Taming the Beast from the East


All week we’d been hearing horror stories about the impending “Beast from the East” and on the Wednesday we finally awoke to snow. We were all a little bit disappointed to be honest. Whilst it was lovely to have some snow it wasn’t quite the amount we’d been expecting. Don’t get me wrong we were just being greedy, there was plenty for sledging but nothing befitting the red alert we had. Well we shouldn’t have worried the Beast from the East had more it store for us -much more! We always normally bike to school but the snow on the Wednesday meant that was out of the question but it did mean Sophie got to use her new skis she’d been itching to try out.


Our school run isn’t a nice downhill run, so I had to take on the role of pack horse. The snow continued to come down on and off throughout the day and by the time it was pick up time there was more than enough for a decent sledge. It seemed like everybody else had the same idea and there was a mass exodus from the playground to the sledging hill the other side of the village. There was a huge crowd of us, with everybody sharing sledges and the older ones helping the younger ones. A few runs in and there was a collective groan from the adults followed by a unanimous cheer from the kids as everybody’s school app pinged to let them know tomorrow was going to be a snow day.



This in itself was a bit of rarity, as a very small rural school with a couple of staff living in the village, it never normally closes. In fact this was the first time ever I’d known it to close, but the council had ordered a council wide closure. Just as I was wondering what on earth I was going to do about childcare whilst I was at work, I got another message – my office was closed as well so problem sorted. I was starting to think perhaps we should take heed of the forecast and go and get some milk and bread but the sledging was just too tempting and well surely everyone was panicking over nothing.

Well Thursday came and so did the snow, we certainly didn’t need to worry about not having enough. After a quick bowl of porridge James and Sophie were desperate to get making the most of their snow day. It wasn’t long before I was summoned to help with their igloo they were building. By help they meant I did all the hard work building whilst they were in charge of design. It needed to be big enough for both of them to sit in – well I couldn’t argue we didn’t have enough snow for it. All this igloo building was exhausting work so we headed out for a rest sledging. Well sledging didn’t quite go to plan, there was too much snow. There was so much snow, the sledges kept disappearing into the drifts. We needed a piste groomer or at least a lot more people to head down the hill and flatten it out a bit. But it at least this meant we could carry on with operation igloo build.

Friday was another snow day for everybody and Sophie and James didn’t even make it inside for lunch, choosing to eat their lunch in the newly finished igloo. As we were walking Jarvis that afternoon we bumped into one James’ friends as they nipped to the village shop for milk. As we chatted their Mum commented that cabin fever had already set in and the snow was still set to linger on and how were we coping. Cabin fever, seemed very wishful thinking, we’d barely set foot indoors since the snow came and I for one was exhausted. James and Sophie were very much grateful to Little Trekkers, with their ice breaker merino wool thermals, Spotty Otter cosy socks, Spotty Otter explorer jackets and Spotty otter trapper hats and gloves there was absolutely no chance of them getting cold or wet and needing to come inside.

I must admit I did secretly wish on a couple of occasions their gloves would leak just a little bit, so they’d be tempted inside so I could warm up but nae chance! How did everybody else cope in the snow?

Written by Helena Carey on Tuesday, 03 April 2018.

Posted in Scottish Highlands and Islands  

Comments (2)

Kerry Teague 16 April 2018 at 11 38 | # Oh, I'm so jealous. We had some snow but not enough for igloo building - that would have been fab! And, boy, you've got some wear out of your Smartwool hat, and it still looks brand new. Chloe still occasionally wears Harry's old one and every time I try to give it to my nephew, there's protests galore!

Helena Carey 13 May 2018 at 19 54 | # I'm going to be gutted when she finally outgrows it, definitely the best hat ever. It's been worn solidly for years and years and still looks like new.

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