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Just in time!

gattina

By gattina

32 comments


We’ve had one or two snow flurries over the past month or so, but nothing to suggest winter had truly arrived, and we have been, all through the past year, making desultory attempts to find ourselves a suitable replacement for our old, battered, diesel-powered Ford, that struggles ever more each winter and can’t cope with snowdrifts. Everyone else round here has either a tractor, or a little 4×4 which copes with icy roads and compacted snow, combined with steep roads. Finally, a couple of weeks ago, word came, via a friend of a friend that there was a reasonably priced little car in very good order, just within our price range available in the next town. Well, to cut a long story short, we’ve bought it – or rather, OH has, and just in the nick of time, too. He was back in the UK for a couple of nights, and got stranded at Stansted airport from very early on Wednesday morning until yesterday, (Friday)by 2" or snow on the runway, which was cleared within a couple of hours, and even then, he wasn’t sure he’d got an assured seat. Since the old car and the new one are in his name, it needed his physical presence and signatures to effect the transfer. He DID get on his new flight, and I picked him up, grey-faced and exhausted from the train station at midday and we drove straight to the car dealer, piles of documents in a carrier bag, he signed on the dotted line at about 3.30p.m. and immediately the snow began to fall. I drove home as it was settling and darkness was falling, and apart from unpacking and regular transfusions of hot tea, OH has been asleep pretty much ever since (poor old exhausted thing) and this morning, we’ve (well, I have, anyway) awoken to this:-

Talk about leaving things to the last minute! Winter is upon us, and the forecast is for much, much more of the white stuff and awful temperatures. At least we should have reliable transport through the difficult weather! Hooray!
Guess who won’t be travelling on planes in the winter months ever again. Well, certainly not if I have anything to say about it, and NEVER with Ryanair out of Stansted. Let’s hope that poor Christmas travellers don’t have the dreadful problems there have been in the past. 48 hours in an airport, to say nothing of the travelling either side of that is not something I would wish on anyone.
Stay warm, everyone!

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Comments

 

That snow looks very pretty but I wish it could be arranged NOT to fall on the roads!
I think hibernation is a good idea, do you think we should vote for that?

8 Dec, 2012

 

Hi Gattina - hope you are okay . Good to have a vehicle that can handle it . Glad your OH got back okay, snow makes pretty scenes but not pretty travelling

8 Dec, 2012

 

We can't believe how 2" snow on a runway, cleared after 2 hours, at a UK airport means that an elderly gent has to spend the entire day, sitting on a plane, then waiting 2 hours to get his luggage back, then 6 hours standing in a queue, all without food or drink, waiting to find out what is happening, then having to wait two more days and nights to get back home. I decided a long time ago never to travel with budget airlines ever again: I just wish OH had, too. I hope he's learned his lesson. I'm not sure TOTAL hibernation is the answer, Sticki, but the ability and leisure to curl up somewhere warm and dark and shut out the world and its difficulties for as long as necessary, would make things a lot easier, wouldn't it? Winter can be lovely as well, but as you say, Paul, preferably not on the roads.

8 Dec, 2012

 

thats it gattina, thats the sort of hibernation i meant!

8 Dec, 2012

 

Oh dear,Gattina,what a horrendous time for your OH..we too,we had a similar bad experience with Ryanair too,but mainly at the airport,as the flight was fine..once we got on it! Bad weather at Christmas time when we were going to stay with Family in Spain..and all Southern airports were closed due to severe icy conditions..hence,everyone was trying to either get home,or on holiday,by coming up to Liverpool...it was like a cattle market..but I guess we were part of the problem as well..only just managed to get up the steps ,as they were waiting to take off..we had a 7month old baby,with all his stuff,and the pushchair almost got left on the runway !.never again at that time of year,...I do hope he is feeling better now,and the new car will cheer him up,I'm sure..As you say,just in time,by the look of it..let's hope the snow is short lived,and you can drive down your Mountain !

8 Dec, 2012

 

That sounds quite an awful ordeal for your poor OH, Gattina! Keep warm!

8 Dec, 2012

 

Great story Gat. .....poor OH.....and that gorgeous snowy photo, I always love snow from indoors looking out! Lol. It looks so pretty. Put another log on the fire now and keep cosy.

8 Dec, 2012

 

What a story! It was disgraceful that airports were in such chaos here, just because of 2" of snow . . . much of the media were saying "tsk - honestly, it is winter; why can't we be more prepared and just deal with it?!"

Your POOR OH . . . being stranded like that at an airport must be a nightmare, and if only we'd known, we're only 20 minutes drive from Stansted - he could have had our spare bed. We decided many years ago NEVER to fly with Ryanair again . . . "Verona" airport turned out to be 1 hour's drive from Verona - no fun in the middle of the night when you don't know the way!

So glad you've got reliable transport Gattina, but hope you can now stay in, keep warm and give your husband plenty of tlc. x

8 Dec, 2012

 

Gattina Im so sorry to hear about the nightmare ordeal that your poor husband had to face, all because of 2" of Snow, its the same every year that we get snow or ice the country seems to come to a standstill, last year was the same no transport and pavements covered in ice and snow for almost a fortnight! we are told that they are ready this year and have huge stocks of grit waiting , well we shall see what happens when the snow comes down!!
Pleased you got your new car and hope your Hubby recovers soon, the snow does look pretty but I prefer seeing it on pictures rather than the real thing lol
Take care and keep warm ;0) x

8 Dec, 2012

 

I`ve given the photo a like Gattina not the blog, your poor husband must have been exhausted, I hope your new vehicle helps you through the coming weeks and you won`t get stranded or feel so cut off..

8 Dec, 2012

 

Like everone else I,m relieved that you have reliable transport now but poor soul!

We didn't get any here, no wonder other countries laugh at us!!

My oh doesn't mind flying, likes it in fact but airports!!! Ugh.....

They are why he only flies as a last resort..........

8 Dec, 2012

 

Gattina - I'm so sorry to hear his tales - poor fella!! I hope you are pampering him.
Can I just say that we fly 4 flights too and from Stanstead nightly and not one of our planes was delayed - that was even taking into account of the time to de-ice the plane - so I suspect that the bother was probably more likely due to Ryanair!!!!!
Good news that you now have a new car to get you around.

8 Dec, 2012

 

I'm ashamed to say I have done very little to spoil my poor old OH since his ordeal except to feed him - he has bounced back after sleeping for hours and hours, and is just pleased to be home. We're indulging our laziness by doing very little more than putting the kettle on and feeding the stove with firewood and watching the box. Oh, Sheila, if only we'd known you lived so close by! I once flew to Verona (Valerio Catullo airport?) and had to take a very long and expensive taxi ride into town to catch a train to Bologna. I could have warned you about that one, 'cos the airlines don't tell you. The flight was late, there wasn't a taxi available for about 30 minutes, and I caught the last train of the evening by the skin of my teeth. I was immensely pleased to find daughter still standing on the platform at some time past midnight, waiting for me. Why do we do this to ourselves?
We are really pleased with the new little car, but haven't chosen to put it through its paces yet. It's a great relief to us and to daughter (who refused to get into the old one) to know we have something younger, reliable and more adapted to the terrain and the climate.

8 Dec, 2012

 

What an ordeal for your poor hubby, but at least he's back home safe and sound!
Happy Christmas to you both. Keep warm!

8 Dec, 2012

 

Oh my goodness Gattina, Ryanair are the most awful company. I'm sorry your OH has fallen foul of their dreadful service. The snow looks lovely, but I'm sure it's making things difficult to get around, thank goodness for the new car!
You once said whatever we get in the Uk you seem to get 3/4 days later, hope so 'cause the weather is supposed to warm up later this week. Fingers crossed x

8 Dec, 2012

 

To experience something like that is just terrible and I am relieved to hear that you are both home safe and sound. I hope he is recuperating and appreciating all his home comforts!

(Did you receive my little message about the polish - let me know what you think.)

Stay warm and cosy 'coz the weather out there is frightful and the fire is so delightful..........!'

x

8 Dec, 2012

 

Did you not get my long PM back, Wildrose, saying "Yes, PLEASE!" ????? We have our fingers crossed, Waddy - the forecast seems to change every few hours, but things are supposed to get (minimally) better during the next few days. I can't remember NOT having a white Christmas since we've been here, though, so I'm sure we shall have more snow before too long.
I suppose I have to be as fair as possible to Ryanair - they have one flight a day out of Stansted to Bologna - miss that slot, and there is very little alternative. The flights are almost always full, too, so expecting to get on the flight out the next morning is a bit optimistic. Ryanair can't help the weather. What I DO blame them for is the lack of information and help when things do go wrong.

9 Dec, 2012

 

Oh! .......We're both off on Ryanair soon! Now I wish we weren't going! Partner's going to Stansted then on to Cardiff to his family, and I'm going south to my daughter near Alicante and warmer climes! Your poor OH! That must have been a dreadful experience! Trouble is ... Ryanair don't care! If you complain, the answer is "fly with some other airline then!" But with the world strapped for cash at the moment - what other option have we but to spend as little as possible! I expect Ryanair executives will have a VERY merry Christmas - but I don't wish it for them!

9 Dec, 2012

 

Actually, the VERY worst airline for the "We don't give a ****!" is Air France. I used to work in the travel industry, and used to hear the most appalling examples of the Gallic shrug when things went wrong. We would only put passengers on AF as a last resort. We never dealt with the truly budget airlines. I hope they've improved these days. The Great God Cash and his children the Fat Cats dictate everything these days, and if there's the slightest hiccup, like 2" of snow for an hour or two, the whole system gets thrown into complete disarray. Nariz, my dear, I won't tempt providence by saying it won't happen to you, but I shall have my fingers crossed!

9 Dec, 2012

 

What an experience,Gattina and not one to be repeated anytime soon....happy to hear you are both safe....your house looks so inviting amongst the white capped surroundings.

9 Dec, 2012

 

Ah, that's not our house, Meadowland - this is the view from our bedroom window, and what you can see is an old ruin of a house that hasn't been lived in for about 70 years and our fig tree! Our house is MUCH nicer!

9 Dec, 2012

 

Gattina, I have not received your long PM, can't think why not.
Could you resend it please?
Sorry about this.
x

9 Dec, 2012

 

WHOOPS A DAISY........ Just found it, it was there all the time so I am now on the case!!! Must read the PM properly first though!

Even more sorry about this now!
xx

9 Dec, 2012

 

I'm sorry it's such a long pm, WR: you should know I can never write one sentence when I can write ten! So glad you found it - you had me worried.

9 Dec, 2012

 

lovely snow you are lucky, we never see it down here in Teignmouth Devon

9 Dec, 2012

 

Don't wish it on yourself, Sue - it's a darned nuisance. It's pretty and enchanting for maybe 6 hours or so, especially if you get it with the sun on it, but after that it's dirty and dangerous and not much fun. After a month you're on your knees, praying for Spring to arrive! I'll be happy to have a white Christmas, but only on Christmas day itself - not beforehand or afterwards when people are travelling to be with family and friends. Even if they have got 4x4s!

9 Dec, 2012

 

Thanks for your crossed fingers! Just about EVERYTHING of mine is crossed - just in case! I used to love travelling - with my kids on buses up to London, sitting upstairs at the front to see the sights; on trains commuting, looking at back gardens, seeing the occasional fox along the banks, watching out for the 'first' Christmas tree or watching fireworks in November; flying to various places on holiday ...... now I dread it with the scary check on baggage, the thuggy antics of security guards, the 'will I find somewhere for my case to go on the plane?' and the way someone - usually sitting near me - always seems to pass wind as soon as the plane doors shut!!! WHY do they do that!!! :o(((((

10 Dec, 2012

 

I suspect it might be fear........ :o(

10 Dec, 2012

 

You could be right!

11 Dec, 2012

 

Nice to hear of your new car. I hope it's reliable. You'll need it if that weather continues.

13 Dec, 2012

 

Tried it out for the first time last night in snowy conditions, Hywel, and it felt much safer - we weren't even sure the 4x4 bit kicked in, but looking out of the window this morning, I'm sure we'll have plenty of opportunity to test it to the max over the next few days!

14 Dec, 2012

 

Oh dear. It seems you have bad weather still :o(
It must be reassuring to know your car is safe and reliable.

14 Dec, 2012

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