Tag Archives: snow

2011 Project365 (days343-344)

10th December:

10th December 2011

This is the lovely view that greeted me this morning (taken from our front step). I was on my way into Glasgow for an OU meeting, no snow there which is probably just as well as Christmas shopping was stressful enough. It’s quite chilly here, but at least the awful wind has subsided.

9th December:

9th December 2011

The cards are starting to arrive now. Better get round to buying some (I don’t always manage!).

Stuff

I am in the home strait – I had hoped to submit the thesis by the end of the week, but the expected date now is next Monday. Still plenty to do, but the end is in sight.

In the meantime, Scotland’s central belt (ie this bit right here!) is ground to a near halt, I was out doing a home visit when it got really bad, and it took me nearly an hour and a half to get back to the office (it would usually take about 15 minutes). Including a couple of particularly scary skids, both of which fortunately righted themselves before I hit first metal railings and second a car on the other side of the road, both of which I was heading for. We got sent home shortly afterwards, when my 3 mile journey took nearly 3 (really quite scary) hours. And then once I got home I couldn’t get into a parking space as the road is so snowy and icy, in the end some neighbours took pity on me and pushed me the final few yards into the space, but now Dudley’s there I think he can stay put for now. But judging from the M8 tales, I was very very lucky. Today is a scheduled day off for me which is good timing, tomorrow it looks like I will be walking part-way and hoping the subway is open for the rest of the journey, as I won’t be going anywhere slowly, never mind fast, in the car. I did take a walk to the local supermarket to get some veg, even that was an adventure and I’m very glad to be back in the Stately Pile now. We’re all feeling very intrepid, not to mention supremely unimpressed with the Scottish government response to it all.

Actually I wonder if I should make some contingency plans for next Monday, given that the weekend forecast is for more snow. I will probably be able to get in to submit, but what if nobody is there to accept it?

Ho hum. I should probably concentrate on just finishing the b****r, and worry about the hypotheticals when (if) they happen.

In the meantime, I didn’t hear this as I listen to Radio Scotland news in the morning rather than the Today programme, but I have really enjoyed this from yesterday’s show (it has apparently been pulled from R4’s listen again facility already, I can’t think why!).

Snow

IMGP6528The snow hasn’t hit up here as badly as down south, but it has been snowing all day, and, even though I’m not fond of going to and from work on snowy, icy paths it was lovely to look out of the window and see those huge flakes dancing around in the air. This is the view from the window of my office.

And seeing as it’s Tuesday tomorrow, I won’t be overly distressed if there’s a snow day. What’s the betting half the students take one anyway?

In other news, I finished my second draft of chapter 3 today. I still don’t think it’s thesis-quality yet, but it’s loads better than the first draft. Onwards and upwards!

Proof of the white stuff

I had been thinking of popping along to the local Swedish furniture store today, but this morning I was greeted with this, and decided not to bother:

Glasgow snow March 2006 004

As previously mentioned I managed to delete the pictures I took this morning in the little communal courtyard, so the virgin snow with no footprints is no more, but I took some more just now so I think you can get the idea. The oleanders (big plants in pots) were weighed down with snow this morning, they were like little old men stooping over, but I shook the worst of it off and it looks like it may be starting to melt. I hope they cope – they’re more designed for mediterranean sunshine!

Glasgow snow March 2006 001

Glasgow snow March 2006 002

While I was out there I noticed that next door had built a snowman:

Glasgow snow March 2006 003

[technical question – how can I get it so that photos are next to each other rather than just appearing at the left hand margin? And how can I get my text to go to the side of the picture rather than appearing underneath it?]

Promises and white stuff

It snowed overnight! Glasgow and Edinburgh airports have been closed, and at last we’ve seen some of the snow that has buried northern Scotland for much of the last week or so (prior to this here we had about half an hour of big dancing flakes that didn’t settle about a week ago and that was pretty much it). I took some photos, but somehow they have been lost and deleted, goodness knows how I managed that. I’m quite disappointed – they included pictures of the communal garden under several inches of virgin snow (a vast improvement on what it usually looks like I must say), and also pictures of lots of my pots completely submerged (I had to go and knock snow off quite a few plants as they were so bowed down with the weight of the snow). Anyway you’ll just have to take my word for it. Church featured a select remnant only – most of our congregation are elderly, and only the main roads and none of the pavements appear to have been gritted so there’s no way that most of them would have been able to get out and about today. I’d say by the end we just about got to about 20 in the entire congregation (usually we have about 60 there I’d say) plus rector, a couple of servers and a choir of 4 (it’s usually about 10 people, and meant that this week the choir was 75% men, I don’t think that’s ever happened before! I really felt for the solitary soprano!).

I think God (in the form of Dith, Deeleea and the church lectionary amongst others) is on my case again. A couple of days ago as a response to this post of mine where I was feeling sorry for myself, Dith posted a comment which pushed a few buttons and which I thought needed a longer response. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for quite a while, God’s promises, and mulling over and wondering about. I think about my early days as a Christian, where I was in a very charismatic evangelical CU at university, and after that at a very charismatic evangelical church, and I have to be honest that it seemed like every passing emotion was passed off as “God is saying x.” Over the years, and I’ve seen and heard a few people say similar things more recently too, I’ve noticed on lots of occasions where things (particularly, I have to say, relationships and parenthood) were referred to in language of God’s promise to them. I did it myself, and there were certain Bible verses that I’d read and because they pressed particular emotional buttons at the time I’d feel sure that that meant God was promising whatever it was that that verse had stirred up in me. In one particular household I lived in about 10 years ago that was taken to its extreme and ended up being quite destructive, I think. And – a big ‘but’ here – all these years later (and admittedly lots of cynicism later too) I honestly can’t remember most of those things that seemed so real at the time and so obviously God speaking – why did I believe that x had been promised? What verse/word of knowledge/odd random thought was it that convinced me? I honestly don’t know any more.

Now that I’m no longer part of the charismatic scene at all, and for some time before as part of my process of moving away from all that, I started to examine what I did believe, and what I did want to hang on to, and my notions of truth as opposed to whim. I expect I’ve thrown out at least part of the baby with the bathwater, and hopefully with more time and distance I’ll have the courage to pick bits up again when I see them as useful and true and not just as unhelpful baggage. In terms of promises, I have no problem with the great Biblical promises – “I am with you always”, “I will never leave you or forsake you”, all those sorts of things, and I can hang onto them pretty unflinchingly in the face of all the seeming evidence to the contrary. But the other stuff, the more personal stuff, the stuff I *want* – I really don’t know if God promised them or if I just wanted him to so much that I attributed my desires to God when it was really just me.

So this is where I’m at. I find it terribly difficult to ask God for a promise, or expect to receive one, because I simply don’t trust myself to get it right, to hear the message correctly (or at all), if there is in fact an answer (I’m not always convinced). In response to Dith’s question, I think I carry on giving each day to God, offering him my future, trusting him to get it right where I know I may not, knowing that he’ll remain with me whatever choices I make, but I honestly don’t think I can do more than that. Even that results in some interesting past baggage rearing its ugly head (“well, if it doesn’t happen then that’s why, you didn’t pray/seek a promise/believe enough”). I try to reject that kind of thinking, I’m convinced it’s wrong as it denies God’s grace, but on the other hand I also wonder how much day-to-day involvement God actually does have with me – he’s given me a brain, and initiative, and a bit of nous, and I think he’s quite happy to let me get on with my life. Not that he’s not a huge part of my life, he is, and not to say that I don’t think he intervenes, I do, but I find it difficult to accept that there is a specific “plan” or destiny for me – things happen, I make choices, I deal with life as it happens and find God in the midst of it all. That’s how life best makes sense, for me anyway.

Today at church the first two readings were from Genesis 17 (God promising Abraham that he would be the father of nations, and that Sarah would bear a child although she was very elderly) and Romans 4 (Paul talking about Abraham’s great faith in believing this promise against all hope). And then I came back home and took a peek at the wibsite and found deeleea’s post [edit: don’t know why that’s not linking, I’m sure the code is right. Anyway it’s dee’s entry for today] which I think is touching on the same issue from a very different angle to me. I don’t know if I’m being prompted to have more faith, to be more specific, to dare to believe differently, to “name it and claim it” (I doubt that one!), I really don’t know – but I think that somehow, vaguely and indefinably, God is on my case – at least a bit.

I do sometimes have these times where everything seems to be pointing in a similar direction and I can think and muse and stroke my chin and pontificate and wonder and all the rest of it. It would be nice though if, just once, it was more than an intellectual exercise and ended up with something more tangible. I need a snog! 😀

Hooray!

In a break from decorating tips, I am pleased to report that it’s snowing here! (I know, alice beat me to it and it’s snowing in Swansea too, but still). My heart always used to sink when I lived in London and it snowed, because I knew that the 2mm of snow would inevitably result in traffic and public transport meltdown, not to mention grey-brown slush and general mushiness, none of this picture-postcard stuff there. But this is my first Scottish snow, it seems to be sort of settling, and makes the university look lovely (well, bits of the university look very grand and lovely anyway, but the particular bit I see from my window is 60s monstrous carbuncle-type architecture – definitely improved with a dusting of snow). One of my fellow students in here, who is from South Korea, tells me that in Korea snow means romance is in the air, with lovers going to meet each other when the first snow comes. I’m afraid being a Brit, for me it meant rushing into the kitchen to put the kettle on.

My only concern is that I drive to the retreat later this afternoon, and I know snow is forecast for the area I’m going to (though the Met Office assures me it’s only today). I suspect my car may have ignition issues (it’s very like its owner – doesn’t get going too quickly in the cold, and it’s even worse in the early morning). Mind you, providing I get there OK I’m happy enough if I get snowed in and have to stay longer 🙂 I’m going to take my thermals and walking boots and my pastels, but if I can find a library or study room somewhere with a roaring fire I suspect I shall hang out there rather than outside. We’ll see.

In other news, I appear to have multiplied! The “This Just In” section refers to “Jack the Lasses” wiblog, but I promise there’s only one of me. It’s never too early in the morning for grammar pedantry, that’s what I say. Oh yes.

And breaking news: I have just received an email from one of the students in my tutorial groups, addressed “Dear miss”. I now have an overwhelming urge to pat him on the head or give him a sticker or something next time I see him.