Saturday, 6 December 2008


I've been feeling the cold this week. Not because it's been particularly Arctic here, though according to the news they've had snow in Chris's end of the country (see picture above - Chris is third from the left). And not because I'm getting old. Simply because I've been driving to work.

Normally I'm able to walk, but because I was away, I had to drive to and from the hotel. This wasn't massively time consuming - about 5 or 10 minutes, but because the hire car was outside in the carpark, it was necessary to de-ice it.

Even when I do have to drive my car, it's usually kept in its garage these days, so it's about 4 or 5 years since I've had to worry about ice. Luckily there was a service station next to the hotel, so I was able to get some de-icer spray and a scraper on the first cold morning.

I remember the days before they invented the de-icer stuff. Or maybe no-one had told me about it. When I was doing teacher training, the second term (between Christmas and Easter) was spent in a school in Windermere, which was quite a long way from where I was living in Lancaster. Another two of my house mates were doing their teaching practice in Kendall (where they make the Mint Cake), and since I was the only one with a car, I used to take them to their school.

So the three of us would go to my car, scrape the ice off the windscreen, prise the doors open, and set off. By the time we hit the first roundabout (about 30 seconds), everything would be freezing up again, and I would be swerving round it reassuring my housemates by yelling "I can't see a f**king thing!". Perhaps I should have been an airline pilot. "Hello this is your captain speaking. Say your prayers, folks!"

My car was rather old and the heater had long since stopped working. Visibility was usally restored by the time we hit the M6. I think that my passengers would have preferred not to be able to see at this point in the journey, as my tendency to overtake police cars at 80 MPH unnerved them somewhat. I never got done for speeding, which I think proves that they were wrong to be so worried.

In any case, it never got this bad:

Have a great weekend, and if it is icy in your part of the world, please drive carefully.


Anndi said...


Anndi said...

Odd part is, we've barely had sprinkles of the white stuff so far. I'm fairly certain I'll be cursing the winter quite soon though.

Jean Knee said...

I could never live anywhere cold. We have our thermostat at 68, wear many layers and still feel like we are freezing to death. I think it's cuz we hardly ever move, not that I'm gonna start.

Jean Knee said...

glad to see you back Brian

Chris Wood said...

I don't think that picture does me justice, but that's the cold for you.

So you lived in Lancaster too? Cool! As to Windermere in Winter ... brrrr!

I agree, nice to have you back, fella.

Chris Bowers said...

I'm in Arizona and haven't seen ice outside of my freezer in 20 years. Great post!

Brian o vretanos said...


We hardly ever get snow where I live, and the temperatures never low by Canadian standards...

Jean Knee:

Moving's a bad idea - you might do yourself an injury.


Yes, I did a year at St. Martin's. I liked Lancaster - small and friendly, but with plenty of pubs.

Chris B:

I can't really complain - we don't get real extremes here. Arizona sounds a bit too hot...

Dan said...

It snowed here last night, I hate snow!
Why do people have to push old cars to get them started, I remember as a kid pushing my uncles car down the street.

Bee said...

Chris is whiter than I thought.

My car door once froze and a friend's uncle tried thawing it with a blow torch. It worked but then my key had issues getting in the hole after that.

Brian o vretanos said...


If the starter motor won't work well enough, presumably because the battery isn't delivering enough power in the cold, or something is stuck, then turning the wheels when the car is in gear will get the engine turning, and make the car start. I don't know if it works for automatics.


A blow torch sounds like a tempting but unwise solution ;-)

Dan said...

I peed on my keyhole once, it worked great.

Brian o vretanos said...


You mean like this?

De-icing lock

Jean Knee said...

uhhm, ouch?