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Beyond the Lone Islands

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Saturday, 18 December 2010

Dreaming of a White Christmas?

Advent Calendar / 18 December

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Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

In Sweden, the early winter this year has already provided so much snow that the thought of even more of it is likely to cause nightmares rather than classic Bing Crosby sentimentality.

On Wednesday this week, we had had cold, clear day here in the south-west, around -13°C (8.5 F). In the night, the temperature rose to 0°C (32 F) in a few hours, and it started snowing (or raining, esp. closer to the coast). On top of that, a strong wind blowing. And it kept on snowing most of the day.

The top photo in this post was taken the day after the snowstorm; turned into black-and-white - not that that made much difference! –  and the snowfall effect was added in Picnik.

The photos below were taken through my windows in the snowfall.

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The media warned people in this area from going out if they didn’t have to. I did not have to, so I took the advice and stayed in. As the day proceeded, I was more than glad that I did! 

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The sudden temperature changes glazed some roads with ice, while others were blocked by heavy snowfall. Not for the first time this winter, trains stopped running and airports were closed. Accidents were multiple, especially along the west coast. Trucks went off the road and blocked the rest of the traffic. A bus turned over. In Gothenburg, pedestrians were unable to stay on their feet in the streets because the rain froze to ice as soon as it hit the ground. The Emergency Rooms at the hospitals were crowded. All ambulances were out picking up people in a never-ending queue, and they had to call in every orthopedic surgeon they could get hold of to take care of all the fractures.

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Friday morning, I again woke up to -13°C, and a bleak sun sometimes peeking out from behind the clouds.

I managed to get into town by bus in the morning to get some groceries; and later a short walk to the small local shop as well. So if necessary, I’m all set to get snowed in again over the weekend! More snow is predicted, after which it will get colder again.

Most likely, Christmas will be white and cold all over the country. That is far from always the case here in the south.

My local newspaper had some statistics: In our town, looking back over the past 20 years, 13 Christmases out of 20 were NOT white. Last year was actually the first white Christmas we’d had since 2001. But December this year will probably turn out the coldest December in Sweden in 100 years - or even 150, someone just said on the news!

10 comments:

Ginny said...

Oh, goodness!!! Well, you have long winters, don't you? That would be depressing. Phil used to get Seasonal Affective Disorder. As soon as fall came, he got depressed and stayed that way till spring. Maybe I already told you this, I can't remember who I've told and who I haven't!! Please be careful! It is hard for me to keep my balance on good dry land, much less snow! I love the first picture best. It looks like the tree branches had been blowing sideways and just froze that way with ice all over them. And I think I see a snowman!!

GB said...

It's very beautiful but it's as bad as 1947 and the 1980s. We should be better prepared and perhaps we are but our expectations are even greater these days.

DawnTreader said...

Ginny, yes, we do have long winters, but this one really started unusually early in the southern parts of the country.

To see some positive effect of the snow, it does make the season less dark, which I think somewhat lessens the risk of the kind of depression that has to do with hormonal imbalance related to not getting enough daylight.

GB - Surely you cannot personally remember much from 1947?!

We did have some bad winters in the mid 80s. My first two or three winters after moving to this town 25 years ago were very cold and snowy. Don't it started quite as early in the season though.

DawnTreader said...

... "don't *think* it started quite as early in the season" was what I meant to write ...

GB said...

Oddly although I can't remember much about yesterday I can remember bits of the winter of '47 (I was 3).

DawnTreader said...

GB - That winter must have made quite an impression on you, then! I guess my earliest memories may be from around the age of 3 as well, but most of them I find hard to pin down in time except that I know memories from our first flat must be from before I was five, etc.

Sandra said...

dreary dark weather always makes me feel dreary and dark. we just watched the news on CNN and they were showing scenes like yours all over Europe, they said the snow is causing many problems, like the ones you were talking about in yur post. stay safe and i am glad the good part is it is brighter for you. glad you got out to get supplies. like the snow scene. and the car gives us perspective on how deep the snow is. brrrh on your temps.

Mac n' Janet said...

Can't begin to tell you how much I'm enjoying your winter and Advent pictures. I'm not a fan of winter except in pictures. I don't get SAD, but I find I have way less energy in winter.

Rose-Anne said...

When I was in Sweden in 1975-6 It snowed like this and I got very excited and the lady in the bank told me she was excited because it would cause her more work. LOL. I still remember the salt trucks going around and melting the snow.

WhatKarenSees said...

Oh boy, I hope you are enjoying this record snowfall! At least the kids are probably having a great time!

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