Saturday, 25 December 2010
Budleigh Salterton's white Christmas
This is our third year in Budleigh Salterton and each winter has been chillier than the last. And now this corner of East Devon has had its first truly white Christmas for years. What happened to that micro-climate they boast about here?
Exmouth Road, the main western approach to Budleigh where I live, suddenly became a quiet country lane under snow, with only the occasional tractor or 4WD vehicle breaking the silence.
There's a downside of course if you're a keen gardener. We've got used to the frosts now, unusual though they are, but hadn't counted on snow damage. Looking out of the window and wondering at all the whiteness of the garden we heard a sudden crack saw two branches of our beautiful mimosa, already about to burst into flower, collapsed under the weight of snow. So sad. Will it survive? Why didn't I see what was going to happen? Five minutes earlier and I could have saved it by shaking the snow off.
At least our mimosa didn't bring down any power lines, which is what happened when branches from the big trees lining Exmouth Road suddenly gave way resulting in cuts to electricity supply for hundreds of consumers for several hours.
Of course our problems in East Devon are nothing compared with those experienced in other parts of the UK. And across the Atlantic in Cape Cod where Budleigh Salterton's sister-town of Brewster is located, my friend Barbara-Anne Foley tells me that they're expecting a blizzard tomorrow, adding to the foot of snow that has already fallen. She works in the town of Harwich for the Council on Aging as the Director and also part time on the Emergency Management Team. "So if it snows hard they will open my building as a shelter with the generator and we will take care of any who need sheltering - even going to pick them up in an aerodynamically made vehicle for this type of weather, even hurricanes."
Meanwhile our cat thinks those fallen branches are there just for fun.
I hope you've all enjoyed a peaceful and happy Christmas Day.