4 April 2010

So, we lost an hour’s sleep last weekend but not only that, as soon as British Summer Time kicks in the weather takes a dramatic and exceedingly unhelpful turn for the worse! It turned freezing with sleet and snow almost immediately “summer time” began. If there was ever a reason for stopping this nonsense, surely that was a sign! We’ve had the cold temperatures, gales and sheets of rain while Scotland and Northern Ireland have had the bulk of the snowfall.

SnowScores trapped on snowbound train

Passengers endure six-hour wait in darkness for rescue train after Edinburgh to Inverness service is stranded in snowdrift.

More than 100 rail passengers were trapped for six hours overnight after their train got stuck in a snowdrift in Scotland.

The Edinburgh to Inverness service ground to a halt at 8.20pm near Aviemore as the country was hit by blizzards, high winds and heavy rain, leaving one girl dead.

A snow plough had to clear the track before a rescue train with food and blankets could travel down to Blackmount, between Carrbridge and Slochd and around 20 miles from Inverness, at 1.30am this morning.

The 107 passengers, described as “tired and fed up”, had to battle through snow and driving winds as they clambered between the trains in the darkness.

Flowers in the Snow“The weather is bad, but we wouldn’t be transferring people if we thought the conditions were dangerous,” said a spokesman for First ScotRail. “It will be done in a safe and orderly fashion.

“People have been on board for about six hours. They are tired and fed up, but the driver has said no-one is in distress.”

The stranded train “is set-in and would require digging out”, the train operator added.
First ScotRail said the passengers were due to reach Inverness at around 3.30am, where taxis were being laid on to get people home.

Police in the Highlands said attempts to rescue the travellers had proved difficult because of the remote location and snowy conditions.

A train service between Inverurie and Keith was also suspended because of bad weather, with 200 people being accommodated in Aberdeen overnight.

So much for Spring “bursting” forth!

We had an intriguing and, at the time, somewhat bizarre experience during the week. It was about 7.30 or so and Penny was just in the process of dishing up some dinner when the doorbell rang. Standing on our door step was a fellow from the village whom we know on a casual basis; we’ll nod and say “hello” to each other as we pass or should we see one another at a village social event such as the recent Quiz. But, he is certainly not what one would call a “friend” and his arrival on our door step in the early evening was somewhat puzzling.

Naturally, we invited him in with greetings such as “How nice to see you?” and “What a pleasant surprise!” and so on. In he comes and we slowly make our way to the kitchen, continuing the exchange of pleasantries initiated at the door. “So, are you keeping well?” and “What about this crazy weather?” and the like.

This small talk continued for about five minutes. “So, are you still working?” and “Still making those parachute things, are you?” and “How about you – have you retired yet?” Every so often Penny and my eyes would meet amidst two quizzical expressions – “What on earth is he doing here?” we both silently mouthed.

In the end, after about ten minutes, I can’t remember whether one of us eventually asked what we could do for him but I have the feeling that he finally suggested that we might be wondering why he had come by?

Indeed, we were wondering.

It turns out that he had come to the wrong door. He was actually looking for Sally next door who was after him to give her a quote for some landscape gardening in their back yard. After conceding this important fact, he shuffled out the door again and we were left thoroughly bemused.

Such an exciting life we lead!

I hope everyone is following David’s blog while he is in Japan – if not, you can find it here. He did concede that he was a little bit worried that it wasn’t terribly “interesting” at the moment. Heck, if there was a requirement for this stuff to be “interesting” 99% of it would never see the light of day including, of course, the Befouled Weakly News.

Finally, loved the following:

Dog Facebook

Love to you all,