PP and I set off this afternoon to post some orders and do a food shop. When we left home we had clear blue skies and although it was very, very cold, the roads were safe and clear.
We duly did our errands, and after stopping off at Tesco for our weekly shop, set off for home, a mere mile away. While we were in Tesco it had snowed. Admitedly not much, but the freezing road surfaces and snow combined to form a sheet of ice on all but the main roads.
We live at the top of a hill.
Quite a steep hill. It is never gritted, or salted by the local council.
So although traffic on the main road was moving freely, if much more slowly than usual, we turned off the main road into Robsack Avenue fairly confident that we would be home in two shakes of a lamb's tail.
Oh no, by no nonny no.
We took three runs at the first bit of the hill, just before the bend and had absolutely no traction on the solid ice. A chap coming down the hill in a big 4x4 wound down his window and advised us that we would be best to park down at the local shop (the famed WunStopp) as the hill was akin to a 45degree skating rink.
We took his advice and gingerly slid backwards down the small amount of hill we managed had to climb and parked up. Lots of other people were having the same problem and the car which pulled in behind us had also tried to get up the hill and failed. The family involved lived even further up the hill than we do and were also resigned to plodding up the ice face on foot.
Had I mentioned we'd been shopping. We had 5 of those great big resuable Tesco bags, each filled to bursting. Knowing that if we didn't carry them all in the one hit we would have to make two trips rather spurred us to at least try to transport them all at once.
We got to the bottom of the hill but it swiftly became apparent that we just couldn't carry everything all at once. We remembled nothing as much as two old crones from a Grimm's fairy tale, carrying bundles of wood through the snow-covered forest.
Up a hill.
Thankfully, the family from the top of the hill took pity on us, and offered to carry two of the heaviest bags. Had we truly been in a fairy tale, when we got home we would have thrown off our manky old cloaks to reveal us in all our glittering splendour, and offered our saviours at least three really, really good wishes.
As it was, all we could do was lean heavily against the campervan, gasping for breath and mumbling our profuse thanks.
We have just about recovered from our ordeal. Although more snow is forecast for tonight/tomorrow with arctic/Siberian temperatures for the duration.
Might just do some serious nesting tomorrow............