The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?
~J. B. Priestley
The child in me wouldn’t hesitate to agree with the above quote from J.B Priestly; the adult in me agrees up to a point. That point is reached when people are without electricity for almost three days.
The snow came on Monday night. It crept into the old town silently, under cover of darkness. I woke up a bit earlier than usual. Feeling a nip in the air I looked out the window and saw the town transformed. The forecast from a few days earlier suggested 10cm of snow. It looked to me that 20 cm had fallen. It was still falling. Before it stopped I think it reached 40cm in places. That’s enough snow to awaken anybody’s inner child.
Then we lost electricity.
I should say then I lost electricity because unknown to me certain parts of Loreto lost power the night before.
I wrapped up as warmly as I could. I found my snow boots, my woolliest hat and my thickest gloves and embraced the snowy weather. I went into the Piazza, surely I’d find somebody to talk to in the Piazza, it was strangely empty. I took some photos.
The images above were taken with a compact camera as I didn’t want to expose my DSLR to the sticky, lens hugging flakes of snow.
Inevitably I started to really feel the cold and decided to head home.
Pooh Bear, A.A. Milne and The House On Pooh Corner came to mind (as it always does when it snows) so I tried to hum the Outdoor Song for Snowy Weather. I could only remember the tiddely poms. It should go like this
The more it
The more it
The more it
How cold my
How cold my
I then realised that without electricity the gas central heating wasn’t going to work so I had to change my plan.
Luckily it was changed for me.
My neighbour said she had a pot of minestrone on her stove and I was welcome to join her family for lunch.
Fantastic! I changed out of my wet clothes – strangely my snow boots didn’t seem to want to keep the snow out – wrapped up warm yet again, and joined my neighbours for the best minestone soup I’ve tasted in a long time. There’s nothing that compares to a bowl of piping hot soup when the cold has managed to creep into your bones.
I got electricity back at about 17:30 on Tuesday evening. It glitched a few times since then but it hasn’t dropped for more than 10 minutes. It’s just glitched again as I type – laptop battery I love you.
I thought power was back for everybody. It wasn’t. This morning I met an 82 year old lady who lives no more than 10 minutes walk from me who hasn’t had power or been able to use her central heating since Monday night. She seemed in surprisingly good spirits. Her son works in Penne and she said the snow was worse there. We agreed we should both get a wood burning stove. I checked she had everything she needed. She said she had. I think she was better able to manage in the snow than I was. They’re made of strong stuff the Abruzzese.
Did I tell you that my right arm aches? Repetitive strain injuring from shovelling snow I suppose. I think I’ve perfected my shovelling technique but I obviously had it all wrong on day one and that’s when I did the damage. If you could see my wincing as I type this post you’d sympathise.
The sounds in the town have changed over the last few days. It started with silence as the snow started to stick. The silence was broken by the scraping of metal and plastic on the paths as the shovelling began. This was punctuated by the piercing sirens of office alarms as power was lost and backup batteries were run down. Out walking you realised stading close to tress was risky with the thump of falling snow and the crack of falling branches. Now we can’t go anywhere without hearing the sound of water dripping, dripping, dripping as the thaw sets in.
I went out exploring once I felt I had moved enough snow with my own personal plastic shovel. Although the cento storico of Loreto Aprutino looks beautiful in the snow I was interested in trying to capture the detail.
Here is a larger than normal selection photos – well we had a lot of snow. Let me know what you think of them.
By the way it looks like AccuWeather predicted the snow’s arrival fairly accurately. So I took a glance this morning and it confidently predicts warmer weather until Saturday – yippee!
But then it gives a rain warning.