Reason 1 for the awfulness of the situation: we don't live in an area where it usually snows, we are not ready to cope with it, not at all organized to face emergencies of this type.
Reason 2. after a few hours, on Thursday evening, we were left without electricity (no light, no heating, no fridge, no telephone, no computer, no hot water) and it lasted for more than 24 hours. There are still towns and villages with no electricity and areas with no water at all. The risk of other power cuts is real.
Reason 3. Impossible to drive our car out of the steep alley we live at the bottom of. No public snow plough will help us to get rid of all this snow.
Reason 4. Our provisions are not endless, few shops are open and left with very little to sell.
Is that enough? It's a bit better this morning, at least for us. My mother and sister are still with no water coming out from their taps, my brother and his family still without electricity nor water. Instead, though our mobile phones are permanently dead - no field yet, but who minds? - power was back in our home and we could call friends and family, heat ourselves and put our provisions back in the fridge (they were outside, partly buried in the snow) or have a warm shower after days at last.
You know how much I love the 19th century (Jane Austen's and Gaskell's novels among others) but being back at that time was no fun at all. I know, I know, we are spoilt by technology and modern facilities but being without was really nightmarish and made all of us reconsider priorities.
This was not Nocturne by Syrie James, no Micheal Tyler, no romantic escape from reality. With very little to do, in the darkness and in the cold, thoughts were not so positive.
I was not alone, of course, I had my husband and sons with me and when I thought of the people who might have been alone in the same situation, I felt a compassionate feeling which helped me to find something positive in that sad situation: I might have gone crazy alone.
I tried to enjoy the sudden extra spare time I got but ... reading or writing by candlelight was so tiring for my sight, I had to stop. Ordinary everyday actions became complicated. Just an example: the washing-up with freezing water made my hands sore. The extraordinary ones were no better: no central heating and being in bed to get warm in the afternoon was absurd, to have dinner by candlight was not at all romantic.
Now that I've finished with my unusual winter snow ramblings, a sun beam is coming out of the thick clouds. A sign of good omen? The weather forecast may be wrong, sometimes. Fingers crossed. And happy Sunday to you!