Ever since we’ve been back home from the Engadin, the temperatures all over Switzerland have been down at record lows. That is, people’s memories are pretty short, but it is indeed quite a few years since we had such a cold spell – the one I remember particularly well was back in the winter of ’84/’85 when the thermometer hardly came above -20°C for several weeks and it became a bit of a game to check it every morning on our way to the canteen for coffee… I have clear recollections of many layers of clothing and icy cold hands while trying to knit in my attic flat, as well as lots of late night driving to connect with my boyfriend (now husband), who was doing army service!
Anyway, in the intervening years, we’ve had everything from hardly any snow at all and forsythias blooming in February to snow on and off from October till May, but this round is really testing our stamina – and I’ve come to appreciate the benefits of all the knitted scarves, shawls, hats and gloves I’ve made in the past few years, as has the rest of the family…
Just to demonstrate a few!
Nevertheless, I was really surprised when I walked home from town this morning. A small river runs busily through our town, rather neglected by the inhabitants and not much is made of it, on the whole. In the summer months, we have seen beavers casually swimming along it, undisturbed by passing commuters on the way to or from the station just a few metres away, and with only the ducks for company. The council seems to be making an effort to pretty the area along the banks of the river up for public use, with attractive playgrounds, parks and quiet places to sit being put in place.
But this is something no human can achieve –
Much of the river has frozen over to some considerable depth, with the current just visible in places and the occasional square metre of water flowing freely, for which the fish are probably grateful (the ducks, too, but they weren’t in evidence, for once!).
In passing, I mentioned this to our neighbour, balancing on his ice-covered pond to cut some greenery back next door. He told me the river had never frozen over as long as he could remember – and he’s lived in the area for at least 30 years!
So is this global warming or a new ice age?!
Above, that would be the Ishbel shawl by Ysolda Teague in Socks that Rock “Raven”, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s Pretty Thing cowl in a discontinued Schulana yarn and the socks are in squishiest MadelineTosh Sock but I can’t for the life of me remember what the pattern is and I can’t seem to find it in my collection…!