Just after Christmas we booked a weekend away in a little cottage in the Yorkshire Dales - a chance for us to have some of that lazy, cosy family time that everyone else seems to have between Christmas and New Year. Typically, heavy snow was forecast for that very same weekend. We dithered all week about whether we should go away or not. We checked the weather constantly. Each of John's weather apps on his phone gave a different forecast. We knew snow would come on Friday but when? Midday? Four pm? Would the roads be ok? Were we completely stupid to attempt to drive into the Dales (high up, hilly and cold) and what if we got stuck?* We are not an adventurous family.
But when the snow held off we decided to go. We received permission from Bella's school to collect her early and left in plenty of time to arrive before it got dark. Laden with bags, blankets, boots, a sledge, a shovel and a sack of grit for a journey which should only take one and a half hours, we set off.
Of course, it was all fine. Better than fine. There had been snow earlier in the week but the roads were clear. The village was picture-postcard idyllic. The local lady who let us in to the cottage reassured us that the roads are usually cleared quickly in bad weather (I bet she was thinking - these city types, honestly, a bit of snow and they panic...). John lit the open fire - eventually - and I sat in front of it with a jigsaw and a glass of red wine and went into a state of bliss.
We ventured out to a nearby town, had a pub lunch, we explored the village, made footprints in fresh snow. We returned home to the cottage and read the paper, worked on the jigsaw, stoked the fire, ate, drank hot chocolate, drank red wine...we rested. We came home today to find that, while the Dales had remained snow free over the weekend, Leeds had not. We continued our holiday state of mind and, after a lunch of soup, went into the garden to build a snowman and have a snowball fight. It was joyful, it really was.
*While main roads are usually gritted during snowy and icy weather in the UK, side roads are not. It's not common practice (or law) for people to drive with snow tires in the winter so 4 inches of snow usually results in general traffic chaos. It's really quite embarrassing how badly we cope with snow in the UK!