Lessons in the "snow" Category

Europe freezes – coldest spell in 30 years

Sunday – The big ‘Siberian like’ freeze continues to tighten its grip on Europe. Most of the continent remains under a huge blanket of snow. The result is chaos in many places.

Ukraine has seen the brunt of the bad weather where more than 160 people have now died because of the cold weather. Nearly 1,600 have been hospitalised with hypothermia. Hundreds of heated tents have been set up across Ukraine to help the country’s homeless keep warm, with hot meals being handed out at the shelters.

Temperatures in Ukraine have dropped to minus 33ºC. Huge areas of Poland and Slovakia have also been affected by the bad weather with temperatures there dropping as low as -35ºC. So far 20 people have perished in Poland because of the cold snap. There have been further deaths in Russia and right across Eastern Europe.

Category: Europe / Weather - Snow / Disruption

Why do we dream of a white Christmas?

Why do we dream of a white Christmas? Why do we get Christmas cards with snow on them? The culprit is the writer Charles Dickens. His childhood coincided with a decade of freakishly cold winters. Thus in his writings he describes persistently a Britain smothered in snow on Christmas Day, his inspiration coming from his childhood.

Six of Dickens’s first nine Christmases were white. One of these fell in the winter of 1813-14, when Britain’s last Frost Fair was held on a frozen River Thames in London and Dickens was nearly two years old. The ice around Blackfriars Bridge was thick enough to bear the weight of an elephant. So when in 1843, he came to write about the Ghost of Christmas Past, he did so with the spirit of those colder Christmases, with “quick wheels dashing the hoar frost and snow from the darker leaves of the evergreen like spray”. The story is now credited with establishing the Victorian genre of the Christmas story and spurring a revival of the celebration of Christmas in early Victorian England.

Category: Christmas / Charles Dickens / Snow

Why do we dream of a white Christmas?

Why do we dream of a white Christmas? Why do we get Christmas cards with snow on them? The culprit is the writer Charles Dickens. His childhood coincided with a decade of freakishly cold winters. Thus in his writings he describes persistently a Britain smothered in snow on Christmas Day, his inspiration coming from his childhood.

Six of Dickens’s first nine Christmases were white. One of these fell in the winter of 1813-14, when Britain’s last Frost Fair was held on a frozen River Thames in London and Dickens was nearly two years old. The ice around Blackfriars Bridge was thick enough to bear the weight of an elephant.

So when in 1843, he came to write about the Ghost of Christmas Past, he did so with the spirit of those colder Christmases, with “quick wheels dashing the hoar frost and snow from the darker leaves of the evergreen like spray”. The story is now credited with establishing the Victorian genre of the Christmas story and spurring a revival of the celebration of Christmas in early Victorian England.

Category: Christmas / Charles Dickens / Snow