Thursday, February 08, 2007

Snow in Coventry 2007

Part 1: It's Snowing!
Imagine our surprise as we woke up this morning to find our lawn and the streets carpeted in pure, white snow. It had been a year since it last snowed and YEARS since snow had actually settled like today - reaching 15 centimetres thick according to the BBC.

As for me, my colleagues have given me early warning of the snow, and I woke up extra early to prepare. By "prepare" I mean taking appropriate measures to make sure the car is road worthy in the snow, have an early breakfast and if necessary, set off early to work so that I could reach in time.

Everything went according to plan, thanks especially to Puan Mama Sarah who helped tremendously in prepping the car. At the same time I was also busy - busy taking pictures that is! An opportunity such as this comes but once a year and I was sure to make the most of it:

Unfortunately, I was quite pressed for time and I couldn't really concentrate. I was also extremely concerned that the wet snow would damage my expensive lens and camera. In the end, my pictures are what I would call "cincai" (the nearest translation to English I could think of would be "random"). I soon set off to work.

Part 2: The Scare
Now, driving in snow is one whole matter in itself. It's scary to say the least. In heavy snowy weather such as today the roads could be extremely slippery, the visibility poor, the roads congested and the car temperamental.

Speaking of temperamental cars, I had the scare of my life today. As some of you know, I drive 1 hour on the motorway everyday to get to work. On the dual carriage way, just two junctions away to the hospital, my car suddenly acted strange - it was putting out high revs but paradoxically was loosing power. After around 5 such occasions the car suddenly completely lost power and stopped! Thank goodness for the laws of physics - momentum propelled the car forwards and allowed me to bank the car as far as I could to the left. Unfortunately for me, there was no hard shoulder (meaning = no safety zone to park the car in case of an emergency) and the car stopped right in the middle of the carriage way!

Despite putting hazard lights, lorries honked away angrily while cars zoomed past at around 100 KMH. The visibility was quite poor and I was scared that a lorry might not see the parked car and just ram through. I immediately called the police.

I was half-way through talking to the operators when I saw a 4 wheel drive vehicle stopping nearby with 2 police officers. I felt so relieved!! After brief introductions the police officers towed my car away.

Alhamdulillah, that in the midst of such adversity there was a hint of mercy: my car broke down not 5 minutes away from a service area complete with a fueling station, Macdonalds, Costa Coffee and a shop!

I heartily thanked the two police officers who helped me at a time of need, and began my wait with a warm cup of coffee and a mood-soothing breakfast of Egg Mcmuffin and hash browns *big smile*.

60 minutes later, rescue arrived in the form of a van with the initials RAC (the breakdown cover specialists). It took the mechanic only 1 minute to diagnose the problem and only 5 minutes to repair the car.

It turns out that the garage I asked to repair my car over the weekend, a repair that costed me GBP 300 pounds (!), FORGOT TO SCREW BACK THE CAP TO THE GEAR OIL TANK. The car stopped because the tank was completely empty and a quick top up of oil later , the car was again good to go. The garage is certainly going to hear from me this weekend .... *snarl*.

I arrived at work at around 10:30 am to a sympathetic and understanding team (thank you!)

Part 3: Meanwhile ....
... the kids at home are enjoying their day playing in the snow - making snowmen, snowballs and rolling around: Puan Mama Sarah's account of the day could be found on her blog.

Part 4: Conclusion
At the end of the day I am both horrified and excited with the events today. I have a lot to be grateful for - that my life has been spared, that my car broke down so close to a service area, that the police's help came so efficiently, and that the problem with the car was relatively minor. The experience today left me charged and fired up at work (like a squirrel on sugar and caffeine). At the same time, I am AWFULLY annoyed that the garage effed up my car.

Anyhow, the journey home went smoothly and was devoid of any excitement/horrors. The events today has made me forgot that the landscape around Coventry was beautifully transformed by the snow. Please take a look at sights around our house in the snow: (most taken in low light as when I reached home from work it was already dark)

Thank you for reading.


dyanna said...


dyanna said...

did you guys went sledding?

dyanna said...

[spamming mode]

Tak patut sungguh mechanic tu... ada ka tak tutup cap of the gear oil.. cis cis cis. And they dare to charge you 300 quids with that mistake!

moby said...

Amar! Minum susu in the snow? Hehe!

Hey, I hope you give it to the mechanics at the garage real good, Mynn! Silly mistake that could have turned into a really serious problem with your car breaking down in the middle of a busy motorway like that.

Li said...

soo sorry to hear about your tragic incident on the motorway. Well at least you get to have your fav breakfast hahaha! I had the scare of my life as well yesterday...after about 2 hours out and about shooting snow scenes i went inside the house and forgot to put my camera in the bag..and guess what a sudden temperature change can do to your kit?? 'condensation' mate!..and its on the inside of my one and only lens! I am soo terrified but i cant do anything about it so i quickly bag the lens and hope that the water will dried up. about 4pm i took it out again and thanks GOD!! its back to normal again but im still worried, watermarks could be left inside. I would have to do some test shots to see if there are any after this. Will update my snow pics soon..

pinkyjumbo said...

hi mynn! i dunno why but after looking at that pic of egg mcmuffin i suddenly crave for one! padahal kat s'pore ni senang nak dapat...ape sajelah :D

mynn said...

you know what, when i was writing the entry on snow - i was thinking about you. i was thinking, "i bet dyanna will miss the snow once she reads about this". i bet i was right :) as for sleds - we're geriatrics! not young like you guys anymore, of course not.

they've fixed my car today for free - we'll see if the car is 100% or not tomorrow. the garage i sent the car to is actually an official & trusted one - that's why it's so expensive. all repairs are guaranteed for 12 months! imagine that. even the oils are disposed of in an environmentally friendly way (hence a surcharge in even oil disposal!)

alhamduillah, there was a glimmer of good luck in the ordeal. after taking pictures in the snow, my camera is what you could call "basah berjeruk" - i wanted to take more pictures, but for fear of ruining the machine, i went indoors. just look at my jacket in the last picture - it was that wet.

hi pinky! egg mcmuffin is indeed my 2nd favourite breakfast. the first in MCD is the pancakes with maple syrup --- absolutely sublime with a cup of hot coffee. yum. (i'm going again tomorrow morning!)

alynn said...

:D yay yay snow turun gak akhirnya! hehehe.
yume was all wet too. but i didnt care at that time, was too excited. especially after borrowing the 50mm lense from uni, lg sakan! am glad yume is working fine though. kalau rosak, menangis darah! :(

arep said...

alaa..kesianya mynn...tapi takkan tak notice kalau oil sump takde skru??..isk anyway nice photos lah wei..arep ingat esok baru nak gi snow photo shoot..tapi skarang pon dah mcm cair sket ni :( cancel la kot..

afie911 said...

Ah missing the snow verrrrryyy much~ =(

mynn said...

snowing in the UK is sometimes a once a year occasion - enjoy it while you can!

tak boleh tangguh2 ambik gambar snow ni- nanti terlepas. tapi sama lah kita, sbb kerja - tak dapat nak ambik gambar puas2.

ayumi said...

Yuki! So kirei! It snowed only once since I came to Ireland, and it lasted for a few minutes only... and my friends here called it "snow pondan".. hehe.. kirei ne..