Saturday, 18 December 2010

And it looked so pretty...

From inside the office.  Or even when we went for a walk during lunch.

The snow hit Hilversum yesterday.  As it hit the rest of the Randstad (the 5 major cities in the Netherlabnds).  Mrs Stace was shooed out of her office by her boss in case it turned into mayhem.  I sent the guys that work for me home and was planning on leaving myself and working from home for a while. I was supposed to be meeting with a few (ex)colleagues after work, but that was cancelled as people were worried about getting home.  Unfortunately I had to interview someone for the role of the other team lead and the guy was already on his way to the office so I had to stay.

I did the interview and checked the trains - 'rijd vandaag niet' was plastered all across the information that I could get to (which wasn't the official site as that had crashed with all the people looking at it).  In case you had not guessed that means 'isn't going today'.  Looking at the traffic site I was decided that I would have been no better off in the car - there was a sea of red on the ANWB (Dutch AA) travel site meaning all motorways were stationary.

I walked to the station to see what I could do.  There seemed to still be trains going to Amsterdam Central - but I would have been worse off there if I couldn't get further.  A bit of searching found an employee of the NS who was swamped with angry people.  Eventually she had time for me.  I managed to put a smile on her face by offering my sympathy for the stress she was having with angry people (it's not her fault it snowed is it).  She told me the best thing to do was to go home and try travelling another day.  I pointed out I was trying to get home, but did have the offer of a sofa should it be required.  Apparently there was a chance of getting out of Amsterdam - but it was not huge.  So I called my friend back and stayed at his place and took him up on his offer.  Had some nice french food (he's from France), played some Teken on the 360 - I haven't played that type of game for more than a decade but managed to do OK with some finger mashing and luck (his girlfriend probably came out on top, he lost and was not happy with it).  Played some Worms (again his girlfriend won one, and drew one with me) and had a race with him (one win each) and finished with some Guitar Hero (which I have never played before and, how can I put this...  Oh yes, I sucked.  Totally - I never realised it was so difficult!)

This morning I dragged myself out of bed (it wasn't an early night) had some coffee and croissants (the French really know where to find nice food!) and tried to get home. Most of the intercities had been cancelled, but the slow trains that stop everywhere were pretty much OK this moring.  I don't normally take them - they are not that comfortable and take an age - but I just wanted to get home!

So here I am, a total time of 21 hours to get home - but thanks to a good friend it was not anywhere near as bad as it could have been, and was for others.

The speed in which the snow fell was the cause I think.  At 11am there was no snow on the gound, by 2pm there was 5 inches of it, and it didn't stop there.

Be safe all,


  1. What a tale! Makes me very glad of my 5 minute walk commute. Still, at least you got some cool console gaming out of it.

    Our snow came today with similar speed. On Monday I may be alone in the office.

  2. Isn't winter fun? Glad you finally made it home.

    Melissa XX

  3. Huh, I posted this yesterday - but it seems to have gone missing... Oh well, take 2!

    Jenny: I miss the days when I could get to work in 10 mins by bike, 40 mins if I walked. If I tried to walk to my current job it would take me about 10 hours.

    Yes, the gaming was cool (so was watching my friend get all angry that his wife beat him - convincingly - at teken :p)

    So, did people turn up?

    Melissa: To be fair... Walking taking photos is fun. Watching the children play and sledge is fun. Being trapped 50km from home... Less so :) But it did make coming home so nice :)


  4. It's nice to have friends!

    I have lived in serious snow environments and only saw a day like that one when three feet crippled Boston.

    Calie xxx

  5. I am so lucky that I know people that live in the aera. In the past I have workd in a couple of companies where I knew no one within 40KM's - that would have been an absolute nightmare of a weekend!

    Three foot of snow??? I can see what that would cripple a city! How long did that take to clear up?


  6. It took about 2 days to get things going again. They're pros in Boston at keeping roads clear, the airport and trains going, etc., but this one was too much all at once.