Winter Travelling

When she’s good, she’s very, very good; when she’s bad, she’s horrid

Could be said of winter in Canada. This year winter was slow to arrive. December was the warmest in the 8 years we’ve lived in the Colonies. We could have barbecued our Christmas dinner if we’d been so inclined. January passed by with nary a snow flake. Cold, sure, but nowhere near the deep freeze bone chiller we had last year. And then we have February. Maritimers are wondering what went wrong (much like Buffalo did late in 2014). It seems like the weather gods realised they had forgotten the allotment of snow for January, so they dumped it all in one week. Maybe there was a backlog at the suppliers, after the ‘ice bucket challenge’ that rained down on Buffalo.

“Shortage of snow – it’s on backorder to February”

Whatever happened, cities like Saint John, NB, a city which is no stranger to snow mountains this time of year, is currently under a state of emergency having received 20 feet of snow in a week.

snow2 image

Over in Halifax, where winter is traditionally milder than for our New Brunswick cousins, the kids had three snow days in a week – for separate storms! I’m currently sitting in a hotel room in St John’s, NL, normally the snowiest place on the planet (well, not quite, but massive snow banks normally form the street art this time of year). There’s not a drop of snow to be seen anywhere. Instead the weather gods seem to be trying to blow the Rock out into the Atlantic. Maybe they didn’t agree with Confederation back in 1949 and so the gods are trying to reunite Newfoundland with the UK by blowing the Rock right across the ocean.

So today, thanks to the largesse of Air Canada, I am lounging away 28 hours I will never get back because they chose not to even attempt a landing at St John’s due to the wind. Wind that I watched many planes land and take-off through. No. Instead they decided to leave the plane on the ground in Halifax and leave all their weary passengers to make their own arrangements. Due to the rampant over booking the airlines all employ, this meant I could not get a seat on the next FIVE flights leaving this isolated lump of granite back to the Continent. FIVE flights – all full to the rafters (with no doubt a few seats reserved for air crew and the preferred passengers.

LAM424_pvwAnd so I’m in a St John’s hotel with a flight booked for 21:20 tonight – fully 28 hours after my original booking. I’m losing my Saturday and the chance to watch my youngest in a Volleyball tournament (they’re winning in their first game, as I write).

Travel for work is a double-edged sword. Last year I travelled not at all until a single trip in November and I was climbing the walls in frustration as cabin fever set in – anyone who has experienced the delights of the conference call will empathise, I’m sure, when your whole life is spent tethered to a phone whilst at the other end, everyone is sitting around a conference table. So this year, the purse strings are a little looser and so I’m on my second trip. But flying in Canada in winter is a lottery when the weather gods are rolling their dice.

The one glimmer is that I’m using my enforced solitude to return to the blog that I’ve been neglecting these past few weeks. I’ve been struggling somewhat for personal direction and this kept me from my passion for writing. The struggles continue, but I’m trying now to push through and focus on what I love and want (aside from my Family of course – the constant that keeps everything else under control).

I’m thinking of aiming for more structure to this blog, maybe an underlying theme, however tenuous the connection (a bit like the programmers of The History Channel, who thought it appropriate to show a documentary illustrating that World War 1 was fought against alien invaders).

What do you folks think? If you’re reading this you must appreciate something about my work. Any thoughts on direction, or should I continue with my inane ramblings a while longer?

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