Warm winters? That’s cold comfort for motorists
JUST as we were getting used to the idea that this sceptered isle we call home is fast becoming a sub-tropical paradise thanks to global warming-induced climate change, things change. Only a few days before the experts who know about such matters were due
JUST as we were getting used to the idea that this sceptered isle we call home is fast becoming a sub-tropical paradise thanks to global warming-induced climate change, things change.
Only a few days before the experts who know about such matters were due to confirm that this was the warmest year since records began, a gentleman popped up to mess with the celebrations.
Unwelcome Jack Frost put in, on Monday night, what could be a number of appearances this season. And he certainly made his presence felt straight away.
The ice he left on my windscreen must have been put on with superglue. It took a lot of shifting with the scraper.
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That prompted a call into a store on Tuesday to buy a large can of de-icer. The funny thing about such items is that, still almost full, they rattle around in the car all summer but when they are needed again as winter puts on the bite, they are nowhere to be found.
Do they self-destruct Mission Impossible-style as the temperature drops, or does Mr Frost gather them all up as he makes his first call?
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It's a mystery to me, and one I think I will never solve. And so I continue to buy up stocks of de-icer knowing that much of the contents will never be used for the purpose intended.
Driving home from work at tea-time on Tuesday, the temperature gauge shot up alarmingly with the needle nudging the dreaded red zone.
A quick look under the bonnet confirmed that, as usual, I had not bothered to do what all motorists are urged to do but few actually do - do a winter check.
The water level was way below minimum, which prompted a dash to the local garage to buy a horrendously expensive litre of anti-freeze.
Pour it into the thirsty topping-up point and hope for the best. The temperature that night fell to -2 but the emergency re-supply of anti-freeze seemed to have done the trick and, thank goodness, the car did not blow a gasket on the drive to work the next morning.
It did slip and slide a bit on the ice, just to warn that there's more than one way for winter to get you.
But the countryside and the trees did look hauntingly beautiful rimed with frost.
So, once more, we have to get used to the fact that we are not yet into an era of T-shirts and shorts all year round.
It will be interesting to see if this cold snap will encourage people to bet on there being a white Christmas.
With only a week to go, a weather expert said the chances of snow on the big day were virtually zero.
But then the temperature plunged to that level, and the annual guessing game of flakes or not was given a fillip.
Myself? I'm not a betting man - apart from the Lottery - so I won't be putting money on Monday being white.
I would rather spend my cash on something guaranteed to give me a warm glow, like a new hot water bottle.