Sunday, February 12, 2017

Winter back to normal: wet, windy, whiteouts

Following my lovely trip to Spain at the end of January, I am now grounded for as many weeks as it takes to get my new passport. When I booked my ticket, I only just realised in time that my passport expired at the beginning of this month, so I just managed to get back with a day to spare. Phew! The funny thing is that even though I needed to produce my passport to fly to Spain, no one really looked at it, so it made me wonder if it would have made any difference if I'd come back a couple of days later. Now, I'm back, though, it feels odd to think I can't really go anywhere for a while, but on the other hand, this is not the time of year for travelling unless it's to somewhere nice and warm, is it? I shall just dream up some warmth instead until I am free to go again.

Here in the flatlands we have the resumption of our normal winter weather. I enjoyed the earlier cold, sunny days because the sky was blue and the light gorgeous, but I suppose it was destined not to stay that way. February has brought the usual whiteout and we have snow, wind, ice and those spooky white skies. Yesterday, I was in Amsterdam to teach and the snow started then. It was bitterly cold, the wind was like a razor and the snowflakes felt like hail battering my face. Trains were cancelled and the roads in chaos - condition normal during winter 'wevver'. It crept southwards over night and this morning we had a good layer of snow on the hatches. Then it snowed fairly steadily for most of the day even though most if it didn't settle. Typically for the Netherlands, it's all a bit too wet to last.

Still, there were some people determined to enjoy the day regardless of the prevailing conditions. This is what we saw from the boat this morning. Even though I think they are totally bonkers, I can't help but admire their cheerful stamina, can you? It certainly made my day to see them!

Thanks to Koos for catching them before they disappeared!

Seen from a neighbouring barge

And yes, that is snow on the decks
Keep warm everyone! I hope it's not too miserable where you are, and if you're lucky enough to be in the southern hemisphere, send some of your sunshine this way....please?

16 comments:

  1. Ha ha, those funny nudie boat people :)
    I too am grounded, awaiting a new passport. It is interesting you were able to travel when yours was nearly expired - Australia won't let you go anywhere unless there is six months on it! We are about to make reservations to go to Canada for Christmas, but await the passport. It sure does sound desperately cold over in Amsterdam, take care won't you?

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    1. I was a bit worried they wouldn't let me go too, Patricia, but I supoose wthin the EU, it's not a problem and for the moment, the UK is still part of Europe! I'm goig to be applying for a Dutch passport though. I think it makes more sense for me.

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  2. You always know when it is getting cold in Rotterdam - the ducks start to walk, rather then swim!

    I have vivid memories of taking my wife round the Grootmarkt in a blizzard a few years ago!!

    Stay warm,
    John

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    1. Ha, yes, John, we've had some of that too! We've even had people walking on the ice this winter :)

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  3. Brrrr..... there is a man here in Hastings who swims in the sea every day, whatever the weather, and posts a photo of his bare feet sticking out of the foam on Facebook to prove it,

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    1. Oh Stephanie! The man must be bonkers too, but he's probably very healthy :)

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  4. I always think January an February are the hardest to get through. The longing for sunshine and heat is at its highest. Over here it's really cold some higher up places have snow. It's been trying hard to snow but it keeps turning to rain. Those people in the boat must be freezing or inebriated. Hope you get your passport soon.

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    1. Thank you, Anne! I would love to spend longer away at this time of year. It really did me good to have even a weekend in the warmth! I think I'll need to wait about six weeks for my passport.

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  5. Here in middle England it is blustery, our rain is like razors too. I like that expression! I was in London yesterday for my birthday, and have to say the weather was dire there, sleeting snow and so very cold. Fortunately, we found a pub with a roaring fire.
    Have a good week - stay warm and well.

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    1. Happy birthday, Maria! I'm very glad you found a nice, cosy pub :) That will have made a lot of difference!

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  6. What a marvelous story and a photo that is indeed worth 1,000 words! You live an enchanting life, Val, but I wish you had a warmer place to spend winters...and I wish I did too!

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    1. Me too, Stephanie. I'm working on that. I don't think I can cope with another complete winter in Europe!

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    1. It is indeed, Stu! Just the job up in Freezeland :)

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  8. I’ve been catching up on your adventures, Val. Spain looked wonderful, despite the trials and tribulations at the BnB. Lovely to see the sunshine too, if only in photos ;-)

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    1. Ah, thanks, Cathy! Spain already seems a long time ago, but yes, it was lovely! I had a lot of fun at the BnB despite the trials. All meat for my blog anyway :)

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