Thursday, 5 February 2009

Russian Snow

Just to show that it's not just us who is having some snow issues here in the UK, here are some photos of Olga's mum outside her apartment block taken recently by her neighbour.
Apparently the word on the street is that this year there isn't so much snow! However, it will stay until April, and the roads aren't gritted as everyone has winter tyres an drives sensibly...
Thanks to Sergei for taking the photos, and to Baba Luda for showing the true scale of those nice Christmas trees!
Luda's home town is on the eastern lower slopes of the Ural Mountains, a three-hour drive north of Yekaterinburg.

Time isn't wasted

We might be "working from home" (and indeed I did just a fix a problem in the States from here) but that doesn't mean there's no time to play in the garden. Meet Mr Frosty for example:

And of course, there's Miss Frosty:

I found a seed tray the doubled as a perfect sledge for Lara, and she seemed to enjoy her first go at sledging:

It might have only been for 2 metres but we all had to start somewhere, and she didn't fall over (not at least while I filmed ;-) )

Not this morning, thank you

I waited and I saw... cars queuing and sliding everywhere. Is our journey this morning absolutely necessary? Nope. So for now at least we're staying put, Lara will have her porridge then put her snow suit on and we'll be off to the back garden. For now she's enjoying watching the cars struggle past the front of the house, from Mishka's normal observation point:

Just for the bigger picture, here's the current view from our window across High Wycombe:

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Right again

Well, we've had 3" of snow overnight. It didn't look promising yesterday evening, there wasn't a flake in the air, and the reports on the news were suggesting that the South East wouldn't get very much after all. However, there's enough this morning to make driving interesting, for Olga to decide against going to London (in case her clients can't make it in - they didn't on Monday!), and for Arriva buses to suspend their services from Wycombe. Lucy came over yesterday afternoon to collect her passport, which had been delivered to us, with her extended visa (phew!). However, now that means it'll be tricky to get her back to Reading this morning for her college course.
We're assuming Lara's nursery will be open - it was on Monday - but local radio reckons that my normal route there resembles the Dancing on Ice skating rink.
We'll wait and see......

More snow tomorrow? And salad on a bacon sandwich?

Let's see if the forecasters can make it two out of two this week; they're suggest more heavy snow overnight tonight in this area. I've created a new web album for some of the photos I took of Olga and Mishka playing in the garden on Monday, by the way, you can see them on the left of the blog.
Hobbies have been suspended this week - Olga's art class was postponed because of the weather, and I'll be watching Everton v Liverpool FA Cup replay tonight on TV.

I've added the BBC's Weather widget to the blog, and reduced the number of posts on show, (seeing as I've started rambling on in these posts) in case anyone is curious what the forecast is!

We've been on the receiving end of different scales of Company Policy this week - I forgot to mention that when I had my Breakfast Roll from Subway on Monday morning (oooh, the Mega Breakfast roll - bacon, sausage, egg and cheese on healthy italian bread) one of the questions from the employee was "What salad would you like on it?". For a microsecond I thought he was joking, but he seemed serious but also embarrassed that he had to ask. I politely declined....
Then today Olga has been on the receiving end of JD Wetherspoon's Company Policy on families. I knew they were placing restrictions on families with children in their pubs, that you had to have a meal if you wanted an alcoholic drink, but when Olga took Lucy and Lara in there today in Wycombe, she was required to buy a meal each for her and Lucy (they were happy to share one meal) and TWO alcoholic drinks each! They left and set off for another pub that we've tried without any hassle before. It's a shame as we'd definitely recommend Wetherspoons pubs as family friendly, and under other circumstances their restrictions would be perfectly acceptable, but this seemed a little too far today.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Winter Wonderland

The forecasters got it mostly right, it has snowed. There wasn't as much in Wycombe as I'd expected, the only fun thing to do when Olga got up at 5.45 this morning was to open the curtains and see how much snow had fallen. When I took Mishka out, it was probably about 3 or 4cm, and it wasn't snowing hard.
However, by the time we'd dropped Olga off at the station and got down into Marlow (slowly!) this was the view of the nursery school car park at 8am:

It's never that deserted, although the tyre tracks give away that there have been cars here this morning. I had to hang around for a few minutes with Lara for the nursery to make sure they'd have enough staff to cover all the children, but it seems they do.

I was first to work, for a change, but I don't have a key to get in (because I'm never first in!) so I had to get a breakfast roll and coffee from Subway and wait for the local workers to walk in, it was only a 15 minute wait. So far, as of 9.30am, I'm the only person who's made it in in a car, and the snow is falling heavily.

I might take the camera out in to the back garden and let Mishka play around at lunchtime, that always makes a good photograph!

Sunday, 1 February 2009

A trip to the Salon - the first of many!

Here we go - Lara's first haircut! Her fringe was getting into her eyes, so it was time to do something about it on Saturday night. I'm sure Olga's looking forward to that first, close bonding session when mother takes daughter to the hair salon for her first two hour appointment, but at the moment Lara had to put up with the Mum & Dad Double Act while sitting in the bath.
We were trying to avoid the Chris Waddle mullett (see above), and I was sure we should cut her hair when it was wet. I have to say, when I got up this morning with Lara at 6.45am, she had perfected the mullett-look. After some careful combing, it looks much better, phew!
Here's Lara being looked after in the Home Salon last night:

Waiting for the snow

We're expecting a lot of snow tonight - maybe up to 10cm - which will make tomorrow interesting. Olga has to work in London, so we'll be leaving around 7.15am to go to the railway station. If we get that much snow, getting to Marlow will be interesting. Sadly I can't "work from home because of the snow" if I take Lara to nursery, as the nursery is only 500m from the office. I might drop Lara off and come back home anyway, as Lara has again thoughtfully passed on her nursery germs, so everyone here is full of a cold again, in fact Lara seems to be the least affected as of Sunday night.
Having said that, I needed to take Mishka out for a good walk this afternoon, and Olga needed some time alone to get some work done, so Lara and I wrapped up in our best winter woolies and we took Mishka for a walk. An hour was enough for us though, and we came home to listen to the Liverpool v Chelsea game on the radio (2-0 to Liverpool, only just though!!). Here's a quick snap of Lara in her best, Russian-handmade, winter woolly suit:

We did have a short blast of heavy snow for about 10 minutes around 6pm, to give everything a light dusting, and we thought that if that kept up all night, we'd be lucky to get out of the front door tomorrow morning, but it stopped, and as of now, 10pm, it's not started again :-(
Hopefully I'll be able to post some nice wintery pics tomorrow while Olga is at art class.