Monday, March 05, 2018

The Beast from the East

I think almost everyone knows what that term means now. After the two weeks of sub arctic temperatures we've had, Siberia topped it all by sending us its wind, that Beast from the East. Now most people who know me well know that I don't vent, explete (if there is such a word) or otherwise resort to cursing, swearing or being in any way mouthy. It's just not me. I have, however, discovered that there's an exception to this; a conditional clause if you like. I should now like to say I don't swear unless I am faced with the full fury of a Siberian wind (or drivers who are trying to kill me, but it amounts to the same thing).

This last week has tested me beyond anything and I have given very strong vent to my feelings on several occasions – in fact, almost daily. The Beast from the East has shown no mercy and it's been like an assault every time I've walked through the university campus or through town. While I understand the actual temperature was only around minus 3 during the day, the wind chill factor was given as minus 25. Yes. Just think of that.

Anyway, I'll stop moaning now. But just so you know. I was not a happy bunny.

Quite apart from that, there are other interesting side effects to this type of weather. When the east wind blows, it pushes the water out of the rivers and keeps the tide out too. The result is we have very low water in the harbour and scaling the gangplank is an exercise akin to trying to climb up a chute. Going down is even more of a lark. It is not rare for me to squat down on my haunches and inch my way down while clinging to the rope with one hand and trying not to lose my bags in the other one. I would just go down on my bum if I could, but the plank has a surface similar to a large cheese grater. I'll leave you to consider the implications of that one. Here are this week's pics of the challenge. If you look on the other side of the harbour, you can see the footings of the wall. You shouldn't be able to – see them, I mean.

The cheese grater plank. It's actually worse than it looks

An interesting exercise in depth perception

See the footings of the wall opposite
Anyhow, I'm very pleased to report that after having snowed quite heavily on Friday night, today it has been positively warm at all of 7c. The snow has thawed and so has most of the ice, so I've been enjoying (yes, really) being outside and cleaning the Hennie Ha. A pity it started raining as soon as I'd finished. If it's not the Beast from the East, it's Murphy popping up to have his say.

Have a great week, allemaal and I hope the weather is being kind to you wherever you are.

26 comments:

  1. I have been going through some of your posts and I am in awe of your bravery to not live a conventional life. You have memories that people like me can only read about. I admire your grit and love of adventure. Bravo!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why thank you, Connie! That’s a lovely thing to say. I am a compulsive writer, so I suppose I get to record what many other people do as well. Thank you for popping by. I shall now see if you have a blog too!

      Delete
  2. VAL like yourself I am very glad to see the end of the extreme cold and especially the snow. I made the mistake of opening the window to test the temperature, the effect was like that of a sharp cold knife hitting me in the chest and I learned a lesson.
    So yes by all means let loose some expletives now and again and I believe that it actually does the inner person some good. Do take great care on your gang plank pity that you do not have a shopping trolly that you could let it down on a rope ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that is a good idea, Mel! A shopping trolley on a rope! I shall have to get one! Thank you for a brilliant suggestion, and keep yourself and Mrs H warm!

      Delete
  3. Oh dear, climbing down that gangplank in freezing wind would sure be a challenge. The Beast has had quite a bite in your part of the world. So pleased to hear it has warmed up a bit, and maybe Spring is just around the corner?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so, Patricia! Thank you. We haven’t had as much snow as some, but the Dutch have enjoyed the big freeze and have been out skating merrily!

      Delete
  4. My imagination is running wild at your attempts to foil the results of that beast!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, especially that cheese grater effect, Carol!

      Delete
  5. Amazing nature to have the force to lower the water levels by the wind! I’m glad for you, Val, that it is warming up now, but of course that brings the rain. Those cheese grater gang planks are not easy for man handling or on the paint work if you manage to scrap it along. But one does normally get a good grip in most circumstances. Look out for the daffodils, Val!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've seen snowdrops, Colin, but the daffodils are fighting to get out of the ground. They'll be here soon hopefully! And yes, I'm usually very glad of my cheese grater plank, but they have their downsides too, or is it downslides?

      Delete
  6. Val, you poor thing. Now I'm thinking it was the "Beat From the East"'s baby that visited us and covered our vehicles with snow. The wind was bad...but not like what you had. I'm so sorry, but so thankful that it's past now and you can take a deep breath and wait for another fulfilled Murphy's Law...or hopefully...spring instead. (Steph)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh me too, Steph. The wind was just dreadful, but thank heavens it's dropped now! Thank you for your empathy, dear!

      Delete
  7. There are times when expletives are the only words, Val - and brave woman, negotiating that gangplank and not giving up and finding a warm hotel!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jo! I must confess it occurred to me :)

      Delete
  8. Oh my goodness! What a week! We had quite a lot of snow. Going to the theatre on the South Bank on Friday night was an expedition- even in central London there was a thick covering.
    Careful on that gangplank! X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've seen photos of the snow in the UK, Jude. You've had much more than we have. I think the wind blew most of the snow clouds your way. How brave of you to go into London! We only had snow on Friday night. It was quite a heavy fall, but by mid afternoon, it was thawing.

      Delete
  9. Oh my...! My youngest son Ian and his girlfriend were wisiting Lukas and Katzu in Groningen last week and last Thursday they were in Amsterdam. There he lost his much beloved Pittsburgh Penguins hat into a canal when it suddenly blew off his head in the strong wind. He told us yesterday that their stay in Holland was more or less a disaster, not so much because of the temperature, but because of the high wind. He said that he has not needed long-johns here in Finland though the temperature has been down below -20 for prolonged periods but in Amsterdam.. yes! We in Finland have been in the eye of the high pressure and thus nearly no wind at all. Hope it is warmer when we are coming back in the end of April.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel vindicated about complaining now, Hans. If someone from Finland thinks the wind chill is bad, then it must be! Hoping to see you in April!

      Delete
  10. Hi Val - I imagine my reactions would have been much the same. Glad the Beast passed without major damage - interesting about the water levels though, and do not grate your behind - polite word! Take care - cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilary, a grated behind would not go down well, that' is very true! I hope you are having a mild winter over there in Canada!

      Delete
  11. I know how you feel. I was not very happy during the whole freeze either. The NS decided it was the best time to begin a week long track maintenance and replaced part of my route with a bus service. I spent a lot of the week freezing by a bus stop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Horrible, wasn't it, Stu? I'm so glad it's over!

      Delete
  12. I wonder if R'dam is specially windy, the snow we had there in early Dec was truly bitter. And the steep gangplank - terrfying when icy. Of course thats one of the things about boat life - you are more in touch with the weather ... !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jenny, Rotterdam is known for being windy, but I think it was particularly bad throughout the country. My Finnish friend (see above) said his son complained about the wind in Amsterdam and they are used to very cold conditions.

      Delete
  13. Im finding it difficult to comment Val, hope this second attempt gets through ...you might like to check your spam folder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So sorry, Jenny! Maybe it's because I've got comment moderation on? Both your comments were there, but I needed to approve them. It's the only way other people who don't have Blogger accounts can comment, I'm afraid.

      Delete

Apologies for switching on comment moderation, but this is to make sure everyone can comment without jumping through captcha hoops! However, anonymous comments will not be published, so please would you sign your name.