Weather bomb heralds the grip of our bleak mid-winter

Sandra Chapman
Sandra Chapman

Did this week’s ‘weather bomb’ leave us the conditions for a white Christmas? Just a few weeks back the forecast was for a wet, mild December, right into the New Year which goes to prove you can’t trust forecasts entirely.

Yet this week – the start of the Christmas festivities - I found myself wading through the white stuff with a dog which got frustrated at the lack of strong scents on his regular morning walk.

The 'weather bomb' in Portstewart

The 'weather bomb' in Portstewart

He kept looking at me as if to say, where did you put them? Two days later we were still slipping and sliding all over the place so he decided to cheer himself up by rolling in the snow and ice. You see, he had never seen snow or ice before as he has spent most of his life living in a hot climate.

He has also been watching me put up Christmas decorations this week not quite understanding why I kept sitting down every 10 minutes or so. Unfortunately I’d caught a virus which has left me all but legless. And I blame easyJet.

I got on one of their planes last Friday in fine health. Less than 24 hours later I thought someone had hit me over the head and a week later I’m still struggling with something which resembles flu.

The plane was filled to capacity and because the air passengers’ breathe is filtered, one’s chances of picking up someone else’s bug, I’m told, is quite high. I expect it was my turn to suffer.

I’m a regular flyer and have never suffered before. Yet easyJet boss Carolyn McCall, according to the company’s annual report, has received a total of £7.7m in pay and bonuses since she took over.

The report records that profits reached 21.5 per cent for the year to the end of September but this is much less than the 50.9 per cent achieved the year before.

Some customer dissatisfaction is recorded. I wonder should I send her an e-mail to ask why I got so sick only hours after flying in one of her planes?

My biggest problem with the airline which I use often, is its insistence that passengers carry just one piece of hand luggage into the cabin, so handbags are having to be stuffed into cabin bags at the last minute.

The nonsense of this is that anyone who has bought gifts (including alcohol) in the airport shops can carry these on board separately so long as they’re in an airport bag.

I’m sure all this contributes to the hold ups when passengers board and then spend five minutes opening the cabin case to get the handbag out before sitting down. Other airlines I have experienced do not have such a policy.

Several days of suffering later I took myself off to a pharmacist who recommended a ginger and honey flavoured potion made up in hot water which contains 1000mgs of Paracetamol per dose to be taken three or four times a day.

The packet provides just two days of treatment which is a good idea because I reckon I’d want to jump off a great height if I had to take any more.

Yes, it’s turning into a fraught Christmas for me. I tried to order a gift by phone from a well known gift house. It never arrived and on checking to see what had happened no one could trace the order and there was no record of payment.

A few days later I tried to order it online only to find it was out of stock and wouldn’t be available until after December 19.

Now I have to think of another good idea to replace it. Only the promise of white Christmas could cheer me up just now.