Beast from the East

What?!! The Beast from the East!?

Why was it so cold in London?  I knew when I planned my trip that it would not be warm like Brisbane – and I thought I had prepared for it.  I needed summer clothes for Dubai and winter ones for the UK.  That’s what I packed.  But I didn’t know that “the beast from the east” would impact on my trip.

I don’t like cold weather.  That’s why I live in Brisbane!

Initially, it was just the cold, but soon the snow started to fall.  Now, I am not experienced in walking in the snow – but it is something that I did in London.  The light snow disappeared as it landed on me, but as it got heavier it stuck to my clothes and I had to flick it off.  But I was about to learn about “the beast from the east”.

But it made for some good photos.

Photos of the Snow

On my first day at New Ground, you could see the green lawn in the centre of the property.

The lawn is visible, but the snow has started.

The snow gets thicker

More snow

Unions Street – near New Ground

To Church in the Snow

Coffee Anyone?

What???  No taxi?

I had booked a hotel near Heathrow, as my flight out was around 9 am on the Saturday, so on the Friday I needed to get to the hotel.

Public Transport was in chaos, and a friend phoned for a taxi.  She was told no taxies would be working.  However, on the same phone call – there was an update.  One driver had called in to say he would be available from 11.30 am.


So he drove bravely through the slush that was on the roads all the way to Heathrow. We saw lots of emergency vehicles on the roads too.

The Afghan Story

The driver was a man from Afghanistan, who had been recruited into the Taliban when he was at school, 14 years of age.  He was taught to shoot a gun and put on the front line, where he saw so many of his peers shot and killed, so he escaped.

Somehow he managed to make his way to Germany, and then later on to the UK.  He is married now with two small children. He has not seen his family – only a brother and his father remain in Afghanistan – for over 16 years. One thing he knows is that he cannot go back to his home country as he will be killed for being a deserter.  He may never see his father again. Sad story.  But the conversation was very interesting, particularly about his religion.

This lovely man delivered me safely to the hotel, where I was able to rest up and prepare for my early start the following morning.

It did not snow overnight, and the roads were much better the following morning as I made my way, in another taxi, to the terminal at Heathrow.

The departure was delayed as they had to remove ice from the wings of the plane and the vehicle responsible for doing that broke down.

So London to Dubai – and a quick plane change before heading on to Singapore.

If ever I hear of the Beast from the East – it will remind me of the negatives of my trip to London.



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About Di Hill

My business card says "Writer, Traveller, Camera Addict, Bamboo Fan, Workshop Presenter." This website will focus on my writing - and the workshops I present. Workshops on Blogging, Marketing for Writers, and Life Story Writing.
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