My husband and I have lived in the Scottish Borders since the 26th May 2000. We made the decision to move here while staying just outside St Boswells with my brother and sister in law at New Year millenium 2000 . We had discussed moving to Peebles but staying at Mertoun bridge convinced us that this part of the Borders was for us and so after two attempts we bought our house in the heart of St Boswells and moved in.
When we moved here we expected snow to force my husband who works in Edinburgh to be stuck at winter on the wrong side of Soutra on quite a few occasions. However this has only happened Edinburgh side on one occasion on March last year when there was no snow in St Boswells but lots further north from here.
He has however been stuck this side of Soutra on a few occasions but still can count them on one hand. The first was March 2001 I was 8 months pregnant with my daughter and my husband was on a night out in Edinburgh and it started to snow. He made it back into the Borders as they shut the gates at Soutra after him. He did get up the next morning and heard the fact that all roads out of the Borders were closed and declared he was going to Lauder till the A68 opened. Luckily his mother phoned and suggested otherwise. I was so thankful we were stuck for days and our heating broke which wasn’t much fun for the two of us but alone and pregnant I would have been pretty miserable. I do remember though the snow came as a great relief to me in some ways. Determined to work to the very end I was 36 weeks pregnant and toiling so it was good to have a rest and let my husband top up the fire in the living room which is where we lived during that period. A week later the snow was gone, we had ordered a new heating system and we were the proud parents of a baby girl.
After that we really didn’t have much snow to speak of a few flurries when my husband managed to build a snowman for my daughter and cleared the garden of the stuff in order to do so. In fact my son who was born in 2004 had never seen any snow untill he was four and I am sure thought it was the stuff of books not real life in the Scottish Borders anyway.
Then we had the winter of last year. Snow fell from mid December and did not stop really till mid January. At first it was fine and the road conditions allowed for access to Edinburgh to the north and Carlisle and Northumbria to the South. Then post New Year it changed and we had one of the coldest snaps in my memory minus 20 and lots and lots of snow. On this occasion my husband didn’t have a choice of whither he could get to Edinburgh we had to dig ourselves out the back door and were stuck in the village for the rest of the week. It was a period I enjoyed I always hate early January post festivities so it felt like an extra treat to just have to take time out and take things slow which is what I reflected today that we do in extreme weather. If it’s very hot you slow down and do very little and the same is true if it’s very cold. Sometimes you need that it’s a way of your body recharging its batteries as I found when I was pregnant with my daughter.
I was not though expecting snow in November despite the fact it was forecast and woke up on Thursday to a white out. It was the dog who is 8 months old first taste of snow and when I put him out at first he refused to go pawing at the snow by the door with wonder in his face. However my brother-in-law who was car sharing with my husband soon showed him what fun it could be chasing him round the garden in the pitch black. By the time I did the school run the dog was in his element and had me and the mums I walk with in fits with his antics and his attempts to catch the snow in his mouth. I did though think it was a 24 hour thing and could not believe it when on Saturday my daughters Brownie trip was cancelled and we sat and watched as the snow fell most of the day. By Sunday it was winter wonderland in St Boswells and the snow was up to nearly the top of my wellies. Sledging was the aim of the day and the kids were delighted as we had finally managed to get a sledge courtesy of my sister. We had great fun at the golf course hill and I even let go off my inhibitions and had a few goes myself. It was magic and the kids hoped for more snow while the adults especially those who needed to go to Edinburgh thought we had enough. But we woke this morning to more snow and the news on the radio that the roads to the Borders were shut. No one was going anywhere. So my husband settled down to work at home and the kids and I and their Aunt and Uncle enjoyed some more sledging. My daughter even managed to slide down two hills on the boogie board.
The co – op is now rationing food and is running out of essential supplies. Last year during the snow it resembled a store I remembered from Russia in the 80’s when I visited it. The buses are not running, meetings are cancelled all over the place and its unlikely things are getting better any time soon as the snow is falling as we speak.
But the house is warm and toasty, the kids have had great exercise and we have created great memories for them of having fun in the snow and we are all safe and sound so I am not saying let it snow, let it snow but for now we are sitting on the sofa all of us watching a film and its been a good day a very good day.