All four advent wreath candles are burning bright. I decided that snow should not put me off going to see them, especially as I had in store what these days is a rare treat, and always, for me, a delicious treat – namely reading aloud in church. I had the seventh lesson to read at the service of lessons and carols. My car was already parked down at the neighbours, so I set off on foot, wrapped in my coat, which is very warm but otherwise shares the more notable characteristics of a hair shirt. The road, when I finally got off the drive and on to it, was noticeably snowy – but we live at the highest point of the road, and the middle point, and I was relieved to see the snow fade out as I got further towards Galston. The Moscow (yes, really) and Waterside road got less and less snow, and in Glasgow it was just a sprinkle. My luck held with parking places, and then a seat with a friend. The music was as always superb and yes, I enjoyed reading every bit as much as I had anticipated. I just hope the omelet only had the correct quotient of eggs. Then out. Oh dear, more snow. Never mind, on to motorway.
It was when I could see snow on the carriage way that I began to wonder. I should have left just before Waterside – and could see the slip road was seriously snowy. I decided against it, and instead went the long way round into Kilmarnock, and back by Hurlford, through street lights and dwellings and busy roads. I realised things were not as they might be when there was snow on the Galston streets. Off on the B road, and the start of the climb up. Much snow on the road. The little car sliding gracefully, and struggling to find her wheels even in first. Up the twisty road. Then the road opens out a bit, and I was getting hopeful. It is usually a busy road. I had it to myself, until I came round the corner and saw a recovery vehicle trying to rescue a car form the ditch. The little car stopped at a respectful distance. We watched. The car in the ditch was another little car. It was gracefully pulling the recovery vehicle into the ditch. We spoke a few kind words to the two harassed drivers, who were spurred on to another attempt. The recovery vehicle made it – and ended up on the clearish bit of the road with the other car behind it. Little car had to go round the side, the two drivers cheering her on and offering to push if she got stuck. By this point you could not see any tarmac on the road, and I was travelling at ten miles an hour. I saw no other cars at all. Somehow she made it all the way to the drive, where she finally stuck, and my long suffering neighbour, a professional driver, had to rescue her. She is now down at their house and if the forecast is to be believed, I am likely to have to get all my packing, etc etc down there in a wheelbarrow for my trip down south. The extra half mile up a steep hill and round a sharp bend is not to be contemplated.
The trouble was, snow had fallen, snow on snow, while the earth was hard as iron, and you could have taken the water for stone.