Describe a bad weather experience you have had.
You should say:
what sort of bad weather it was
when it happened
where you were when it happened
and explain how it affected you.
Well, I am from England, and in England, we love to talk about the weather! It changes all the time, and so it’s actually quite hard to think of one specific example of bad weather that I have experienced there. Even so, I can recall one particularly extraordinary day, when bad weather brought my city of Sheffield to a standstill. I am going to tell you what the weather was like, where I was when it happened and how it affected me I still shiver as I recall it!
The bad weather was snow. It does snow in parts of the United Kingdom every year, and where I live in Sheffield we do always get some snow in the winter months, especially on the higher ground. I quite like snow, it can be cold and a bit inconvenient if you get a heavy snowfall, as then public transport stops and everything grinds to a halt. However, it is also really beautiful how a snowfall can turn everything white. It is fun to build snowmen, make snow angel shapes in the newly fallen snow, to go sledging in the hills and even to have a sneaky snowball fight if you are brave enough to find someone to take on. So on the whole, I like snow, I enjoy the novelty of it, and as long as you are dressed appropriately (hat, gloves, scarf, waterproof trousers and thick winter coat) it isn’t too bad. The day I’m thinking of, though was rather different.
I woke up on a December morning about four years ago and the first thing I noticed was that it was really really quiet. It is hard to describe if you have never experienced it, but after a thick snowfall, everything sounds different. The sounds that you normally hear are changed by the muffling effect of the snow, but also there was no sound of traffic. The snow had fallen so deeply, that cars were stuck in driveways and buses in their depots, the only way to get about that day would be on foot. I was lucky because I only lived about two miles from work, so I could still get in. I pulled on my wellington boots, and waterproof clothes and headed off into town. I quickly discovered that this was not like any normal snowfall. The snow had fallen feet deep onto the ice, it was really treacherous even trying to walk in these conditions. Where I live in Sheffield, it is incredibly hilly. Snow ploughs had cleared the major roads, but this had exposed dangerous thick black ice underneath which was impossible to walk across. The combination of ice and steep slopes meant that I was sliding around everywhere and so was everyone else. Although at first, it was quite comical, watching people skidding about and falling over, after a while I started to be quite anxious, it was dangerous, you couldn’t even stand upright. I got to one road crossing at the top of a hill, and the road was so slippery the only way to get over it was to literally crawl across on my hands and knees. The other side of the road a complete stranger was lying down and reaching out to pull people across safely. It was so bizarre, I have never seen anything like it before or since. The roads were thick ice, but the pavements were piled high with drifts of snow up to three feet deep, I thought I’d never make it to the office that day let alone home again by nightfall!
My normal walk to work would have taken me perhaps 30 minutes, but on this day it took over three times that long as I had to negotiate the tricky roads and paths. When I got there, I found only a couple of other people had made it in as well. Most people had looked out of their windows and decided it was far too dangerous to attempt the journey. I think they were right! My manager had made it in, but he quickly decided it was silly to stay, we all still had to get home safely somehow, and it was still snowing outside. I was working at a university at the time, and for the first time in its history it was declared closed, it was ridiculous to expect staff and students to make the trek in – I should have stayed in bed! We stayed at work long enough to phone people to cancel appointments and confirm we were shut, and then I had the same long trek home in the snow again. I was exhausted by the time I got back!
It was quite an experience, it made me appreciate how much we should respect the elements. I felt safe at first because it was an urban environment, and usually, we don’t get much disruption due to bad weather there, but really the snow and ice made it unnavigable for the next few days. I suppose in countries where they always get a lot of snow and ice they are better prepared for it when it comes. We were certainly taken by surprise. That was my most memorable bad weather adventure. It was fun in a way, but I wouldn’t welcome that every year, plus it was freezing. It’s hard to keep smiling when you are so cold! I still love the snow – but I respect it a lot more than I used to.