Tuesday, February 10, 2009

In which the lads are on a mission to see off the last snow in the small mountain kingdom of Trelystan

The County Council snowdozer/gritter came today. (I expect, like everyone else looking at the Long Mountain from a distance, they've waited until they thought they could get down our lane. Bless.) Still it was a cheery sight; the driver and his mate, hi-vis-vested and snug in a comfy wagon, tootling along discussing this and that, while their vehicle dispensed liberally what is probably the last of the nation's grit and salt.

I imagine the mid-morning scene in the Powys Highways Depot canteen went something like this:

Lads are drinking tea, one eye on Daily Star and other eye on clock and End of Shift. Door opens and manager-type person walks in with job sheet on which there are a lot of ticks and one empty box.

'Dai and Idris, job for you.'

Lads are immobilised by the thought and sit like statues at the prospect of turning out to be of public service. Dai, or Idris, peers mournfully into his mug. Only a mush of unstirred sugar remains.

'It's a lane on the top, only one we've not done, not been cleared, see. Innit. Better get up there quick or the boss's bonus'll be... and we'll be....' and his voice trails off feebly at the prospect of retribution for not ticking a box. (It will help if you imagine a hint of a Welsh accent - failing that Brummie will do. Do not question use of word 'innit' either. It happens.)

Dai and Idris shuffle to their feet and pat their pockets for life's essentials: mobile, cigs and lighter. There's a short delay while the keys to the gritter, which has been fitted with a bull dozer, are found. (After everybody's pockets have been turned out they are found on the hook where they should be - but nobody ever thinks of looking there do they? Anyway, better late than never eh? - and it is a nice day to be out. Our manager-type-person goes back to his porta-cabin to sit with pen poised over the unticked box.

It turns out that the roads are clear so it's simply a case of, well, driving there, driving back and ticking that box. Job done. They give us a merry wave as we stop to let them pass on the lane on their return. Grit sprinkles in their wake. We notice that something has chewed up the edges of our lane - which has not been impassable throughout this wintry spell anyway - and that something large has redistributed a quantity of gravel outside our gate. Their activities have merely churned up a load of slushy mud but we'll take it in good heart.

Meanwhile the thaw continues.


Wipso said...

Oh wow. Love the photos. You would have thought you lived in a different world to me but what are we? about 5 miles apart? We have NO snow down here in the valley now and to be honest have really had very little of the promised snow at all. How strange. Hope you are freed from your snowy home soon. A x

Twiglet said...

From your last photo you would think we have had lots of snow too but not so. Roads have been gritted and Dai and Idris even hand gritted the footpaths on the main road! I guess being near to that big supermarket with its handy little cafe, tempting them in for mugs of tea, makes all the difference.

bodran... said...

Lazy so&so's leave ours for us to do, lots of slush here now....
If the weathers decent next monday col and i are out for a ride on the bikes mad mad i know. but he's got himself a smaller one and is itching for a go, so you never know we may pass your place xxx

Pondside said...

Beautiful snowy world you're in Mountainear. Are you tired of the white stuff yet?
Dai and Idris (where do you find these names?) have cousins who work for the district over here. They wait until everyone has finished shovelling their drive before bringing out the big plough. Then they nicely push all the snow from the road into the end of the driveway.

Anonymous said...

Overheard in a certain lorry cab...
Did you see that blonde in the Audi take a good look at me then?
Don't be daft boyo. She was watching you make a mess of reversing, so she was.
Nah, don't you believe it.(wistful glance back).
Brakes, boyo Brakes! Stop, not an inch further!
What's up Dai?
The border man, the border.. you just gave them English two foot of salt.
Diaul boyo. We canna 'ave that. Watch this Dai.
The wagon trundles to and fro
moving snow.What do you think of that boyo? Innit enough to make old Offa sit up and gloat.
Idris, you big Welsh twit, you've left a three foot snow drift across the road.
Ah, that'll keep them out of Cardiff on Saturday!OGGY, OGGY, OGGY, OY, OY OY.