Snowmageddon has arrived! Twice!
At the time of writing, we’re in the midst of another dump of the white stuff, which is very unusual where we are a mile from the Solent.
It’s pretty rare to have it so close to the sea where it’s often a few degrees milder, but this ‘Beast from the East’ isn’t my first experience of snow – that was in January last year on holiday in the North York Moors National Park.
I loved it! Even when mum kept chucking giant snowballs at me – I had great fun catching them and having them splat into my face. I never seemed to quite work out that they would do that, every single time I caught one!
You know, there are obviously many wonderful places to see on this planet of ours – majestic scenery, soaring skies, magnificent wildlife…but there’s nothing quite like a walk in the English (or Scottish, or Welsh) countryside, with no plan for the day other than to enjoy the scenery and get some miles in the legs.
It’s something mum has pondered these last few months and she’s come to the momentous conclusion that – if there were a gun to her head and she had to choose between coast or countryside – she’d choose the latter now.
She’s lived near the coast her entire life – as have I – and it’s glorious. What she’s realised though, is that it’s the Solent she loves. Looking across to the Isle of Wight is more ‘grounding’ than looking out onto a vast expanse of wet nothingness.
The Solent is such a busy stretch of water – there can be anything from swimmers, paddle boarders and windsurfers to cruise liners, container ships and racing yachts.
And, occasionally, a gargantuan American warship which has to drop anchor at Stokes Bay because it’s too massive for Portsmouth Harbour.
While many of our local walks take in the Solent, we’ve decided that the countryside offers just that little bit more…atmosphere. Forests and woodland can be relaxing or sinister depending on your mood. There’s also an abundance of flora and fauna and the ability to really get away from it all (i.e. people).
Anyway, I digress. Suffice to say my time in the North York Moors in the snow was top fun so I was pretty excited to see all this cold white stuff right here on my doorstep.
The first visit of the Beast from the East was while mum was at work so it was less than thrilling. Its return a couple of weeks later happened on her rest days so we could get out and enjoy it.
We walked the 20 minutes to the beach and then it was game on! We had plenty of fun with my double-ended Chuckit toy, then ventured down to the shoreline. The beach shelves quite steeply and the snow had drifted to about a foot deep on the shingle.
By this time we’d met up with auntie C and cousin Arthur, so she was commandeered by mum to take a few photos of us…makes a change from a selfie, eh?
Once again I forgot that I’ll never be able to catch a snowball without it exploding in my face. When we’d exhausted that game, mum entertained me by kicking the snowdrift towards me. Every time she stopped I barked at her to do it some more!
As you can see from the photos I’m wearing my Non-stop Hunting Jacket, which is perfect for this type of weather and provides excellent visibility. The sizing does come up pretty small though – I’m 24kg and I think this one is an XL, and let’s just say it’s a snug fit!
All that said, like the rest of Britain we are quite happy now to say a big fat goodbye to the snow and cold weather. We want spring!
I’ll leave you with one final photo. This is what happens when auntie C joins us for a walk and mother has the great idea of showcasing her athleticism (ahem).
Oh, and don’t laugh at the hat. It may look a bit daft but it’s perfect for weather so cold it makes your face burn. And it’s Harris Tweed, you know!