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Up, down, sliding around.

We've had a couple of bouts of snow in the last two months. Nothing here to get very excited about, but enough to make things interesting when you aprk your car on the side of a road just where the hill gets steep. It's a known danger that drivers may lose control just at this section of road and skid into parked cars. It happened about five years ago to the B-Max, right outside number 97. Fortunately my neighbours saw it, and got information from the woman who'd hit my car (which she was genuinely sorry about), so my claim went through smoothly.

This means that if snow seems likely, residents in this stretch of road will keep a close eye on the weather, and prepare to move their cars further down to where it's less steep.

Well, I was at home one evening, there had been light snow around teatime but it didn't look like it was going to settle. Around 10:00, I realized I could here student laughing and messing around outside. Not too unusual, as they pass, but this carried on for a few minutes. I looked out, and sure enough, they were playing in the snow, which was falling steadily and settling. My car was already completely covered. It was parked a little uphill from the house, putting in line for anyone who was foolish enough to try coming down the crescent and lost control, quite apart from the usual danger of anyone sliding on the main road. I didn't fancy the idea of having to clear snow off it before I could move it, as it's quite a stretch for me, but I had a bright idea. I got bundled up and went out, and sure enough the students were happy to give me a hand. Tall lads obligingly cleared snow off the car and one went to the grit bin on the corner with his shovel-sledge and collected grit to scatter under the front wheels. It was all done quickly and with little effort on my part, and I moved the car to a safer spot, while the students went back to sledging and snowballing.

Last Sunday we had more snow, but I moved my car in good time. I was just settling down soon after getting back from games, when I heard a car struggling on the hill outside. I looked, and sure enough there was a car stranded, which had started sliding and almost ended up hitting a skip. There were two young men looking at the car, seemingly with no idea about what to do. I bundled up well and went out with my bucket. They were a pair of  Arabic-speaking lads, who had never driven in snow before. They both spoke English well enough, but 'grit bin' wasn't part of their vocabulary. By pointing and explaining, I got through and one of them took the bucket and went to fill it. Neither was dressed for messing about in the snow - they were wearing leisure clothes and had no hats, scarves or gloves. After some trial and shoving, and liberal applications of grit abour the road, they managed to turn the car and departed back down the road, with grateful thanks. Hopefully, next time it snows, they prepare themselves better before setting out in the car.

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