Against everyone’s advice, artist and snowboarder Kieron Black headed up to the Mourne Mountains with his friend Paddy Doogan to see what the infamous ‘Beast From The East’ was all about. Neither of them expected much, but thanks to Lidl and some century old civil-engineering they definitely got more than they bargained for…
We thought it would be just another false alarm, this Beast From The East. No teeth. Mis-sold. Amber warnings my arse.
And then it hits… and everything goes a little weird. It’s definitely a storm, but it’s like it has somehow slipped off it’s hinges. The snow assaults us, thin white arrows of cold anger flying in thick and fast, parallel to the ground. But three days in and the hills remain resolutely and stubbornly brown – nothing is sticking to anything. A friend of mine sums it up well; “it’s like there’s a dude on the roof with a box of Styrofoam…”
“A friend of mine sums it up well; “it’s like there’s a dude on the roof with a box of Styrofoam”
We watch the news reports from the mainland with envious eyes. It’s properly white over there and the people there are dealing with it with their usual aplomb; a couple trapped in their Vauxhall overnight wearing only their PJs and slippers because “the Mrs wanted to see the snow”, and fathers happy to risk their future bloodlines for the sake of four Happy Meals and a Big Mac. It’s inspiring stuff all right – no wonder the Europeans are fighting so hard to keep us.
Across the Irish Sea it’s all messenger groups and blurry iPhone snaps of splashes of spilled milk on green tablecloths, or maybe that’s a patch of snow on a mountain’s flank, it’s hard to tell. Second hand hauntings from the feeds of friends of friends. It’s not enough.