Thursday, December 30, 2010

Snowbound


The London Snow of 2010 started out so beautifully one Saturday morning. Looking out the window


both directions from our house, we saw the beginnings of a winter wonderland. Some 6-10 inches fell over several hours, not a staggering amount, but enough to bring London to a halt.


After the snow stopped, we braved the freezing temperatures to look around the neighborhood.


St. Luke's Church was never adorned more beautifully.


Snowmen began to pop up


as others were exercising.


The playground was converted to a snow village


And the florist cart was decorated in a dusting of white.


The rental bikes stayed in place for the time being.


A street cleaner seemed at a loss as to what quite to do,


And as the afternoon wore on, the Saturday Duke of York's market opened up for business.


The city was never more beautiful.  All was calm, all was bright. Then the sun went down, everything froze 


and the chaos began. Our Sunday flight home was cancelled, as well as virtually all others leaving Heathrow that day as the airport couldn't cope with all the snow and ice. They found it impossible to clear the airplanes from the ice and snow that had accumulated. We, like thousands of others, scrambled to find more tickets. We were lucky to find some back up tickets a couple of days later, but never knew until the last moment whether we would be one of the flights able to leave. Many were told there was no way they could get home before Christmas, because there were not enough available tickets.  Only a third of scheduled flights were getting out, but after much prayer, and yes, much stress, we managed to get off. It's at times like these and when Icelandic volcanoes erupt that you realize the difficulty of getting off an island. Even the Eurostar train was completely booked until after Christmas. We were thankful that we were not some of the unfortunate ones stuck in transit who had to sleep for days at the airport. That was not so uncommon, unfortunately.
As the plane took off into the skies, the passengers started cheering, unlike I've ever heard before. We were so grateful to be on our way home to the States to family for Christmas. While reading The Daily Mail newspaper on the plane, I got a great chuckle out of the "updated" Christmas classic song "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" that they offered. I'm sharing it with you. It's easy to laugh now! Sing along with me!

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

 The phones ring
No one's listening
All the staff
Have gone missing
Check the website
You won't get a flight
Stranded in the Heathrow International.

Locked away
Are the gritters
Read about it
On Twitter
It's nobody's fault 
We ran out of salt
Stranded in a Winter Blunderland.

Snowfall came
Without warning
You could blame
Global warming
But nobody cares
About the polar bears
When they're stranded in a Winter Blunderland.

9 comments:

  1. Great story, beautiful pictures! So thankful you were able to get home. Was it the four of you or just you and Mike? Loved the re-write of Winter Wonderland. Very clever! At least someone found the humor in the situation. What's a gritter?

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  2. What an adventure! Easy to say when it's all over. Glad you made it home for Christmas. I know one little girl who would have been very disappointed if you had not made it.

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  3. Beautiful photos! I hope y'all had a Merry Christmas.

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  4. London sure looked beautiful! Glad you made it to Houston in time for Christmas! May you have a wonderful new year filled with love, laughter and good health! xxoo :)

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  5. Glad you made it home! Some friends of mine who where on their way to spend Christmas with family in South Africa, got stranded in NY for 5 days because their flight out of London was canceled. They were not one of the lucky ones though. After 5 days in NY, they found out there were no flights for them & just had to go back home. Everyone wants a white Christmas, but it sure can make a mess!

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  6. those first few photos are so dreamy + movie-like!

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  7. Too much of a good thing...glad you made it home in time for Christmas in Texas with family and friends. But those pictures are beautiful, especially if you not have to worry about it. Hopefully you will not have a repeat story on your way back to London.

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  8. Bonjour Debi, I'm glad to hear you eventually made it home and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family. I wish you a very happy new year filled with health, love, laughter and happiness. Love from South of the River xo

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  9. This post made me laugh out loud... the song at the end, not the poor stranded souls. So glad you made it home for Christmas! What would they do without Gigi and Poppy!

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