"Blizzard conditions on the M4. Reading buses suspended. Bristol buses suspended. An overnight snowfall of 10cm (4 inches)in Reading and 20cm (8 inches)on higher ground and in Gloucestershire. More than a hundred schools closed. Seondary schools Kendrick and Reading, Prospect and Hugh Faringdon are closed. Right across the country local authorities are rapidly running out of salt and grit after 4 days of snow, so much so that further supplies will need to be dug out of the ground! The Highways Agency has enough to keep the main roads open but it's a different story for the local authorities. There is a warning of more heavy snow to come today."
This is what greeted me when I switched on to BBC Radio Berkshure early this morning
and I looked outside to a beautiful white winterscape. Among the list of schools closed was Caversham Park Primary School, but I see that Caversham Primary School across the road from me is open, as it was yesterday. It closed on Monday when the first heavy snowfall struck, and I had the joy of seeing and hearing lots of children sledging in the public Balmore Walk that runs across the top of our back gardens. At other times of the year, I enjoy watching children flying their kites up there.
Now, a few hours later, there is a light drizzle of rain and the thaw is beginning, making the pavements very slippery and dangerous. The mothers bringing their children to school were having difficulty if they had younger children in prams. I've just seen the first bus go past my house, but the bus ccompany say that they are running on modified routes to avoid the steep hills that are still very icy. I've been staying indoors to avoid falling but yesterday I had an appointment at a GP clinic and I had to get a taxi because the pavements were like skating rinks.
As I posted earlier, we are expecting to host the National Methodist Youth Brass Band tomorrow for the weekend and, as we listen to the snow bulletins from all over the country, we are wondering what sort of journeys these young musicians are going to have to reach us from their homes all over the country! We are doing all we can to keep them warm and well fed while they are with us, but we hadn't reckoned on such severe weather for their travel. The Traffic Control have just broadcast a warning of some treacherous roads because of black ice, and callers are reporting cars spinning sideways and one said 'I've just seen four people fall down near Sainsbury's'. Yesterday, a meterologist told us that he didn't see an end to this wintry weather until at least St. Valentine's Day - so be prepared!
On Monday,Our Disciple 4 Group meeting was cancelled because some people couldn't get there on ubtreated roads, so one of our members emailed us all this poem that he had written _
A winter psalm
1 Every scintillating snowflake, praises God,
Crystal clear icicles are the work of his hands:
Diamond clad boughs, twinkling in the starlight,
praise the Lord as they dance to the wind’s gentle melody.
2 Snow bedecked roofs and sparkling ice drops,
declare that I am is I am the Lord of all creation.
Crunchy white lawns and frost covered rocks,
Cry out ‘He creates, He reigns, Halleluiah!
3 Every snowflake the work of his hands,
every glacier, ice shelf and crevasse,
created by Him for his delight
says He is Lord of all.
4 Robins and chaffinches squabbling in the snow,
All fed by your hand chirp praise to your Name.
Squirrels and sleepy dormice snuggled down,
are kept warm by the Lord of all Creation,
5 For every atom of your creation;
planed for all eternity.
The vapour of our breath, given to us by the Eternal God,
6 Children built snowmen and the errant snow ball,
created from heaven sent snow flakes, tell out the story of a creating God
Frozen ponds and twirling skaters, toboggans racing down with tumbles and tears
Tell the story of a Creator God who cares.
7 Ice bergs and polar bears penguins and seals
Edelweiss and snowdrops peaking from the snow,
Reflect the glory of the Creator,
the God of all.
8 With every beat of my heart,
All the praise that I can give ,
Will be yours alone,
For as long as I live