Special Parson's Egg Edition ~ Good in parts
As is always our habit whenever we're away from home for a while, we steadfastly stick to our self imposed, semi-sacred rule : strictly no newspapers, no television, no radio, no phones, no magazines, nor even any online news sources.
That's why it came as such a shock to learn that a lot of Australia is apparently ablaze. And while we wish nothing but well to all our antipodean friends, acquaintances and their families - especially, we sincerely hope 'our Old Brit own' considerable sized Aussie contingent are safe & sound.
Incidentally, even as we sit and type we see the death toll is now at least 108.
And all this as the United Kingdom has shivered, frozen and been blanketed by as much as as 8/10 inches of snow even inside large cities like Birmingham. Brrrrr.
Whilst away, we learned first hand exactly how totally 'topsy-turvey' certain 'mother nature' related things increasingly appear to be becoming 'the norm'.
We travelled all the way from the West coast to the East coast of England, last Monday. We left home pretty early and found the first fall of the white stuff had already carpeted our own locality.
Yuk, we thought.
We were setting out to cross both Lancashire's and Yorkshire's wild, windswept, and notoriously bleak 'moors' - and obviously, the Pennines too.
The first thing our coach driver told his passengers was that we may well find ourselves, at best, taking some unusual detours and at worst, well ... it could only be a case of "wait and see".
Amazingly, and thanks to all those numerous county council areas, and their heroic workers, the fleets of gritters and sanders had, and continued to do so, and indeed still continue to - work virtual miracles on all our major motorways.
For the entire (lots longer than usual) journey, as far as the eye could see was a completely snow covered country. The worst winter weather, snow storms and snowfalls, so our met-office experts say, for 20 years.
As you can no doubt imagine, the scenery was far more spectacularly beautiful than we'd ever witnessed it before - coast to coast - before then, heading North.
However, having made a single phone call to the local police as we neared our destination, and wisely heeding their advice to take a detour around one particular town (on the normal route), we all arrived safe and sound. Not even all that late.
The most amazing thing of all though, was that just about half a dozen or so miles from our destination we ran out of a semi-whiteout, and right into crystal clear, dry though cold and windy weather. Unbelievable? Yep, we thought so to.
For two of our five days away, the sun actually shone in a completely cloudless beautiful blue sky - none stop. Hand on heart, it truly did.
During the other three days, as we visited some nearby places of special interest to us, on each occasion we ran right back into what was by now a veritable 'Winter-wonder-land' - as soon as we'd gotten five or six miles out.
We'll tell you what though, we would NOT have missed this marvelous trip for the world. Talk about picture post card pretty. Talk about gorgeous, glittery Christmas cards - huh! The spectacularly super-serene scenery we travelled through beat 'em all - by miles. Believe us.
And now we're told, by the Beeb, that we certainly haven't see the last of this sort of stuff.
But enough of all that for now.
We thought it might be rather novel to end this post with a sorta quiz-like question.
Novel. Storm. Horror. Harbour.
And of course, those already strongly hinted at, in our preceding 'travel itinerary'.
Well, we honestly hope you haven't cheated by clicking here before you should have.
*(Cross posted across at 'appletree'