Friday, February 09, 2007



Snow! What snow?
My 15 year old asked me about the snow when I was younger, and she was thrilled to hear that I have memories of HUGE snowfalls from when I was small. I really have a memory(no not a collective family memory) of the winter of 1963, I would have just turned 2 and I remember looking out of the front bedroom window and snow drifts were up the side of the house to almost the bedroom window. I once told my sister who felt that my memory must have been of a later winter with really bad snow which I think was maybe 1969, but I have separate memories of that. My 21 year old also has an amazing memory and can remember things from when she was really very small. Yesterday
I couldn't tell you about but 40 odd years ago is crystal.I remember holding a boys a hand on my first day of school, we had to go into the dining hall and we had to go in 2 by 2. Neil whose hand I held is now a London barrister, hearing about him on the internet, in the news etc. now is quite surreal.
The later snow storm happened the year that the fire station in Cardiff Airport was being built, my father and the local policeman cut across the airport field(which was just behind our house) to help somebody .Whilst they were crossing the field the policeman fell into the snow filled repair pit in the fire station garage, the snow was that deep.
I also remember the winter of 1977, traveling on a single decker bus from Rhoose to Cardiff through the airport, the snow drifts were bigger that the sides of the bus and there had been a couple of feet of snow underfoot.
The 15 year olds response to this was WOW! And for once her comment was not tinged with sarcasm.
When I was doing my degree we learned about the LITTLE/MINI ICE AGE and because of that I became fascinated with the history of climate change and how it has affected history.
For instance
Antonio Stradivari, the famous violin maker, produced his instruments during the LIA. It has been proposed that the colder climate caused the wood used in his violins to be denser than in warmer periods, contributing to the superb tone of Stradivari's instruments.

Well would you Adam and Eve it!
One of my lecturers gave an example from popular children's literature, remember The Famous Five books? Well his opinion was that they had cold winters and hot summers, perfect weather , after the end of the mini ice age with the warming up of the climate and when the books were written with the escalating climate change, that time frame did have more predictable weather. Allegedly! Well its a theory anyway.
Pieter Brueghel the Elder
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The Hunters in the Snow (Dec.-Jan.), 1565, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

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An Irish Blessing

(A Blessing from St. Patrick)
May the road rise to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

May the rains fall soft upon your fields,

And, until we meet again,

May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.