Snow-covered garden lightThis morning I awoke to find the world beyond my window was covered in whiteness. Nowhere near the 6 inches that had been forecast, but that was no surprise – I’ve never seen 6 inches of snow outside of Dartmoor. Nevertheless, the 1 inch of snow we had was enough to brighten up my morning. In fact, so great was my excitement that I felt compelled to get Neddy out of the garage and go for a spin in the snow-covered roads!

Actually driving in the snow is quite a hairy and unpredictable adventure, though mainly I suspect because of my inexperience in driving in such conditions. I am reminded that the Mini was a champion at snowy rallies back in the 60s due to its superior road-hugging qualities, front wheel drive and short wheel base. Not that it seemed to be helping me much. I was in fact quite disappointed that I couldn’t seem to do a handbrake turn at all – sure I could lock up the back wheels, but I couldn’t turn sharply enough to cause the back end to swing out. Then again, I wasn’t trying all that hard – I was driving in a residential area and didn’t fancy the idea of crashing into anything (or anyone).

I did manage a bit of a reverse-doughnut in my cul-de-sac though, by putting the car in reverse and spinning the front end round! That was lots of fun, though again short-lived due to my concerns about hitting something. Also not quite sure what the neighbours might have thought if they’d have seen me – crazy maniac in a Mini…

So my conclusion here is that snow is fun to drive on, but in a residential area driving above 20mph is just not sensible, and that with normal road tyres staying in control of even a sure-footed Mini is quite a challenge. Given a larger space to play in I’m sure I would have attempted more daring manouvres, and it’s certainly an experience I’m determined to have one day – control is everything.

I have also enjoyed watching the starlings empty my pot of mealworms on the bird table, and see them hopping around drinking the melted snow off the grass. Sadly it’s stopped snowing now, and it doesn’t look like we’ll get much more today. Never mind, if I was that keen to enjoy the snow I’d move to Russia, and quite frankly I would miss my cups of tea.

Categories: Minis


Donna Spencer · 9 February 2007 at 10:48 am

You dont have to go to Russia to learn to drive in the snow we have plenty of it here and you soon learn just how you need to drive to stop you hitting folks and stuff.
As to the cups of tea well we just get our friends to bring some over whenever they fancy a vist to the alps…..Mike is a tea lover too…
From your missionaries in the French Alps,
have a great day and enjoy the snow believe me you can get tired of it,

Megan · 19 February 2007 at 7:25 pm

Your post brought back some great memories. The winter I got my license (I was 16), my dad took me to our church’s large parking lot after a big snow – approx 4-6 inches. It was after the roads had been plowed, but before they got to the carparks. Anyway, once we arrived at the lot, he handed me the keys and let me go at it, skidding about, spinning (like you were in the cul-de-sac) and getting up to about 40 mph before I’d break hard and slide sideways for a few yards. It was absolutely fantastic!! Dad claimed it was because he wanted me to learn how to handle the car in bad weather, recover from skids, etc. but I think he just wanted to see what our little Honda could do in the snow ūüėČ Maybe you’ll get some more snow so that you can get out there and slide around some more! Just be careful..!

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