24 January 2010

Snow has cleared

After couple of weeks of snow, it cleared quite quickly once the weather warmed up. It took about ten days for the ice on the canals to thaw. We are now having days as warm as 5 deg C, but with little rain this makes for pleasant winter days. Although the snow is nice to look at, it was difficult to walk through, particularly once it started to melt or turn to ice.

Errol is back into the new term at university and settling into routine again after the Christmas break. He has responsibility for a course this term. Marilyn is slowly learning the processes involved in her job, what seems easy at first glance often turns into quite a complex task.

We decided that as the family is all in England for the moment, we should have regular get-togethers to make the most of this time. So we have spent a day in London with the children and grandchildren. It was lovely to all be together, even if only for a few hours. We enjoyed walking through part of Hyde Park and discovering a playground there for the children. Marilyn had done some knitting for the children and the gloves were warmly received and soon proved their worth, and the pink cardigan was also most appreciated. The scarf that matches the gloves will be posted once it is completed!

Errol has begun to get involved with cycling administration again and has completed a theory course for British regional commissaires. He now has to attend several events and be supervised in various roles before he can become approved. He has been to a time trial event for the university club. Although he may go for some club rides, his main involvement will be in helping run events.

Errol has also attended a weekend workshop organised by the Anabaptist community and found it very thought provoking and inspiring. Some of his reflections on this will appear in his own blog over time. He would like to attend the full series of workshops over the year, but at present plans to attend a couple more over the next few months.

05 January 2010

Snowing again

It stayed fine enough for us to take Paul to Milton Keynes over the weekend so he could start work this week. The frosts have been getting heavier this week. The car already had antifreeze in the radiator (we discovered this after buying a bottle) but the window washer kept freezing up. Now we have added some washer fluid that will drop the freezing point but with -7° yesterday, it still froze up. Scraping the windows is not a regular activity before going anywhere.

The canals are completely iced over although yesterday, you could see where a canal boat had cut its way through the ice. I managed to get a photo of a goose standing on the ice. Today, the ice looked thicker and solid right across the canal. The only patch free of ice was under the road bridge.

Today, the snow came again. Heavier here in Birmingham than before Christmas but still not heavy enough to close things down. Marilyn did get to come home early but I was already having a work from home day as I had a dentist appointment this morning. The snow began to fall gently as I went to the dentist and heavier as I arrived home. The photos give some idea of how things changed in about an hour.

Marilyn enjoyed watching snow falling from her work area on the eighth floor of their office block. The heavy fall reminded Errol of the journey we made in 2007 into the Canadian Rockies. Paul reported in tonight saying that it was now snowing in Milton Keynes.