Plot on the Landscape.

The Countryfile weather report on Sunday was looking a bit grim. The week ahead was due to welcome “The Beast from the East” a particularly vicious cold weather system from Russia that threatened to carry a lot of snow.

Plot was otherwise engaged with a Twitter chat on #BlogBashChat (and wrote about it in Blog Splash Chat) but did catch the phrase ‘Beast from the East” on the air. She shuddered, it was a long time since Plot had the pleasure of deciphering the misspelt tattoos on Aggie Foster’s formidable forearms. Born and raised within spitting distance of Belfast’s Lower Newtownards Road, Aggie Foster was known as the “Beast from the East” and was far scarier than a cold wind. Plot hadn’t crossed paths with Aggie in over twenty years and wondered if her liver had packed in yet from too much raw vodka or if the fags had done for her first.

Setting aside the image of a teenage paramilitary gangster, this did look like quite the weather event, it had the potential to be even more newsworthy than Ex Hurricane Ophelia, and Plot was quietly hopeful. Plot had a bit of a thing for snow, sledging in particular. Plot didn’t just like sledging, Plot loved sledging. It was the one form of exercise that she looked forward to.

“Find a form of exercise that you like doing’ the healthy bodies in tight Lycra decreed, ‘Find something that gives you a buzz”. Plot had tried quite a few things. She was a decent swimmer (once) and had won a Bronze Medal in the British and Irish Lifesaving Championships, but she didn’t get a buzz from it. She didn’t get a buzz from the gym; she hated aerobics, despised spin classes, couldn’t keep up with Zumba and nearly gave herself black eyes crippled her knees when she tried running.

She was quite happy to go our walking with her friends, but the walk had a strange way of leading to buns in the True Food cafe or to the pub, and cocktails of the week. So although the stagger home may have been twice the distance of a straight line, it still wasn’t far enough to address the balance.

The outlook for Plot’s cardiovascular system was looking problematic and Plot was desperate to find a sport that would keep her healthy, didn’t involve drinking and would give her that buzz that fit people kept telling her about. She was beginning to lose hope.

Then it snowed.

Like a good Mummy, Plot bought her sons a couple of sledges, took them to a particularly steep slope before descending hell for leather to the bottom of the hill. In about three minutes flat, Plot was back at the top of a hill that would normally take her about ten minutes to climb, even without towing a small child behind her – ready to go again with a whoop of excitement.

Plot had found her sport.

There was however, a slight flaw with regard to sledging being the answer to Plot’s  improved fitness. As it turned out, Plot lived in the least snowy place in Britain. Years came and went with no snow, but increasingly larger pants, necessary to fit her ever increasing butt. It was almost like Bangor was a natural snow repellant.

Ironically, despite being built for cold dry weather, Plot found her body living in a mild, wet climate, she despaired and mentally kicked an empty tin can at whatever Fate decided on that particular cosmic joke.

So when the ‘Beast from the East” was mentioned, Plot paid some attention, because this weather was coming from an entirely different direction than usual, so there was a better than average chance of the necessary snow.

She should have known better.

The Gods of exercise were obviously ganging up with the Gods of weather to make sure that Plot was spared any opportunity to have a bit of fitness fun. Despite being directly in the path for Suzie’s Snowmageddon at the last moment, the snow clouds veered left about two miles before hitting the boundary of Plot’s town. To add insult to injury, the Gods let the same three snowflakes blow round in a circle all day just to remind Plot of what she was missing.

Technically Plot was within a weather alert zone; but  what most people didn’t realise was, the amber alert was more to do with Plot’s mood at the lack of snow rather than the risk of disruption because of it.

Images of snow scenes were falling faster on Facebook than actual snow outside, a red alert was issued in Ireland. Even her friend Orla had so much white stuff she was able to count seven stages of snow 

Plot on the other hand was able to count none. What Plot had was wind, and not the sprouts and chick peas for dinner kind. Real wind. The sort of wind that made her very happy that after learning that Something is Rotten in the State of – Our Roof it had now been repaired and was both wind and waterproof.

Despite the chill and gusty wind, two terriers were getting angsty and needed exercise but a mix of high tide and big waves ruled out the beach, Mr & Mrs Plot donned their his’n’hers matching parka’s and took off in the direction of the park for a walk.

Apparently it wasn’t just the window frames creaking the night before. The wind had devastated some of the trees in the park.

A specimen Bhutan Pine totally bit the dust, and it wasn’t long before the dogs stumbled upon a Scots Pine that hadn’t fared much better.


Basically, this was a day for a roaring fire, or joining Gemma for a battle and a brew in a board game cafe; either way Plot was out of luck. Now to make matters worse it’s time for Plot to run the gauntlet of dinner once more; who will win in the ongoing struggle of  Parents v Zom-boys, domestic warfare

As Plot would say, ‘Buggeration!’ because it probably won’t be her.


  1. We were in an amber zone and on the edge of the red here in Cornwall. We definitely had enough snow for sledging, in fact quite a number of articulated lorries were doing it down the A30 until the police closed it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been sitting in a snow free ivory tower today being quite sniffy about drivers who went out Despite being told not to, and then putting themselves and others at risk in the rescue.

      I might have been a bit more snow ourselves. Mostly I’m just an old grump. 🙂


  2. The snow was deeper than the dog is tall, so that was an entertaining walk, but that cold easterly (they reckon effective temperature minus 12) made an indoor day the wise choice. I am similarly grumpy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I live in an are that is usually snow-repellant, but we were in an amber zone, so it snowed. The wind didn’t seem much, but we’re on the coast and used to wind. I’m glad to say that the snow is melting now and we’re seeing the sun for the first time in a few days.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post! We’ve had a snowy winter here in the Midwest as well. Most if it has melted, but you know the old saying “In like a Lamb out like a Lion.” When we didn’t get a storm on March 1st I was happy and cringed at the same time because that means we’ll get one close to the end of March according to the quote. I’m crossing my fingers that it’s wrong this year. I’m so ready for spring!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! Good, not completely lost then. 😝

      I’m enjoying your blog. I don’t know much about the Eastern Front other than that two of my “cousins” died there. They were aged 13 & 15, German, & shot by Russians.
      Meanwhile their Uncles, (my Great Uncles) were enlisted in the British Navy, all whilst my Great Grandfather was interred on the Isle of Man.
      So it’s something I’d like to understand better.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sorry to hear about that part of your family history, WWII was certainly a very crazy time and the Eastern Front crazier than most. I am glad that my blog has been enjoyable so far and I hope it helps you to learn more about this part of history. Should you have any questions about things on my blog or about anything that isnt covered there, I’d be more than happy to answer them for you if I can

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you 😊 it’s good to put some events into context. But it’s something that only came to light about a year ago. We lost touch with that side of the family when the iron curtain went up, and contact was lost.

      Liked by 1 person

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