The Beast from the East arrives post winter sunshine

The view from my window in Round Riding Road this morning.

February 28, 2018 – I woke up this morning to sunshine streaming through the bedroom curtains.

When I pulled back the blinds and looked out, there was a scattering of snow on the ground and rooftops and the sky above the Long Crags was a bright azure blue.

The Giant Steps leading upwards and onwards beyond Garshake towards Dumbarton Muir and the wispy white clouds looked picturesque.

The scene reminded me of the Swiss resort of Klosters (I know, I know that for Dumbarton it takes a bit of imagining) but I settled down to my toast and coffee and Adam Boulton’s Politics Today programme on Sky television.

There would be no shopping for the holidays today I told myself, thoroughly disappointed (ahem) at the prospect of not driving over the Erskine Bridge to Braehead.

Then I looked up from my marmalade and toast and out of the kitchen window.

The Beast from the East had suddenly arrived, growling, biting and spitting snowflakes as big as snowballs.

If there was to be any shopping done now (and, of course, there wouldn’t be) it would have to be for ski-wear.

Long drawers would have to take precedence over new white underpants befitting a man of my many years from Marks and Spencer.

I reached for my camera and stepped outside into 10cms of snow, which came up to the ankles of my walking boots.

I had them all polished and ready for a visit to Ireland next week, to Connemara and the Twelve Pins.

And maybe even the Mcgillicuddy Reeks in Kerry.

But The DEMOCRAT needed me, an intrepid recorder of the first draft of Dumbarton history, to be out there in the mist and snow.

It was bitterly cold.

The snow went off almost as swiftly as it arrived and that earlier glaringly bright sunshine was once again with us, shining over the Rock and Dumbuck.

Any hopes of pictures of Arctic conditions – “I may be some time,” I told Bernie hopefully as I made a dramatic exit through the back door – were gone, disappeared in the glare.

I ventured no further than the street where I have lived for the past 40 years.

Anyway, Dumbarton looked as it always did after a heavy snowfall.

The Beast from the East didn’t cause all that much disruption.

Those weather women had been laying it on with a trowel.

President Trump would soon be twittering that we had been conned yet again by fake news, snowflake news.

That does not mean however that the lucky children who have the day off school are not hoping the Beast from the East has cubs before teatime.


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