Snow, lobster, Lothar

This week Cornwall experienced its first serious snowfall in some years. Siberian winds blew in fiercely from the east, caused by atmospheric shifts over the Arctic (nothing to do with global warming, I’m sure). Later in the week storm Emma moved up from the south, full of dampness, and more snow ensued.

This was the blizzard-like scene on Wednesday:

Truro snow

Normally i can see Truro Cathedral from this back door; now screened by the icy blast

Truro snow

Birds struggled to keep warm and sustained; my feeders in the back garden were thronged right through the storms

I know there are plenty of countries where much harsher winter conditions are common; I once visited my late friend Mike in Finland and the sea was frozen!

But here, where the prevailing winds come mild and damp from the southwest, across the Atlantic, and our Cornish coasts are kept temperate by the warm Gulf Stream, we rarely see this kind of weather.

It looked beautiful, though of course it caused all kinds of problems for people who needed to travel or try to get to work. Our staff and students were sent home to keep safe. So a couple of bonus days of reading…

By Saturday the snow had gone and the temperature returned to normal.  was able to go into town with Mrs TD. At the wonderful Fal Catch unit in the covered market we bought fish and prawns for our Keralan curry that night.


Truro snow

This was the scene down the road on Thursday: no cars, just families out sledging











In the tanks were several live lobster – all fairly normal in size. I asked the proprietor about the monster crustacean they’d had in the same tank before Christmas: he was huge. Had they sold him? He told me the lobster must have been 60 years old, and no, they hadn’t sold him by Christmas Eve. So he and his partner took him with them to the pub, had a pint, then drove home and released the lucky chap into the sea off Pendennis Point. I just hope he’s learned his lesson and evades the traps in future.


Image via Wikimedia Commons







Today in town I did a few chores and browsed a couple of charity bookshops. In one I came across this: an author new to me, but I so liked the cover and the summary of the text that I had to buy it. Anyone reading this know it? He was born in Brünn, now Brno in the Czech Republic in 1890 and died in Vienna in 1974. He was a writer, theatre director and producer. Here’s the cover:

Lothar Vienna Melody cover

A handsome Europa Editions cover

20 thoughts on “Snow, lobster, Lothar

  1. Great post – love the story of the lobster, lucky fella. Hope you are having warmer weather. I’d be interested to hear more about the author of that fabulous book cover – I often choose my books by the covers I’m drawn to! Not very literary I suspect- unfortunately i do the same with wine, not always very successfully. Love your asides

    • Gmac: yes, the weather is back to normal now, snow all gone. I think attractive book covers are a more reliable index of the quality within than wine labels, where I think the reverse is the case! Never trust a wine with an animal on the label, for example. I hope to post about that book some time, once I’ve finished the enormous Banffy trilogy & caught up on a few on the backlog. Thanks for dropping by

  2. A beautiful looking book, but more interesting than that, it’s a Europa Editions book, so that would convince me to pick it up, I’ve never been disappointed with their selections.
    Love the lobster story, what a lucky break.
    I hope the snow doesn’t inconvenience everyone too much longer, it’s lovely to begin with and then the novelty begins to wear off fast.

    • It’s my first by that publisher though I was aware of their list. It is a handsome edition. The snow had gone by Saturday and today was pleasant until the rain came in the afternoon

  3. How interesting that you say that snow is a rarity in Cornwall. I remember our cottage in Wheal Kitty, St Agnes being snowbound… as Londoners, we children had a great time making snowmen and doing all the other things that you couldn’t do with the grubby snow in London. That would have been in 1958 and we were there in Cornwall because my mother’s health problems meant we were supposed to be somewhere warmer…
    It turned out we had to go to Africa for that…

    • It is milder here than most parts of Britain, but summers are cool & damp, winters cooler & damp – all those Atlantic westerlies. Snow comes about every 4 or 5 years, then usually light. Wheal Kitty must have been fun

  4. I like that description, Simon: summers are cool & damp, winters are cooler and damp…. Says it all of course, yet those of us who holidayed in Cornwall in younger days only seem to remember the place as endlessly warm and sunny! Like with you, the rain has set in solidly here now.

    Love the book cover, I’ll look forward to hearing your views on it and hope it doesn’t prove to be a disappointment for you.

    As for the lobster….. I wish him luck and hope he’s well away by now!

    • Thanks, Sandra. Yes, our holiday memories of places are always a bit rose-tinted. Most people assume Cornwall has a Mediterranean climate, when in fact it’s probably more like Seattle…Not sure when I’ll get round to reading that Europa book; resisted the temptation yesterday to buy a Fanny Trollope novel I hadn’t heard of, published by Nonsuch Press. Maybe I’ll go back for it. Small size and v. small print, though. And yes, we’d worried about that lobster before Christmas; hope he’s enjoying his new lease of life. Wonder how long lobsters live for?

  5. A quick google: Lobsters usually feed on bottom dwellers like clams, snails, and crabs. Lobsters live in the murk and mud at the bottom of the ocean. Lobsters can grow up to four feet long and weigh as much as 40 pounds. It is believed that lobsters can live as long as 100 years.

    Yikes! I had no idea! I must say that the thought of a four-feet long lobster is a touch scary…..

  6. Love the lobster tale and it was amazing seeing all the pics of Cornwall in proper snow, so unusual. We actually had less here in Birmingham!

    I’d love a good charity shop rummage but I’m trying to keep myself from acquiring too many more books until I’ve got through the TBR. I have an unexpected reading afternoon now, though, so should be able to start up again soon.

    • I did resist the temptation to buy more books for the same reasons as you! Saddened by pictures yesterday of lobsters & other sea creatures stranded on beaches because of the adverse weather.

  7. I guess Cornwall is very much like Brittany in France in terms of weather and flora. Have you ever visited the Côtes d’Armor ? Magnificent ! But I’d really love to be able to spend at least a year in a country like Finland or Norway(I’m very much into Ibsen again, at the moment, thanks to Himadri :-))
    The idea of your Keralan curry made my mouth water…

    • Thanks, Emma, I’m very glad you liked them. You make me feel even more ashamed that I hadn’t heard of Lothar! But I am just finishing Banffy’s Transylvanian Trilogy, so hope to be in a position to post about it soon, work permitting. Also I have a nasty chest infection which is debilitating me; the plus side is I’m getting more time in bed to read Banffy’s enormous volumes!

  8. Looking forward to reading your review of TPT. A (very) enthusiastic reviewer on Amazon says that “he combines the best of Trollope, Proust, Tolstoy and Milan Kundera”, no less ! As I’d never heard of him, I wonder if I should feel deeply ashamed…
    Get well !(but enjoy being allowed to eat and drink in bed for once)

    • Thanks for the kind words, Izzy. Still feeling rough, but had a short working day today, so can take it easy. Lots of hot drinks. Oh, and I finished the Banffy trilogy yesterday!

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