On thin Ice

P1030868I awoke this morning to the sound of scraping. That’s never a promising sign to the start of the day. I rolled over and groaned, initiating the same old argument I have with myself every morning.

“Time for work, Stephen”
“I don’t wanna”
“I don’t care, get up, it’s time for work”
“5 more minutes”
“… ok, 5 more minutes”

I snoozed for a little, listening to the sound of more scraping and some skidding. Not a good sign either.
When I finally coaxed myself out of bed, I peered out through the Venetian blinds and was not at all surprised by what I saw: ice. The ground was covered with a thin film of little translucent balls of ice. I guess you could call them mini hail or solid snow. This is the result of what Americans call “ice rain” and it’s bad enough that it will make you want to stay home from work most days.
I braved the outside with my jacket and a bucket of hot water. As I stepped onto the tarmac my foot slid out from under me and I almost ended up on the frigid ground myself. Bad sign. That test alone should have told me it was better to stay indoors.

I de-iced my car by pouring hot water over the windows, noticing how even after the ice was gone, the water I added made a thin film over the windows itself, the ice feathering into beautiful fractal patterns on my windscreen. The water ran off the car and pooled at my feet, eventually freezing over itself to make the walk around the car even more perilous.

I retired indoors to re-assess the situation. I contacted Dean from work and he said he was staying home today. I nodded. Seemed very sensible. That said, I had an important milestone at work today and I didn’t want to miss it unless it was for a very good reason.

So, after much thought, I jumped into the car to take her for an exploratory spin. And spin it was. My stopping time was tripled and accelerating caused a wheel-spin of which any Auckland boy racer would be proud. I returned, popped my keys on the table and sat down at the wrmest place in my apartment: in front of the computer.
The weather advisory for my area was:

“Travel is discouraged this morning as roads are extremely treacherous with the additional ice from overnight rain. Try to delay any travel if at all possible…at least until late this morning or afternoon. If travel is absolutely necessary…allow extra time to reach your destination…exercise extreme caution and keep an extra blanket…food…and water in your vehicle in case you become stranded.”

Yet another bad sign.

I decided, on balance, that I would not chance the roads today, so I am staying at home to catch up on some writing. Watch this space for exciting updates from my crazy life!