Evian Ice Sculptures; The Deep Freeze of Beauty and Death
Having never really suffered from cold back in Australia with more than the need to switch on an electric blanket for an hour or so before going to bed, or throwing a track suit on when I jumped out of bed on a South-east Queensland winter's morning, the European cold snap of the last week has been pretty challenging. Reports across the eastern bloc countries of the highest snowfalls ever recorded, temperatures in excess of minus 33 degrees, has been destructively intensified by the addition of polar winds and the deaths of hundreds of disadvantaged people. This one week has made the first winter we experienced here in Switzerland in 2010-11 seem more like being accidentally locked in the Colin James fromagerie in Maleny overnight. Totally un-newsworthy.
Last Monday morning, after reading online news reports of the weather deteriorating later in the week, I put on three layers of running gear for a run to Lutry and back while I had the opportunity. Besides looking and feeling like a piece of Bratwurst and the need to adjust to sucking in some cold air, I must say I enjoyed the hour of physical freedom. On the return journey to home I found out why the air felt so cool as snow flurries filled my eyes and mouth at every turn on the lakeside pathway.
Tuesday was definitely not conducive to running, with a few centimetres of snow and ice lining the pathways around Pully and the introduction of what the local Swiss call the 'bees' wind. There weren't too many bees to be seen but plenty of b's to be heard coming from my mouth because the introduction of the breeze had made it bloody cold. Still, shamed into action by the many mothers and grandmothers I spotted outside our apartment pushing babies in prams, I strapped on the Canon and walked into Lausanne and back managing a couple of photos but nothing really spectacular.
By Friday, although the snow was now reduced to a few centimetres of scattered residue, the car temperature gauge read minus 11.5 celsius. The b......, bees wind increased intensity throughout the day and every where I drove the footpaths were littered with frozen noses and bewildered monkeys.
Saturday morning Jo and I made a move early to go grocery shopping in Amphion France. In the car the temperature is a record for us of minus 13.5. As we drove through the snow bound villages lakeside below the French Alps I could see that my failure to throw in my camera would nag me for eternity, if not longer. The wind was whipping through the breath taking moist air from the north east and flinging the frenzied shore break over the incumbent boulders and foliage that separated the road from Lake Geneva. The end result was some very spectacular ice sculptures to off-set the inconvenience, death and destruction of the widely spread, adverse weather conditions, commonly known in Europe as winter.
|Jo and Layla with some of their new 'Playmobile' friends|
|Cutting edge Swiss fashions|
|A really warm, two dog fur coat|
|Lubna's first photo in France|
|Ice crevettes (prawns)|