A blog by an Irishwoman, written in both English and Swedish, depending on what humour is on me....
En blogg av en irländska, skriven på svenska och engelska.
Just scroll down to find the English bits among the Swedish, or vice versa.

Ta Gaeilge agam freisin, más é an rud é go bhfuil éinne eile le Gaeilge ag léamh mo bhlagsa.

Ich verstehe auch ein bisschen Deutsch, je parle un petit peu francais och klarar av lite norska med.

Wondering about the background of the blog? They're the Cliffs of Moher, in the neighbouring county, County Clare, 8km long, 700m high, and magnificent. Well worth a visit if anyone is around the West of Ireland

Saturday, December 4, 2010

How well-behaved is your snow?

The so-called Big Freeze continues, but really, the coldest temperature measured so far is minus 16C, which is nothing compared to Sweden.
Funnily enough, Ireland in my childhood used to be almost always snowfree, or at least most of Ireland. We got well-behaved snow, which fell overnight, ensured schools closed the following day and then had the good manners to melt during the day so we didn’t have to worry about icy roads etc… oh and this all used to happen on one day a year in maybe February or March, at least in the Southwest of the country, which is where I live….
However, last year’s 'cold snap' lasted 3 weeks and caused chaos, if it wasn’t snow that was the problem it was the frost that froze the last of the snow and made us Irish sit up and realise the need for gritting roads, and insulating water pipes correctly!
Now this year the cold and snow has come even earlier than last year, and we are once again struggling to deal with it. Last Thursday Dublin Airport was closed 3 times in the one day, as the snow was falling faster than they could clear the runway. Dublin suffered a combination of thunder and lightning and heavy snowfalls, and other parts of the East coast were also badly affected. At least this year the local authorities probably have enough salt and grit, and at least this time it's not the Christmas holidays when it's happening, like last year which really messed things up.

Honestly, we rarely gritted our roads before this, and we do not use studded/winter/all-weather tyres, why would we need to, snow only ever lasted until noon, on one day in, say, February...
[edited to add for clarification: I sincerely wish we did have winter tyres, and enough salt trucks and grit trucks to go around, and enough sand and salt for every schoolyard in the country ...]
So how well behaved is your snow? and how do you deal with it?


  1. crazy weather! i have spent so much time in ireland and never saw snow! i spent way too much time in dublin but vacationed in glandore. i miss it so much!

  2. Do You know, I can´t remember that much snow when I grew up either. But that was in Gothenburg just by the ocean.

    As I remember it mostly rained but when the snow came it stayed a week or so. Then temperatures dropped to -20C and strong winds used to blow so it was impossible to go outside :-) :-) :-)

    Sometimes it just got nasty cold, so cold that we could walk to the islands outside Gothenburg (but almost no snow). Those winters they made roads on the ice so that they could drive both cars and lorries out there. Last winter was one of those, but with lots of snow. I´m afraid that this winter might become even worse since it started so early.

    Have a great day now!

  3. this time of year just flies bye! why is that! do you still have snow?

  4. hi....thanks for the mincemeat info. i was thinking that i might make a hard sauce to go with them and now i think i will. i didn't know that people actually ate them with hard sauce but if plum pudding is good with it, why wouldn't mincemeat be enhanced by it too?

  5. Our snow here in Minneapolis is very well behaved :)

    It did seem strange landing at night at the airport with snow everywhere. I was amazed at how fast the traffic was moving on the roads. They must have been very well gritted but the cars also have snow tyres!

    In Ireland we will definitely have to get more organised for this weather. Even if it just makes good economic sense.

    Hope your family got to enjoy the snow :)

  6. Hi Jaz,
    a few questions and/or answers for you,
    1. you'll have to tell me more about your time in Ireland, is it Glandore Co Cork you were in, near Skibbereen? I've driven through it, on way to Union Hall and on to Skib. Maybe there's a post on your blog about it which I could read, save you the trouble of writing it all out again, just point me in right direction, please...

    2. we have no snow left now, but the cold is set to continue, as low as minus 9C maybe tonight, sorry, I can't do Fahrenheit, but that's cold for us, and we have freezing fog, black ice and other assorted associated unsavoury conditions, which I could do without!

    3. I do believe I'm right in saying that mincemeat is actually meat-free, or do you do things differently in USA, I didn't see you mention meat as such in the ingredients, just the suet. Mincemeat for mincepies is meatfree here in Ireland and UK, so I'm just speaking from own experience.

    4. I'm a little confused as to what you mean about a 'hard sauce'? I spoke about whipped cream, custard, which is not hard, and brandy butter, which is a delicious but calorie-laden combination of Brandy, Butter and icing sugar. We could also use icecream, or as a healthier alternative a creamy organic natural yoghurt.

    I live in anticipation of finding out what you mean by 'hard sauce'.
    In fact i hve been so inspired by this whole mincemeat thing that I may write a post about it, and link to your blog for the recipe, as well as to your giveaway, if that's ok with you?

  7. Hi Lily, totally agree with you, we totally need to get more organised for such weather, not sure if we should bring in a law to make snow tyres or all-weather tyres compulsory from Oct/November to March/April, but it might be an idea.
    Also it could be an idea to require all householders and businesses to clear the snow in front of their property/premises, but then, would that work? .... still if Sweden can do it, and Minnesota manages also, then why can't Ireland do it?
    what a change from your exploits over the last few days to be back in heavy snow...

  8. Hej Christer,
    jag har hört om detta, att folk kunde gå på havet ut till öarna, det hände aldrig när jag bodde i GBG förstås, men hände det förra året? wow....
    skulle aldrig våga sätta ens en fot på is, inte på havet, på Irland lär man sig att man aldrig ska lita på is här, då isen aldrig är tjock nog.
    Oh but yes i do remember those cold damp windy winters in GBG, when the cold in November could get into the marrow of your bones and not let you warm up for ages after being outside.... and I used to cycle everywhere when I live there...
    stay warm and take care!

  9. Also it could be an idea to require all householders and businesses to clear the snow in front of their property/premises, yes this is a very good idea. if the local council had salt!that we could collect our buy.

  10. Hi Tara,
    indeed it would be a good idea to require all householders and businesses to clear the snow from the path in front of their property/premises, and if the councils could provide salt and or grit, having said that I bought a bag of gritting salt the other day from a hardware shop, for our own use.