to avoid too much sun, prefer to read a book in the shade.

I hate winters, especially in Switzerland. Far too much snow and cold, my car does not like icy roads and neither does the driver. When I eventually arrive home in one piece I need five minutes to calm down. I remember a particular evening where I was out visiting with the car. During the evening it snowed constantly. I drove home in at least ten centimetres of that cold white stuff, That was not fun. If you use the breaks on the car, treat them like jelly, just drive in the low gears, keep fingers crossed that you do not have to stop and hope. Starting is also a problem. If it is cold the car gets worried and embeds itself on the snow under the tyres. Slowly drive again, not too fast; it might be that your car tells its tyres to stay where they are. I know you have all been through this, and there might be visitors reading this drivel that live where the snow lives most of the year. I just become a little very nervous under those conditions.

At the moment it is mid-October, but a careful ear listens to the weather forecasts. Snow is already falling in the higher regions and our new winter tyres have been organised but the garage has so much to do at the moment, that they will not be mounted until sometime in the next two weeks, so I am keeping fingers crossed that the snow stays away from the lowlands. It can rain as much as it wants to, can even get colder, but please no ice and snow.

My actual weather machines are my felines. Sometime in March/April they begin to sleep outside on the porch. As the days go by they go for nocturnal walks and when the warmer weather arrives they spend all night on the tiles fields and during the hot weather sleep indoors during the day in a sheltered place. In the evening they love to lay on the warm stones on the porch, thinking and planning their nocturnal adventures probably.

Suddenly the days get shorter and the nights longer, darkness prevails and then the cats switch on the winter programme. They spend the night indoors sleeping in a high place and do not venture outside so much. Tabby likes to sleep on the bathroom carpet, we have floor heating. Nera is to be found on a bed somewhere (we have covers on the bed) and Fluffy just sleeps most of the time. There is no feline action, just sleeping and searching for a place to sleep. At the moment the leaf soldiers have arrived. It is autumn and one of the last activities the felines have is running after falling leaves and pouncing on them when they land.

Autumn Leaves

Click here for more

1 comment:

  1. I like all the seasons, except for Winter. Even then I don't mind it so much as long as the snow stays away. I'm fortunate to live in an area that gets very little snowfall even when other parts of the UK are getting it.