The North Wind Doth Blow ...in Istanbul

A very snowy Baghdad Street

Up until recently, we have had a very mild winter in Istanbul. This changed dramatically in the last few days when temperatures plummeted and the rain turned to snow. 20cm fell in one day! The transformation was quite dramatic! Fortunately, the Turks are not fazed by snow. Everyone pitched in to clear the pavements - council workers, the caretakers from the apartment blocks, shop workers, restaurant waiters, and even the street sellers helped. Soon the pavements were clear and life resumed in Baghdad Street. Everyone felt it was their responsibility to clear their immediate areas - unlike broken Britain where no one feels responsible for anything any more, and shopkeepers were advised NOT to clear the snow, in case someone slipped and sued them.

You can see, from this restaurant table, just how much snow fell.

A council employee sets to work clearing the snow from our street. Notice the tiled area that has already been cleaned by the waiters in the restaurant next door.

Tomorrow (Thursday) David and I will leave winter behind as we jet off to South Africa so that we can spend some time with Jane and family. David will only go for a week as he has work to do, but I will stay to enjoy the warmth until March 18 (my planned return date). Oh, the joys of family and friends in far-flung places.


On a cold and Frosty Morning in Norfolk, England

The snow in Hockering

Melbourne has had the hottest night for a hundred years, while England is shivering in sub-zero temperatures under a blanket of snow. Weather patterns appear to be changing. The jet stream that affects our weather has shifted, and now everyone is clamouring to put forward their theories as to what is happening. There are even those who are warning of an impending mini ice-age lasting for 30 years! (Of course, that depends on whether you are making your predictions from Melbourne or London!)

The view across the fields

Here in Hockering, England, temperatures have raised a little, but not enough to clear the snow away, and it is bitterly cold. We have had some respite from the snow showers, although more is expected tomorrow. Many schools closed due to the weather, but Jessica's school, Norwich High School for Girls, stayed resolutely open. Their girls are made of stronger stuff!

Jessica and her snowman.

I have remained inside, only venturing forth once, with Clare, to go to the supermarket. Many people have fallen over in the icy conditions and the hospitals are dealing with an upsurge in fracture cases. Conditions are really treacherous under foot and I aim to stay upright, so I will stay at home for the moment! Clare and Jessica ventured out to build a snowman, but didn't stay too long as it was freezing! The UK Meteorology Office is predicting more snow for our area tomorrow. They could be wrong, They often are. One can only hope...

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I couldn't resist this one!