Annnddd just when you thought the weather was changing for the better you find yourself the night before flying watching the snow floating down past the windows and wondering what you’ve let yourself in for.
In a fit of optimism I pitched up to the airport anyway, tromped across the snowy apron, and got a head start on clearing the snow from the wings and as much as I could from the tail to let the bright sun start working on the rest.
My optimism (and wooly hat) were in line for a certain amount of comment, but I was soon fortified with coffee, a sausage sandwich, and the latest gossip around the field from everyone else who was waiting to fly.
The air ambulance had a gallant attempt at whisking the snow off the runway for us with a low pass along the length, but it was more pretty than it was effective!
Lunchtime passed with another sortie to the cafe, by which time the snow was turning to slush on the apron, the aircraft was more or less clear and the final delay was the runway itself.
Finally around 2ish 04 was open. Crosswind, since it had thawed faster than 01, but open.
Optimism rewarded! I trooped outside, made a final check for snow and ice on the aircraft, finished my walkaround and taxied cautiously to the hold.
Bit late in the day to go anywhere in particular now, so I wandered west to have a look at snow there. It lay in strange bands, Gower white, Carmarthen clear, easterly Pembrokeshire white, the western coast clear. Strange. In some places the transition between snow and no-snow was the length of one field.
The Preseli hills were striking, white slopes and topped by a dramatic cloud formation which was probably adding to the whiteness as I watched. I skirted around, delighted by the view, but wary enough to keep by distance from it!
The clouds were absolutely the colour of the snowcovered ground beneath, moving slowly from peak to peak as I watched.
It took a conscious effort to draw my eyes off the sight long enough to keep up a decent scan for traffic. Not that there was much, a few out of Swansea who’d been waiting along with me to fly, by Pembrey and Haverfordwest were silent.
All very lovely and it was only the thought of how quickly it would get cold and unpleasant once the sun lowered that eventually drove me to turn back towards Swansea and the unappealing prospect of freezing wet tiedowns and ice-melt-dripping cover!
None of which managed to take the edge off an extremely beautiful day!