More on Frost Fairs

By Susan/Miranda

Frostfair1220x1509_1Here in Pennsylvania, the temperature hasn’t risen above freezing for the entire month of February and a good part of January as well.  Is it any wonder, then, that my thoughts (like Mary Jo’s) have gone back to the great Frost Fairs on the frozen Thames? 

From roughly 1500 to 1850, northern Europe suffered through what modern historians call the “Little Ice Age”, with much cooler summers and frigid winters.  Such dramatic shifts in climate led to everything from famines to wars, but also to less consequential events, like the Thames (the river that flows through the heart of London) freezing solid.  Before the river was closed in by 19th century embankments and diverted by bridges, the depth was more shallow and the current less swift, letting the deep-freeze take hold. 

There were numerous times from 1434 onward when the river froze solid enough to be crossed by horses and wagons, but the first organized Frost Fair wasn’t until the winter of 1564-65, featuring archery contests, feasts, and dancing.  The Fair of 1607 is the one featured in the novel Orlando by Virginia Woolf.  The two most famous Fairs are the one of 1684 (the longest-lasting) and 1814 (the largest and the last, and the one that’s already been mentioned here as appearing in several Regency-set books.)

London during Charles II’s reign was marked by greatness: the Great Plague, the Great Fire, and one kickin’ Frost Fair. From December 1683 until February 1684, the Thames was frozen so solid that not only could men walk safely across its surface, but carts, sleighs, and horses as well.

Like any such phenomenon, the frozen river could be viewed in several ways.  Those of a stern1684frost_fair_painting_2 Puritanical bent (Cromwell’s time was still less than a generation in the past) worried that it must be some sign of God’s displeasure with hedonistic London and England in general.  Others who were already embracing the interest in science and nature that came with the Age of Enlightenment saw the frozen river as an amazing wonder worthy of scholarly study. 

A caption from a contemporary print mirrors the concern that also came with such a harsh winter, and sounds suspiciously like Al Gore filtered through the 17th century:

    Though such unusual Frosts to us are strange,
    Perhaps it may predict some greater Change:
    And some do fear may a fore-runner be
    Of an approaching sad Mortality.

But for most Londoners, the frozen river and the Frost Fair on it was mainly one more excuse to party, and to extend the amusements of the Christmas season a little longer.

There was much to entertain visitors all day and well into the night, from bear-baiting to wrestling matches to horse-races, with the horses shod with special spiked shoes.  Musicians played, rope-dancers danced, and Punch and Judy walloped away at each other.  Many tried the newly imported Dutch sport of sliding in skeets (ice skates), or bought everything from toys to snuff boxes at the two “streets” of shops.  Of course King Charles, never one to miss out on a good time, attended with his courtiers.

1684_line_art_frost_fair_2Like every good popular event, refreshment sellers did a brisk business.  An entire ox was roasted near the Hungerford Stairs, but other kinds of roast and stewed meats were offered as well: duck, goose, rabbit, capon, hen, and turkey were all listed as for sale.  Visitors could buy coffee, tea, and chocolate, as well as beer, ale, brandy, and sack (one temporary tavern at the Fair went by the elegant name of The Flying Piss-pot), as well as pancakes, sweets, and cakes.  After dark, things got wilder, as they usually do when so much imbibing is involved: “And some do say, a giddy senseless Ass/May on the frozen THAMES be furnish’d with a Lass.”

One enterprising printer set up his press on the ice and, for a small fee, would print visitor’s names.  As diarist John Evelyn noted: “People and ladies took a fancy to have their names printed…this humor took so universally that it was estimated the printer gained £5 a day, for printing a line only, at sixpence a name.”

The river remained frozen for three months, but everyone knew the fun had to end.  Still, when at last the ice began to break up one night in February, the cracking was so thunderously loud that Londoners leaped from their beds and ran into the streets in terror, convinced that the city was being attacked by invading French guns.

This is the Frost Fair I used as a setting in Duchess.  Jo wrote earlier about how unexpectedlyDuchess_1 inspiration can strike, and as soon as I stumbled across the Fair in my research, an entire scene popped into my head.  Sarah Churchill and her friend Anne, then Princess of Denmark, leave the stuffiness of the palace to go riding in a sleigh along the frozen Thames –– one of the few rare places where they are able to speak freely without fear of being overheard. Even swaddled in furs and hooded cloaks, it would have made for an entertaining and exhilarating trip.

So how are you all keeping warm?  Do you regard winter as something to be celebrated, endured, or avoided altogether?

108 thoughts on “More on Frost Fairs”

  1. Beautiful post! You made me feel like I was there. Brr. I think I read a story in an anthology which also featured the Frost Fair, too.
    Living in Maine, I’m pretty familiar with cold. It hasn’t snowed much, but temperatures have been below zero nights, and the days haven’t been much warmer. Yesterday was 23 F and it felt like a heat wave.
    I tend to hibernate, which is good for my writing but not so good for my derriere.One of my daughters got me the softest, warmest pink robe ever for Christmas. I’m wrapped up in it now. A cup of King Cole tea is coming right up.
    And I’m alone in the house and can curse at the snow in the woods as loudly as I wish!

    Reply
  2. Beautiful post! You made me feel like I was there. Brr. I think I read a story in an anthology which also featured the Frost Fair, too.
    Living in Maine, I’m pretty familiar with cold. It hasn’t snowed much, but temperatures have been below zero nights, and the days haven’t been much warmer. Yesterday was 23 F and it felt like a heat wave.
    I tend to hibernate, which is good for my writing but not so good for my derriere.One of my daughters got me the softest, warmest pink robe ever for Christmas. I’m wrapped up in it now. A cup of King Cole tea is coming right up.
    And I’m alone in the house and can curse at the snow in the woods as loudly as I wish!

    Reply
  3. Beautiful post! You made me feel like I was there. Brr. I think I read a story in an anthology which also featured the Frost Fair, too.
    Living in Maine, I’m pretty familiar with cold. It hasn’t snowed much, but temperatures have been below zero nights, and the days haven’t been much warmer. Yesterday was 23 F and it felt like a heat wave.
    I tend to hibernate, which is good for my writing but not so good for my derriere.One of my daughters got me the softest, warmest pink robe ever for Christmas. I’m wrapped up in it now. A cup of King Cole tea is coming right up.
    And I’m alone in the house and can curse at the snow in the woods as loudly as I wish!

    Reply
  4. Beautiful post! You made me feel like I was there. Brr. I think I read a story in an anthology which also featured the Frost Fair, too.
    Living in Maine, I’m pretty familiar with cold. It hasn’t snowed much, but temperatures have been below zero nights, and the days haven’t been much warmer. Yesterday was 23 F and it felt like a heat wave.
    I tend to hibernate, which is good for my writing but not so good for my derriere.One of my daughters got me the softest, warmest pink robe ever for Christmas. I’m wrapped up in it now. A cup of King Cole tea is coming right up.
    And I’m alone in the house and can curse at the snow in the woods as loudly as I wish!

    Reply
  5. Wonderful post Wench Susan/Miranda! And the Flying Piss-Pot… one has got to wonder what that was all about. The more I learn about the nuances of history (that would be the non-date interesting stuff) the more I realize, people haven’t really changed a bit.
    The part in DUCHESS when she and Anne went to the Frost Fair has always stuck in my mind. I vividly associate that with the bitter/sweet aroma of roasting almonds.
    Do have a littlest wenchling question. What picture was the writer trying to paint when he/she wrote ““And some do say, a giddy senseless Ass/May on the frozen THAMES be furnish’d with a Lass.”?
    Personally I love the cold. My philosophy is you can always put more on but ya can only take so much off. It’s also great for my writing because the other half of my brain isn’t wondering what everyone else (the normal people) are doing while I’m running about in 19c England. Here at the Mason-Dixon Line (PA/MD border) they’re calling for six inches of slop (that’s PA Dutch speak for freezing rain/ice/snow) I say, let it come! *G*
    Nina, hoping to get another 2000 words in today.

    Reply
  6. Wonderful post Wench Susan/Miranda! And the Flying Piss-Pot… one has got to wonder what that was all about. The more I learn about the nuances of history (that would be the non-date interesting stuff) the more I realize, people haven’t really changed a bit.
    The part in DUCHESS when she and Anne went to the Frost Fair has always stuck in my mind. I vividly associate that with the bitter/sweet aroma of roasting almonds.
    Do have a littlest wenchling question. What picture was the writer trying to paint when he/she wrote ““And some do say, a giddy senseless Ass/May on the frozen THAMES be furnish’d with a Lass.”?
    Personally I love the cold. My philosophy is you can always put more on but ya can only take so much off. It’s also great for my writing because the other half of my brain isn’t wondering what everyone else (the normal people) are doing while I’m running about in 19c England. Here at the Mason-Dixon Line (PA/MD border) they’re calling for six inches of slop (that’s PA Dutch speak for freezing rain/ice/snow) I say, let it come! *G*
    Nina, hoping to get another 2000 words in today.

    Reply
  7. Wonderful post Wench Susan/Miranda! And the Flying Piss-Pot… one has got to wonder what that was all about. The more I learn about the nuances of history (that would be the non-date interesting stuff) the more I realize, people haven’t really changed a bit.
    The part in DUCHESS when she and Anne went to the Frost Fair has always stuck in my mind. I vividly associate that with the bitter/sweet aroma of roasting almonds.
    Do have a littlest wenchling question. What picture was the writer trying to paint when he/she wrote ““And some do say, a giddy senseless Ass/May on the frozen THAMES be furnish’d with a Lass.”?
    Personally I love the cold. My philosophy is you can always put more on but ya can only take so much off. It’s also great for my writing because the other half of my brain isn’t wondering what everyone else (the normal people) are doing while I’m running about in 19c England. Here at the Mason-Dixon Line (PA/MD border) they’re calling for six inches of slop (that’s PA Dutch speak for freezing rain/ice/snow) I say, let it come! *G*
    Nina, hoping to get another 2000 words in today.

    Reply
  8. Wonderful post Wench Susan/Miranda! And the Flying Piss-Pot… one has got to wonder what that was all about. The more I learn about the nuances of history (that would be the non-date interesting stuff) the more I realize, people haven’t really changed a bit.
    The part in DUCHESS when she and Anne went to the Frost Fair has always stuck in my mind. I vividly associate that with the bitter/sweet aroma of roasting almonds.
    Do have a littlest wenchling question. What picture was the writer trying to paint when he/she wrote ““And some do say, a giddy senseless Ass/May on the frozen THAMES be furnish’d with a Lass.”?
    Personally I love the cold. My philosophy is you can always put more on but ya can only take so much off. It’s also great for my writing because the other half of my brain isn’t wondering what everyone else (the normal people) are doing while I’m running about in 19c England. Here at the Mason-Dixon Line (PA/MD border) they’re calling for six inches of slop (that’s PA Dutch speak for freezing rain/ice/snow) I say, let it come! *G*
    Nina, hoping to get another 2000 words in today.

    Reply
  9. In Texas we have some cold, but nothing like what y’all have farther north. We enjoy the cold because it’s a contrast to the long, very hot summer. As a matter of fact, we talk about the 4 seasons in Texas as “almost summer, summer, still summer and winter.” With reasonably warm coat, gloves and hat, we can go out in almost any winter weather here. And when we come back inside there’s hot tea by the fire to take off the chill. And don’t forget cuddling with the DH. I imagine that transcends all climates.

    Reply
  10. In Texas we have some cold, but nothing like what y’all have farther north. We enjoy the cold because it’s a contrast to the long, very hot summer. As a matter of fact, we talk about the 4 seasons in Texas as “almost summer, summer, still summer and winter.” With reasonably warm coat, gloves and hat, we can go out in almost any winter weather here. And when we come back inside there’s hot tea by the fire to take off the chill. And don’t forget cuddling with the DH. I imagine that transcends all climates.

    Reply
  11. In Texas we have some cold, but nothing like what y’all have farther north. We enjoy the cold because it’s a contrast to the long, very hot summer. As a matter of fact, we talk about the 4 seasons in Texas as “almost summer, summer, still summer and winter.” With reasonably warm coat, gloves and hat, we can go out in almost any winter weather here. And when we come back inside there’s hot tea by the fire to take off the chill. And don’t forget cuddling with the DH. I imagine that transcends all climates.

    Reply
  12. In Texas we have some cold, but nothing like what y’all have farther north. We enjoy the cold because it’s a contrast to the long, very hot summer. As a matter of fact, we talk about the 4 seasons in Texas as “almost summer, summer, still summer and winter.” With reasonably warm coat, gloves and hat, we can go out in almost any winter weather here. And when we come back inside there’s hot tea by the fire to take off the chill. And don’t forget cuddling with the DH. I imagine that transcends all climates.

    Reply
  13. Maggie, here in PA we’re waiting for our first real snow of the season tomorrow night. Nothing by Maine standards (4 inches or so), but enough to send everyone in the area fleeing to the grocery store to stock up the larder. Here in my house, I’m getting all the blame for riling up the winter-gods by writing about the Frost Fair. *g*
    Nina, that line about the “giddy senseless Ass” referred to another trade that had set up shop on the frozen river after dark. Apparently enterprising prostitutes came down from Drury Lane, and were willing to entertain men who wished the novelty of doing the deed on ice — which does in fact seem pretty “senseless”, not to mention COLD.
    Good luck with your 2000 words!

    Reply
  14. Maggie, here in PA we’re waiting for our first real snow of the season tomorrow night. Nothing by Maine standards (4 inches or so), but enough to send everyone in the area fleeing to the grocery store to stock up the larder. Here in my house, I’m getting all the blame for riling up the winter-gods by writing about the Frost Fair. *g*
    Nina, that line about the “giddy senseless Ass” referred to another trade that had set up shop on the frozen river after dark. Apparently enterprising prostitutes came down from Drury Lane, and were willing to entertain men who wished the novelty of doing the deed on ice — which does in fact seem pretty “senseless”, not to mention COLD.
    Good luck with your 2000 words!

    Reply
  15. Maggie, here in PA we’re waiting for our first real snow of the season tomorrow night. Nothing by Maine standards (4 inches or so), but enough to send everyone in the area fleeing to the grocery store to stock up the larder. Here in my house, I’m getting all the blame for riling up the winter-gods by writing about the Frost Fair. *g*
    Nina, that line about the “giddy senseless Ass” referred to another trade that had set up shop on the frozen river after dark. Apparently enterprising prostitutes came down from Drury Lane, and were willing to entertain men who wished the novelty of doing the deed on ice — which does in fact seem pretty “senseless”, not to mention COLD.
    Good luck with your 2000 words!

    Reply
  16. Maggie, here in PA we’re waiting for our first real snow of the season tomorrow night. Nothing by Maine standards (4 inches or so), but enough to send everyone in the area fleeing to the grocery store to stock up the larder. Here in my house, I’m getting all the blame for riling up the winter-gods by writing about the Frost Fair. *g*
    Nina, that line about the “giddy senseless Ass” referred to another trade that had set up shop on the frozen river after dark. Apparently enterprising prostitutes came down from Drury Lane, and were willing to entertain men who wished the novelty of doing the deed on ice — which does in fact seem pretty “senseless”, not to mention COLD.
    Good luck with your 2000 words!

    Reply
  17. Brrr, indeed! You made me wish I was there, even though I wish I wasn’t. Give me modern central heating anyday, though I like Kathy’s suggestion of cuddling with the DH as well.
    Here in the southeast, all we’ve been getting is drippy, freezing rain/sleet, and there’s not one good thing to be said for it. I’d rather have snow any day.
    Yes, I do remember that scene in Duchess. Nicely done, and a nice use of research. A quick question,though, if you don’t mind: when you find so much fascinating historical information, how do you (or any of the Wenches) decide what to use, and what to leave out?

    Reply
  18. Brrr, indeed! You made me wish I was there, even though I wish I wasn’t. Give me modern central heating anyday, though I like Kathy’s suggestion of cuddling with the DH as well.
    Here in the southeast, all we’ve been getting is drippy, freezing rain/sleet, and there’s not one good thing to be said for it. I’d rather have snow any day.
    Yes, I do remember that scene in Duchess. Nicely done, and a nice use of research. A quick question,though, if you don’t mind: when you find so much fascinating historical information, how do you (or any of the Wenches) decide what to use, and what to leave out?

    Reply
  19. Brrr, indeed! You made me wish I was there, even though I wish I wasn’t. Give me modern central heating anyday, though I like Kathy’s suggestion of cuddling with the DH as well.
    Here in the southeast, all we’ve been getting is drippy, freezing rain/sleet, and there’s not one good thing to be said for it. I’d rather have snow any day.
    Yes, I do remember that scene in Duchess. Nicely done, and a nice use of research. A quick question,though, if you don’t mind: when you find so much fascinating historical information, how do you (or any of the Wenches) decide what to use, and what to leave out?

    Reply
  20. Brrr, indeed! You made me wish I was there, even though I wish I wasn’t. Give me modern central heating anyday, though I like Kathy’s suggestion of cuddling with the DH as well.
    Here in the southeast, all we’ve been getting is drippy, freezing rain/sleet, and there’s not one good thing to be said for it. I’d rather have snow any day.
    Yes, I do remember that scene in Duchess. Nicely done, and a nice use of research. A quick question,though, if you don’t mind: when you find so much fascinating historical information, how do you (or any of the Wenches) decide what to use, and what to leave out?

    Reply
  21. The neighbours have been “frost fairing” on the little lake in front of our house. A few ice fishermen, several skaters–yesterday, somebody parked a pickup truck on the ice!
    Our Big Lake was the site of the annual Ice Fishing Derby over the weekend. Hundreds and hundreds of bob houses (stocked with food, drink, woodstoves, various creature comforts), ATV’s, 4WD’s, and even small aircraft assembled on the ice.
    No printing press…but in other respects it was a modern-day version of the 1684 extravaganza!
    I was bummed, I admit, that my w-i-p begins a few months after the Frost Fair Susan/Miranda illustrates and describes so wonderfully–here and in her novel.

    Reply
  22. The neighbours have been “frost fairing” on the little lake in front of our house. A few ice fishermen, several skaters–yesterday, somebody parked a pickup truck on the ice!
    Our Big Lake was the site of the annual Ice Fishing Derby over the weekend. Hundreds and hundreds of bob houses (stocked with food, drink, woodstoves, various creature comforts), ATV’s, 4WD’s, and even small aircraft assembled on the ice.
    No printing press…but in other respects it was a modern-day version of the 1684 extravaganza!
    I was bummed, I admit, that my w-i-p begins a few months after the Frost Fair Susan/Miranda illustrates and describes so wonderfully–here and in her novel.

    Reply
  23. The neighbours have been “frost fairing” on the little lake in front of our house. A few ice fishermen, several skaters–yesterday, somebody parked a pickup truck on the ice!
    Our Big Lake was the site of the annual Ice Fishing Derby over the weekend. Hundreds and hundreds of bob houses (stocked with food, drink, woodstoves, various creature comforts), ATV’s, 4WD’s, and even small aircraft assembled on the ice.
    No printing press…but in other respects it was a modern-day version of the 1684 extravaganza!
    I was bummed, I admit, that my w-i-p begins a few months after the Frost Fair Susan/Miranda illustrates and describes so wonderfully–here and in her novel.

    Reply
  24. The neighbours have been “frost fairing” on the little lake in front of our house. A few ice fishermen, several skaters–yesterday, somebody parked a pickup truck on the ice!
    Our Big Lake was the site of the annual Ice Fishing Derby over the weekend. Hundreds and hundreds of bob houses (stocked with food, drink, woodstoves, various creature comforts), ATV’s, 4WD’s, and even small aircraft assembled on the ice.
    No printing press…but in other respects it was a modern-day version of the 1684 extravaganza!
    I was bummed, I admit, that my w-i-p begins a few months after the Frost Fair Susan/Miranda illustrates and describes so wonderfully–here and in her novel.

    Reply
  25. I live in Edmonton, Alberta and our winter has been pretty normal except for the darned snow!
    Temperatures are anywhere from (and I converted from C) 14F to -26F with the average being around -4F or so.
    And I agree with Nina, it’s a heck of a lot easier to add layers than to remove them; in other words, I much prefer colder weather to hot!
    As for the snow, we had a record 18 inches in November and it’s been snowing off and on pretty much constantly this month. Never too much at one time, usually, but the cumulative effect is quite impressive. We now have 4 to 5 foot snow banks on either side of our driveway and 2 to 3 feet of windrows in front of the house.
    We rarely have the residential streets plowed, but with the extreme amount of snow that we had in November, the city finally gave in and plowed everything. Now we’ve got another 6 or so inches on top of the original 1 to 1 1/2 foot windrows left in December.
    But I’m loving it; and my kids are winter nuts as well. ^.^

    Reply
  26. I live in Edmonton, Alberta and our winter has been pretty normal except for the darned snow!
    Temperatures are anywhere from (and I converted from C) 14F to -26F with the average being around -4F or so.
    And I agree with Nina, it’s a heck of a lot easier to add layers than to remove them; in other words, I much prefer colder weather to hot!
    As for the snow, we had a record 18 inches in November and it’s been snowing off and on pretty much constantly this month. Never too much at one time, usually, but the cumulative effect is quite impressive. We now have 4 to 5 foot snow banks on either side of our driveway and 2 to 3 feet of windrows in front of the house.
    We rarely have the residential streets plowed, but with the extreme amount of snow that we had in November, the city finally gave in and plowed everything. Now we’ve got another 6 or so inches on top of the original 1 to 1 1/2 foot windrows left in December.
    But I’m loving it; and my kids are winter nuts as well. ^.^

    Reply
  27. I live in Edmonton, Alberta and our winter has been pretty normal except for the darned snow!
    Temperatures are anywhere from (and I converted from C) 14F to -26F with the average being around -4F or so.
    And I agree with Nina, it’s a heck of a lot easier to add layers than to remove them; in other words, I much prefer colder weather to hot!
    As for the snow, we had a record 18 inches in November and it’s been snowing off and on pretty much constantly this month. Never too much at one time, usually, but the cumulative effect is quite impressive. We now have 4 to 5 foot snow banks on either side of our driveway and 2 to 3 feet of windrows in front of the house.
    We rarely have the residential streets plowed, but with the extreme amount of snow that we had in November, the city finally gave in and plowed everything. Now we’ve got another 6 or so inches on top of the original 1 to 1 1/2 foot windrows left in December.
    But I’m loving it; and my kids are winter nuts as well. ^.^

    Reply
  28. I live in Edmonton, Alberta and our winter has been pretty normal except for the darned snow!
    Temperatures are anywhere from (and I converted from C) 14F to -26F with the average being around -4F or so.
    And I agree with Nina, it’s a heck of a lot easier to add layers than to remove them; in other words, I much prefer colder weather to hot!
    As for the snow, we had a record 18 inches in November and it’s been snowing off and on pretty much constantly this month. Never too much at one time, usually, but the cumulative effect is quite impressive. We now have 4 to 5 foot snow banks on either side of our driveway and 2 to 3 feet of windrows in front of the house.
    We rarely have the residential streets plowed, but with the extreme amount of snow that we had in November, the city finally gave in and plowed everything. Now we’ve got another 6 or so inches on top of the original 1 to 1 1/2 foot windrows left in December.
    But I’m loving it; and my kids are winter nuts as well. ^.^

    Reply
  29. I love hearing about the Frost Fairs, and about how weather affected people in various times in history. Right now I’m reading a book about how the weather affected specific historic events (and I can’t find it right this minute to give the title!!). The most recent theory about the “Little Ice Age” is that it happened because of low sun activity – http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1363818.ece – the article explains the theory. I’m not trying to start another “global warming or not?” thread! Just thought the theory was interesting, since the Wenches have mentioned the Little Ice Age several times lately.
    Great post, Susan! Thanks!

    Reply
  30. I love hearing about the Frost Fairs, and about how weather affected people in various times in history. Right now I’m reading a book about how the weather affected specific historic events (and I can’t find it right this minute to give the title!!). The most recent theory about the “Little Ice Age” is that it happened because of low sun activity – http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1363818.ece – the article explains the theory. I’m not trying to start another “global warming or not?” thread! Just thought the theory was interesting, since the Wenches have mentioned the Little Ice Age several times lately.
    Great post, Susan! Thanks!

    Reply
  31. I love hearing about the Frost Fairs, and about how weather affected people in various times in history. Right now I’m reading a book about how the weather affected specific historic events (and I can’t find it right this minute to give the title!!). The most recent theory about the “Little Ice Age” is that it happened because of low sun activity – http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1363818.ece – the article explains the theory. I’m not trying to start another “global warming or not?” thread! Just thought the theory was interesting, since the Wenches have mentioned the Little Ice Age several times lately.
    Great post, Susan! Thanks!

    Reply
  32. I love hearing about the Frost Fairs, and about how weather affected people in various times in history. Right now I’m reading a book about how the weather affected specific historic events (and I can’t find it right this minute to give the title!!). The most recent theory about the “Little Ice Age” is that it happened because of low sun activity – http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1363818.ece – the article explains the theory. I’m not trying to start another “global warming or not?” thread! Just thought the theory was interesting, since the Wenches have mentioned the Little Ice Age several times lately.
    Great post, Susan! Thanks!

    Reply
  33. All through the early part of the winter when all the national news stories about the weather were about what a warm winter it was, we in the northwest were getting hammered by ice and snow. And now that the east coast is cold, *we’re* about ten degrees above normal, to the point that the people who predict such things are worried that we’ll lose the impressive mountain snowpack from the beginning of the winter too early. (We live and die by the snowpack out here–we need a good one that doesn’t melt too early for irrigation, salmon runs, and so we city dwellers will have plenty of water to last the summer.)
    In general, I like snow, but what we had this year was a pain, because our daycare kept closing, and I had to burn through all kinds of vacation time. And we get so little snow in Seattle normally that people don’t know how to drive in it (all the hills don’t help matters) and the city doesn’t have enough equipment to deal with it.

    Reply
  34. All through the early part of the winter when all the national news stories about the weather were about what a warm winter it was, we in the northwest were getting hammered by ice and snow. And now that the east coast is cold, *we’re* about ten degrees above normal, to the point that the people who predict such things are worried that we’ll lose the impressive mountain snowpack from the beginning of the winter too early. (We live and die by the snowpack out here–we need a good one that doesn’t melt too early for irrigation, salmon runs, and so we city dwellers will have plenty of water to last the summer.)
    In general, I like snow, but what we had this year was a pain, because our daycare kept closing, and I had to burn through all kinds of vacation time. And we get so little snow in Seattle normally that people don’t know how to drive in it (all the hills don’t help matters) and the city doesn’t have enough equipment to deal with it.

    Reply
  35. All through the early part of the winter when all the national news stories about the weather were about what a warm winter it was, we in the northwest were getting hammered by ice and snow. And now that the east coast is cold, *we’re* about ten degrees above normal, to the point that the people who predict such things are worried that we’ll lose the impressive mountain snowpack from the beginning of the winter too early. (We live and die by the snowpack out here–we need a good one that doesn’t melt too early for irrigation, salmon runs, and so we city dwellers will have plenty of water to last the summer.)
    In general, I like snow, but what we had this year was a pain, because our daycare kept closing, and I had to burn through all kinds of vacation time. And we get so little snow in Seattle normally that people don’t know how to drive in it (all the hills don’t help matters) and the city doesn’t have enough equipment to deal with it.

    Reply
  36. All through the early part of the winter when all the national news stories about the weather were about what a warm winter it was, we in the northwest were getting hammered by ice and snow. And now that the east coast is cold, *we’re* about ten degrees above normal, to the point that the people who predict such things are worried that we’ll lose the impressive mountain snowpack from the beginning of the winter too early. (We live and die by the snowpack out here–we need a good one that doesn’t melt too early for irrigation, salmon runs, and so we city dwellers will have plenty of water to last the summer.)
    In general, I like snow, but what we had this year was a pain, because our daycare kept closing, and I had to burn through all kinds of vacation time. And we get so little snow in Seattle normally that people don’t know how to drive in it (all the hills don’t help matters) and the city doesn’t have enough equipment to deal with it.

    Reply
  37. I live in South Florida like a sane Florida native. I went and looked at all those other places in the country and realized quickly why everyone was hanging out in my backyard. We lived away for about six years then spouse hit a patch of black ice and a guardrail – he walked away from the accident and into the apartment (holding part of the car). I said, what happened? He said, we’re moving home is what happened. And there was much, much joy.
    As a kid I was frozen in (as in med supplies airlifted) in Michigan a few times visiting family. I’ve never understood the appeal. Living in winter as an adult just made me wonder why the top half of the country has anyone in it. The frost fairs are interesting for being novel – but I’d never travel back in time to go to one!

    Reply
  38. I live in South Florida like a sane Florida native. I went and looked at all those other places in the country and realized quickly why everyone was hanging out in my backyard. We lived away for about six years then spouse hit a patch of black ice and a guardrail – he walked away from the accident and into the apartment (holding part of the car). I said, what happened? He said, we’re moving home is what happened. And there was much, much joy.
    As a kid I was frozen in (as in med supplies airlifted) in Michigan a few times visiting family. I’ve never understood the appeal. Living in winter as an adult just made me wonder why the top half of the country has anyone in it. The frost fairs are interesting for being novel – but I’d never travel back in time to go to one!

    Reply
  39. I live in South Florida like a sane Florida native. I went and looked at all those other places in the country and realized quickly why everyone was hanging out in my backyard. We lived away for about six years then spouse hit a patch of black ice and a guardrail – he walked away from the accident and into the apartment (holding part of the car). I said, what happened? He said, we’re moving home is what happened. And there was much, much joy.
    As a kid I was frozen in (as in med supplies airlifted) in Michigan a few times visiting family. I’ve never understood the appeal. Living in winter as an adult just made me wonder why the top half of the country has anyone in it. The frost fairs are interesting for being novel – but I’d never travel back in time to go to one!

    Reply
  40. I live in South Florida like a sane Florida native. I went and looked at all those other places in the country and realized quickly why everyone was hanging out in my backyard. We lived away for about six years then spouse hit a patch of black ice and a guardrail – he walked away from the accident and into the apartment (holding part of the car). I said, what happened? He said, we’re moving home is what happened. And there was much, much joy.
    As a kid I was frozen in (as in med supplies airlifted) in Michigan a few times visiting family. I’ve never understood the appeal. Living in winter as an adult just made me wonder why the top half of the country has anyone in it. The frost fairs are interesting for being novel – but I’d never travel back in time to go to one!

    Reply
  41. I’m a cold-weather person. I like winter clothes, winter food, winter holidays, and not having to wear a bathing suit. *g* As the character Rhoda of the old Mary Tyler Moore TV show said, she moved to Minnesota because it was cold, and she figured she’d keep better there.
    It’s a good thing I do like the cold since both my kids have been manic ice skaters and hockey players, and as a result I’ve spent endless hours in ice-rinks year around. It’s going to be very weird when my daughter graduates next year and we’ll be “done” with ice hockey — I’ll actually put away my winter coat in the spring like everyone else!
    Now to questions: Queen Bee, yours about picking and choosing research facts may be too big (and too good) to answer here — I think I’ll save it for a longer answer in a full-fledged blog.
    Margaret — I know the feeling about setting a book just “too late” to incorporate some really interesting historical event. I felt gypped with DUCHESS– yes, I got the Frost Fair, but Sarah was too young to be in London for the Great Fire and the Plague (fortunately for her!) I did get both of them in ROYAL HARLOT — but alas, no repeat of the Frost Fair.
    Susanna in Alabama — Seems to me that I’ve also read somewhere (and this is vague, and possibly wrong, but I’m too lazy to go find out) that part of the “Litte Ice Age” was due to a volcanic eruption on the opposite side of the earth — that the volcanic ash clung to the atmosphere, and filtered the sunlight and thereby the warmth. Does that make sense in connection to what you’re reading?
    Susan W. — Yep, when it was so warm here in PA in December, the global warming folks had a field-day. Now that it’s cold (really cold for here, not so much for Kathy’s Alberta), all we’re hearing aobut is the price of heating oil.
    Liz — loved your story about the spouse holding what was left of the car after black ice! Yes, Florida’s might toasty this time of year, but I wouldn’t trade places during hurricane season.
    And I agree, the Frost Fairs sound pretty nifty in fiction, but I wonder how much fun they’d actually be to attend. I’m such a chicken walking on ice, I’d probably just stay on the river bank and wave. 🙂
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  42. I’m a cold-weather person. I like winter clothes, winter food, winter holidays, and not having to wear a bathing suit. *g* As the character Rhoda of the old Mary Tyler Moore TV show said, she moved to Minnesota because it was cold, and she figured she’d keep better there.
    It’s a good thing I do like the cold since both my kids have been manic ice skaters and hockey players, and as a result I’ve spent endless hours in ice-rinks year around. It’s going to be very weird when my daughter graduates next year and we’ll be “done” with ice hockey — I’ll actually put away my winter coat in the spring like everyone else!
    Now to questions: Queen Bee, yours about picking and choosing research facts may be too big (and too good) to answer here — I think I’ll save it for a longer answer in a full-fledged blog.
    Margaret — I know the feeling about setting a book just “too late” to incorporate some really interesting historical event. I felt gypped with DUCHESS– yes, I got the Frost Fair, but Sarah was too young to be in London for the Great Fire and the Plague (fortunately for her!) I did get both of them in ROYAL HARLOT — but alas, no repeat of the Frost Fair.
    Susanna in Alabama — Seems to me that I’ve also read somewhere (and this is vague, and possibly wrong, but I’m too lazy to go find out) that part of the “Litte Ice Age” was due to a volcanic eruption on the opposite side of the earth — that the volcanic ash clung to the atmosphere, and filtered the sunlight and thereby the warmth. Does that make sense in connection to what you’re reading?
    Susan W. — Yep, when it was so warm here in PA in December, the global warming folks had a field-day. Now that it’s cold (really cold for here, not so much for Kathy’s Alberta), all we’re hearing aobut is the price of heating oil.
    Liz — loved your story about the spouse holding what was left of the car after black ice! Yes, Florida’s might toasty this time of year, but I wouldn’t trade places during hurricane season.
    And I agree, the Frost Fairs sound pretty nifty in fiction, but I wonder how much fun they’d actually be to attend. I’m such a chicken walking on ice, I’d probably just stay on the river bank and wave. 🙂
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  43. I’m a cold-weather person. I like winter clothes, winter food, winter holidays, and not having to wear a bathing suit. *g* As the character Rhoda of the old Mary Tyler Moore TV show said, she moved to Minnesota because it was cold, and she figured she’d keep better there.
    It’s a good thing I do like the cold since both my kids have been manic ice skaters and hockey players, and as a result I’ve spent endless hours in ice-rinks year around. It’s going to be very weird when my daughter graduates next year and we’ll be “done” with ice hockey — I’ll actually put away my winter coat in the spring like everyone else!
    Now to questions: Queen Bee, yours about picking and choosing research facts may be too big (and too good) to answer here — I think I’ll save it for a longer answer in a full-fledged blog.
    Margaret — I know the feeling about setting a book just “too late” to incorporate some really interesting historical event. I felt gypped with DUCHESS– yes, I got the Frost Fair, but Sarah was too young to be in London for the Great Fire and the Plague (fortunately for her!) I did get both of them in ROYAL HARLOT — but alas, no repeat of the Frost Fair.
    Susanna in Alabama — Seems to me that I’ve also read somewhere (and this is vague, and possibly wrong, but I’m too lazy to go find out) that part of the “Litte Ice Age” was due to a volcanic eruption on the opposite side of the earth — that the volcanic ash clung to the atmosphere, and filtered the sunlight and thereby the warmth. Does that make sense in connection to what you’re reading?
    Susan W. — Yep, when it was so warm here in PA in December, the global warming folks had a field-day. Now that it’s cold (really cold for here, not so much for Kathy’s Alberta), all we’re hearing aobut is the price of heating oil.
    Liz — loved your story about the spouse holding what was left of the car after black ice! Yes, Florida’s might toasty this time of year, but I wouldn’t trade places during hurricane season.
    And I agree, the Frost Fairs sound pretty nifty in fiction, but I wonder how much fun they’d actually be to attend. I’m such a chicken walking on ice, I’d probably just stay on the river bank and wave. 🙂
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  44. I’m a cold-weather person. I like winter clothes, winter food, winter holidays, and not having to wear a bathing suit. *g* As the character Rhoda of the old Mary Tyler Moore TV show said, she moved to Minnesota because it was cold, and she figured she’d keep better there.
    It’s a good thing I do like the cold since both my kids have been manic ice skaters and hockey players, and as a result I’ve spent endless hours in ice-rinks year around. It’s going to be very weird when my daughter graduates next year and we’ll be “done” with ice hockey — I’ll actually put away my winter coat in the spring like everyone else!
    Now to questions: Queen Bee, yours about picking and choosing research facts may be too big (and too good) to answer here — I think I’ll save it for a longer answer in a full-fledged blog.
    Margaret — I know the feeling about setting a book just “too late” to incorporate some really interesting historical event. I felt gypped with DUCHESS– yes, I got the Frost Fair, but Sarah was too young to be in London for the Great Fire and the Plague (fortunately for her!) I did get both of them in ROYAL HARLOT — but alas, no repeat of the Frost Fair.
    Susanna in Alabama — Seems to me that I’ve also read somewhere (and this is vague, and possibly wrong, but I’m too lazy to go find out) that part of the “Litte Ice Age” was due to a volcanic eruption on the opposite side of the earth — that the volcanic ash clung to the atmosphere, and filtered the sunlight and thereby the warmth. Does that make sense in connection to what you’re reading?
    Susan W. — Yep, when it was so warm here in PA in December, the global warming folks had a field-day. Now that it’s cold (really cold for here, not so much for Kathy’s Alberta), all we’re hearing aobut is the price of heating oil.
    Liz — loved your story about the spouse holding what was left of the car after black ice! Yes, Florida’s might toasty this time of year, but I wouldn’t trade places during hurricane season.
    And I agree, the Frost Fairs sound pretty nifty in fiction, but I wonder how much fun they’d actually be to attend. I’m such a chicken walking on ice, I’d probably just stay on the river bank and wave. 🙂
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  45. Susan/Miranda, I’ve read about/ seen TV documentaries about several of those weather-changing volcanoes – the one in 1815, Tambora, resulted in major changes in English weather the following year, I think. According to one website, there were four major eruptions between 1586-1686, which could have had major short-term effects, but they wouldn’t have lasted long enough to cause the entire Little Ice Age.
    Here’s the list of major volcano eruptions pre-1900: http://encarta.msn.com/media_701500596/Major_Volcanic_Eruptions_Before_1900.html . Here’s a very cool article (no pun intended!) from NASA about how the volcano eruptions cause the changes: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2005/volcano_climate.html . With the cause of the sharp changes so far removed from the British Isles, it’s no wonder the people there worried over what the cause could be. It’s easy to forget that they didn’t have vast quantities of the science knowledge we do now, and what was known, wasn’t necessarily known very widely.

    Reply
  46. Susan/Miranda, I’ve read about/ seen TV documentaries about several of those weather-changing volcanoes – the one in 1815, Tambora, resulted in major changes in English weather the following year, I think. According to one website, there were four major eruptions between 1586-1686, which could have had major short-term effects, but they wouldn’t have lasted long enough to cause the entire Little Ice Age.
    Here’s the list of major volcano eruptions pre-1900: http://encarta.msn.com/media_701500596/Major_Volcanic_Eruptions_Before_1900.html . Here’s a very cool article (no pun intended!) from NASA about how the volcano eruptions cause the changes: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2005/volcano_climate.html . With the cause of the sharp changes so far removed from the British Isles, it’s no wonder the people there worried over what the cause could be. It’s easy to forget that they didn’t have vast quantities of the science knowledge we do now, and what was known, wasn’t necessarily known very widely.

    Reply
  47. Susan/Miranda, I’ve read about/ seen TV documentaries about several of those weather-changing volcanoes – the one in 1815, Tambora, resulted in major changes in English weather the following year, I think. According to one website, there were four major eruptions between 1586-1686, which could have had major short-term effects, but they wouldn’t have lasted long enough to cause the entire Little Ice Age.
    Here’s the list of major volcano eruptions pre-1900: http://encarta.msn.com/media_701500596/Major_Volcanic_Eruptions_Before_1900.html . Here’s a very cool article (no pun intended!) from NASA about how the volcano eruptions cause the changes: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2005/volcano_climate.html . With the cause of the sharp changes so far removed from the British Isles, it’s no wonder the people there worried over what the cause could be. It’s easy to forget that they didn’t have vast quantities of the science knowledge we do now, and what was known, wasn’t necessarily known very widely.

    Reply
  48. Susan/Miranda, I’ve read about/ seen TV documentaries about several of those weather-changing volcanoes – the one in 1815, Tambora, resulted in major changes in English weather the following year, I think. According to one website, there were four major eruptions between 1586-1686, which could have had major short-term effects, but they wouldn’t have lasted long enough to cause the entire Little Ice Age.
    Here’s the list of major volcano eruptions pre-1900: http://encarta.msn.com/media_701500596/Major_Volcanic_Eruptions_Before_1900.html . Here’s a very cool article (no pun intended!) from NASA about how the volcano eruptions cause the changes: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2005/volcano_climate.html . With the cause of the sharp changes so far removed from the British Isles, it’s no wonder the people there worried over what the cause could be. It’s easy to forget that they didn’t have vast quantities of the science knowledge we do now, and what was known, wasn’t necessarily known very widely.

    Reply
  49. This winter here in Portland has been much like Susan W’s description of Seattle–uncharacteristic ice and snow earlier and now unseasonably warm. Now that my Pacific Northwest culture shock has worn off (after 18 years here, LOL), I will admit to liking our mild climate most of the time. For me, the hardest part of living here is surviving the long hours of darkness in the winter–though of course it also means the glorious long days of summer. The Northwest is famous for rain–however–it’s not the kind of rain you get elsewhere in the country. Here it can rain all day and the weather folk will cheerfully announce “Today we had 2 hundredths of an inch of rain!”–basically the rain is of mist consistency most of the time.
    Susan/Miranda, I loved the image you put at the top of your post today. As I looked at the Frost Fair set up, I free-associated a little bit and thought about all the land and community lost when interstates and highways carved their big transportation ditches through our cities. There’s a movement now to cover our Portland highways and reclaim the lost land for neighborhoods and retail, and I was imagining our city highways covered with “Frost Fair” type booths and activity.

    Reply
  50. This winter here in Portland has been much like Susan W’s description of Seattle–uncharacteristic ice and snow earlier and now unseasonably warm. Now that my Pacific Northwest culture shock has worn off (after 18 years here, LOL), I will admit to liking our mild climate most of the time. For me, the hardest part of living here is surviving the long hours of darkness in the winter–though of course it also means the glorious long days of summer. The Northwest is famous for rain–however–it’s not the kind of rain you get elsewhere in the country. Here it can rain all day and the weather folk will cheerfully announce “Today we had 2 hundredths of an inch of rain!”–basically the rain is of mist consistency most of the time.
    Susan/Miranda, I loved the image you put at the top of your post today. As I looked at the Frost Fair set up, I free-associated a little bit and thought about all the land and community lost when interstates and highways carved their big transportation ditches through our cities. There’s a movement now to cover our Portland highways and reclaim the lost land for neighborhoods and retail, and I was imagining our city highways covered with “Frost Fair” type booths and activity.

    Reply
  51. This winter here in Portland has been much like Susan W’s description of Seattle–uncharacteristic ice and snow earlier and now unseasonably warm. Now that my Pacific Northwest culture shock has worn off (after 18 years here, LOL), I will admit to liking our mild climate most of the time. For me, the hardest part of living here is surviving the long hours of darkness in the winter–though of course it also means the glorious long days of summer. The Northwest is famous for rain–however–it’s not the kind of rain you get elsewhere in the country. Here it can rain all day and the weather folk will cheerfully announce “Today we had 2 hundredths of an inch of rain!”–basically the rain is of mist consistency most of the time.
    Susan/Miranda, I loved the image you put at the top of your post today. As I looked at the Frost Fair set up, I free-associated a little bit and thought about all the land and community lost when interstates and highways carved their big transportation ditches through our cities. There’s a movement now to cover our Portland highways and reclaim the lost land for neighborhoods and retail, and I was imagining our city highways covered with “Frost Fair” type booths and activity.

    Reply
  52. This winter here in Portland has been much like Susan W’s description of Seattle–uncharacteristic ice and snow earlier and now unseasonably warm. Now that my Pacific Northwest culture shock has worn off (after 18 years here, LOL), I will admit to liking our mild climate most of the time. For me, the hardest part of living here is surviving the long hours of darkness in the winter–though of course it also means the glorious long days of summer. The Northwest is famous for rain–however–it’s not the kind of rain you get elsewhere in the country. Here it can rain all day and the weather folk will cheerfully announce “Today we had 2 hundredths of an inch of rain!”–basically the rain is of mist consistency most of the time.
    Susan/Miranda, I loved the image you put at the top of your post today. As I looked at the Frost Fair set up, I free-associated a little bit and thought about all the land and community lost when interstates and highways carved their big transportation ditches through our cities. There’s a movement now to cover our Portland highways and reclaim the lost land for neighborhoods and retail, and I was imagining our city highways covered with “Frost Fair” type booths and activity.

    Reply
  53. This year mainland Europe has been ridiculously warm – though today we kept getting torrential downpours intermitten with bright sunny periods or deadly hail.
    My kind of a winter, actually. I’d take this over the -40’C of my childhood any day!
    (I do believe that -40’C and -40’F are the same, so BRRRRRR in any NorthAmerica-Speak).

    Reply
  54. This year mainland Europe has been ridiculously warm – though today we kept getting torrential downpours intermitten with bright sunny periods or deadly hail.
    My kind of a winter, actually. I’d take this over the -40’C of my childhood any day!
    (I do believe that -40’C and -40’F are the same, so BRRRRRR in any NorthAmerica-Speak).

    Reply
  55. This year mainland Europe has been ridiculously warm – though today we kept getting torrential downpours intermitten with bright sunny periods or deadly hail.
    My kind of a winter, actually. I’d take this over the -40’C of my childhood any day!
    (I do believe that -40’C and -40’F are the same, so BRRRRRR in any NorthAmerica-Speak).

    Reply
  56. This year mainland Europe has been ridiculously warm – though today we kept getting torrential downpours intermitten with bright sunny periods or deadly hail.
    My kind of a winter, actually. I’d take this over the -40’C of my childhood any day!
    (I do believe that -40’C and -40’F are the same, so BRRRRRR in any NorthAmerica-Speak).

    Reply
  57. “Yep, when it was so warm here in PA in December, the global warming folks had a field-day. Now that it’s cold (really cold for here, not so much for Kathy’s Alberta), all we’re hearing aobut is the price of heating oil.”
    That’s actually a huge pet peeve of mine–a hot day doesn’t prove global warming, nor a cold snap disprove it, because it’s all about big-picture overall trends.
    Liz, it sounds like we’re climate/terrain opposites! I could never live in Florida because I wilt in heat and humidity (not sure how I survived my Alabama childhood!) and because I get a little depressed if I don’t have mountains, or at least some nice rolling hills, to look at.

    Reply
  58. “Yep, when it was so warm here in PA in December, the global warming folks had a field-day. Now that it’s cold (really cold for here, not so much for Kathy’s Alberta), all we’re hearing aobut is the price of heating oil.”
    That’s actually a huge pet peeve of mine–a hot day doesn’t prove global warming, nor a cold snap disprove it, because it’s all about big-picture overall trends.
    Liz, it sounds like we’re climate/terrain opposites! I could never live in Florida because I wilt in heat and humidity (not sure how I survived my Alabama childhood!) and because I get a little depressed if I don’t have mountains, or at least some nice rolling hills, to look at.

    Reply
  59. “Yep, when it was so warm here in PA in December, the global warming folks had a field-day. Now that it’s cold (really cold for here, not so much for Kathy’s Alberta), all we’re hearing aobut is the price of heating oil.”
    That’s actually a huge pet peeve of mine–a hot day doesn’t prove global warming, nor a cold snap disprove it, because it’s all about big-picture overall trends.
    Liz, it sounds like we’re climate/terrain opposites! I could never live in Florida because I wilt in heat and humidity (not sure how I survived my Alabama childhood!) and because I get a little depressed if I don’t have mountains, or at least some nice rolling hills, to look at.

    Reply
  60. “Yep, when it was so warm here in PA in December, the global warming folks had a field-day. Now that it’s cold (really cold for here, not so much for Kathy’s Alberta), all we’re hearing aobut is the price of heating oil.”
    That’s actually a huge pet peeve of mine–a hot day doesn’t prove global warming, nor a cold snap disprove it, because it’s all about big-picture overall trends.
    Liz, it sounds like we’re climate/terrain opposites! I could never live in Florida because I wilt in heat and humidity (not sure how I survived my Alabama childhood!) and because I get a little depressed if I don’t have mountains, or at least some nice rolling hills, to look at.

    Reply
  61. “Yep, when it was so warm here in PA in December, the global warming folks had a field-day. Now that it’s cold (really cold for here, not so much for Kathy’s Alberta), all we’re hearing aobut is the price of heating oil.”
    That kind of talk is actually a huge pet peeve of mine–a hot day doesn’t prove global warming, nor a cold snap disprove it, because it’s all about big-picture overall trends. (That’s all I’ll say, because I’m champing at the bit to go off on a rant, since this is My Issue and has been for over a decade now.)
    Liz, it sounds like we’re climate/terrain opposites! I could never live in Florida because I wilt in heat and humidity (not sure how I survived my Alabama childhood!) and because I get a little depressed if I don’t have mountains, or at least some nice rolling hills, to look at.

    Reply
  62. “Yep, when it was so warm here in PA in December, the global warming folks had a field-day. Now that it’s cold (really cold for here, not so much for Kathy’s Alberta), all we’re hearing aobut is the price of heating oil.”
    That kind of talk is actually a huge pet peeve of mine–a hot day doesn’t prove global warming, nor a cold snap disprove it, because it’s all about big-picture overall trends. (That’s all I’ll say, because I’m champing at the bit to go off on a rant, since this is My Issue and has been for over a decade now.)
    Liz, it sounds like we’re climate/terrain opposites! I could never live in Florida because I wilt in heat and humidity (not sure how I survived my Alabama childhood!) and because I get a little depressed if I don’t have mountains, or at least some nice rolling hills, to look at.

    Reply
  63. “Yep, when it was so warm here in PA in December, the global warming folks had a field-day. Now that it’s cold (really cold for here, not so much for Kathy’s Alberta), all we’re hearing aobut is the price of heating oil.”
    That kind of talk is actually a huge pet peeve of mine–a hot day doesn’t prove global warming, nor a cold snap disprove it, because it’s all about big-picture overall trends. (That’s all I’ll say, because I’m champing at the bit to go off on a rant, since this is My Issue and has been for over a decade now.)
    Liz, it sounds like we’re climate/terrain opposites! I could never live in Florida because I wilt in heat and humidity (not sure how I survived my Alabama childhood!) and because I get a little depressed if I don’t have mountains, or at least some nice rolling hills, to look at.

    Reply
  64. “Yep, when it was so warm here in PA in December, the global warming folks had a field-day. Now that it’s cold (really cold for here, not so much for Kathy’s Alberta), all we’re hearing aobut is the price of heating oil.”
    That kind of talk is actually a huge pet peeve of mine–a hot day doesn’t prove global warming, nor a cold snap disprove it, because it’s all about big-picture overall trends. (That’s all I’ll say, because I’m champing at the bit to go off on a rant, since this is My Issue and has been for over a decade now.)
    Liz, it sounds like we’re climate/terrain opposites! I could never live in Florida because I wilt in heat and humidity (not sure how I survived my Alabama childhood!) and because I get a little depressed if I don’t have mountains, or at least some nice rolling hills, to look at.

    Reply
  65. Sorry about the double post–not sure how that happened!
    On a lighter snow note, I’m home with my daughter today not because of weather, but because so many of the daycare staff called in sick that they had to close the center for the day. My daughter just saw an episode of one of her shows where kids were playing in the snow, and she somehow became convinced it was snowing outside and ran to the window to check! She’s very disappointed. 🙂

    Reply
  66. Sorry about the double post–not sure how that happened!
    On a lighter snow note, I’m home with my daughter today not because of weather, but because so many of the daycare staff called in sick that they had to close the center for the day. My daughter just saw an episode of one of her shows where kids were playing in the snow, and she somehow became convinced it was snowing outside and ran to the window to check! She’s very disappointed. 🙂

    Reply
  67. Sorry about the double post–not sure how that happened!
    On a lighter snow note, I’m home with my daughter today not because of weather, but because so many of the daycare staff called in sick that they had to close the center for the day. My daughter just saw an episode of one of her shows where kids were playing in the snow, and she somehow became convinced it was snowing outside and ran to the window to check! She’s very disappointed. 🙂

    Reply
  68. Sorry about the double post–not sure how that happened!
    On a lighter snow note, I’m home with my daughter today not because of weather, but because so many of the daycare staff called in sick that they had to close the center for the day. My daughter just saw an episode of one of her shows where kids were playing in the snow, and she somehow became convinced it was snowing outside and ran to the window to check! She’s very disappointed. 🙂

    Reply
  69. Susanna in Alabama wrote: “It’s easy to forget that they didn’t have vast quantities of the science knowledge we do now, and what was known, wasn’t necessarily known very widely.”
    I know — we turn on the Weather Channel, and bam! We’re right in the middle of any natural disaster. In the 1660s, it could have taken years for those in London to have learned of, say, a tsunami in Southeast Asia — if they ever heard of it at all. They certainly didn’t connect it to their own weather; the idea of Divine Retribution seemed to be a much more comprehensible explanation.
    Susan W., you’re forgiven for the double posts — it’s not just the power of your supressed ranting *g*, but some blip of Typepad that happens to a number of posters. And you’re doubly excused if you’re trapped inside with a snowless-sick day!

    Reply
  70. Susanna in Alabama wrote: “It’s easy to forget that they didn’t have vast quantities of the science knowledge we do now, and what was known, wasn’t necessarily known very widely.”
    I know — we turn on the Weather Channel, and bam! We’re right in the middle of any natural disaster. In the 1660s, it could have taken years for those in London to have learned of, say, a tsunami in Southeast Asia — if they ever heard of it at all. They certainly didn’t connect it to their own weather; the idea of Divine Retribution seemed to be a much more comprehensible explanation.
    Susan W., you’re forgiven for the double posts — it’s not just the power of your supressed ranting *g*, but some blip of Typepad that happens to a number of posters. And you’re doubly excused if you’re trapped inside with a snowless-sick day!

    Reply
  71. Susanna in Alabama wrote: “It’s easy to forget that they didn’t have vast quantities of the science knowledge we do now, and what was known, wasn’t necessarily known very widely.”
    I know — we turn on the Weather Channel, and bam! We’re right in the middle of any natural disaster. In the 1660s, it could have taken years for those in London to have learned of, say, a tsunami in Southeast Asia — if they ever heard of it at all. They certainly didn’t connect it to their own weather; the idea of Divine Retribution seemed to be a much more comprehensible explanation.
    Susan W., you’re forgiven for the double posts — it’s not just the power of your supressed ranting *g*, but some blip of Typepad that happens to a number of posters. And you’re doubly excused if you’re trapped inside with a snowless-sick day!

    Reply
  72. Susanna in Alabama wrote: “It’s easy to forget that they didn’t have vast quantities of the science knowledge we do now, and what was known, wasn’t necessarily known very widely.”
    I know — we turn on the Weather Channel, and bam! We’re right in the middle of any natural disaster. In the 1660s, it could have taken years for those in London to have learned of, say, a tsunami in Southeast Asia — if they ever heard of it at all. They certainly didn’t connect it to their own weather; the idea of Divine Retribution seemed to be a much more comprehensible explanation.
    Susan W., you’re forgiven for the double posts — it’s not just the power of your supressed ranting *g*, but some blip of Typepad that happens to a number of posters. And you’re doubly excused if you’re trapped inside with a snowless-sick day!

    Reply
  73. “And you’re doubly excused if you’re trapped inside with a snowless-sick day!”
    I may regret it when I have to do five days’ work in four, but it feels more like a long weekend. I curled up with a book for part of the morning, and in another ten minutes when my daughter is down for her nap I’m going to do some writing and maybe some housework. And next week we get a real long weekend–when you’re a state employee in a state named after George Washington, you get Presidents’ Day off!

    Reply
  74. “And you’re doubly excused if you’re trapped inside with a snowless-sick day!”
    I may regret it when I have to do five days’ work in four, but it feels more like a long weekend. I curled up with a book for part of the morning, and in another ten minutes when my daughter is down for her nap I’m going to do some writing and maybe some housework. And next week we get a real long weekend–when you’re a state employee in a state named after George Washington, you get Presidents’ Day off!

    Reply
  75. “And you’re doubly excused if you’re trapped inside with a snowless-sick day!”
    I may regret it when I have to do five days’ work in four, but it feels more like a long weekend. I curled up with a book for part of the morning, and in another ten minutes when my daughter is down for her nap I’m going to do some writing and maybe some housework. And next week we get a real long weekend–when you’re a state employee in a state named after George Washington, you get Presidents’ Day off!

    Reply
  76. “And you’re doubly excused if you’re trapped inside with a snowless-sick day!”
    I may regret it when I have to do five days’ work in four, but it feels more like a long weekend. I curled up with a book for part of the morning, and in another ten minutes when my daughter is down for her nap I’m going to do some writing and maybe some housework. And next week we get a real long weekend–when you’re a state employee in a state named after George Washington, you get Presidents’ Day off!

    Reply
  77. We are having crazy weather here in my part of the sunny Southland. It’s 64 right now, the forcasters promise thunderstorms tomorrow, and by Wednesday a low of 25 (more than 20 degrees colder than today’s low).
    I don’t like the cold; I think the first daffodil sighting should be a state holiday. But the cold here is easier to endure than our sizzling summers when moving from an air-conditioned house to an air-conditioned car can seem torturous. Fall is really my favorite time of year. Spring is breathtakingly lovely with the azaleas and dogwood everywhere, but it makes me dreamy and lazy. Fall energizes me. Anything seems possible in October.

    Reply
  78. We are having crazy weather here in my part of the sunny Southland. It’s 64 right now, the forcasters promise thunderstorms tomorrow, and by Wednesday a low of 25 (more than 20 degrees colder than today’s low).
    I don’t like the cold; I think the first daffodil sighting should be a state holiday. But the cold here is easier to endure than our sizzling summers when moving from an air-conditioned house to an air-conditioned car can seem torturous. Fall is really my favorite time of year. Spring is breathtakingly lovely with the azaleas and dogwood everywhere, but it makes me dreamy and lazy. Fall energizes me. Anything seems possible in October.

    Reply
  79. We are having crazy weather here in my part of the sunny Southland. It’s 64 right now, the forcasters promise thunderstorms tomorrow, and by Wednesday a low of 25 (more than 20 degrees colder than today’s low).
    I don’t like the cold; I think the first daffodil sighting should be a state holiday. But the cold here is easier to endure than our sizzling summers when moving from an air-conditioned house to an air-conditioned car can seem torturous. Fall is really my favorite time of year. Spring is breathtakingly lovely with the azaleas and dogwood everywhere, but it makes me dreamy and lazy. Fall energizes me. Anything seems possible in October.

    Reply
  80. We are having crazy weather here in my part of the sunny Southland. It’s 64 right now, the forcasters promise thunderstorms tomorrow, and by Wednesday a low of 25 (more than 20 degrees colder than today’s low).
    I don’t like the cold; I think the first daffodil sighting should be a state holiday. But the cold here is easier to endure than our sizzling summers when moving from an air-conditioned house to an air-conditioned car can seem torturous. Fall is really my favorite time of year. Spring is breathtakingly lovely with the azaleas and dogwood everywhere, but it makes me dreamy and lazy. Fall energizes me. Anything seems possible in October.

    Reply
  81. “Living in winter as an adult just made me wonder why the top half of the country has anyone in it.”
    And visiting coastal Georgia in July made this little Left-Coaster wonder how anyone could bear to live in the South. LOL!

    Reply
  82. “Living in winter as an adult just made me wonder why the top half of the country has anyone in it.”
    And visiting coastal Georgia in July made this little Left-Coaster wonder how anyone could bear to live in the South. LOL!

    Reply
  83. “Living in winter as an adult just made me wonder why the top half of the country has anyone in it.”
    And visiting coastal Georgia in July made this little Left-Coaster wonder how anyone could bear to live in the South. LOL!

    Reply
  84. “Living in winter as an adult just made me wonder why the top half of the country has anyone in it.”
    And visiting coastal Georgia in July made this little Left-Coaster wonder how anyone could bear to live in the South. LOL!

    Reply
  85. Wow, we really ARE beginning to sound like the Wenchly Weather Channel! But it just goes to prove that no matter how diverse the winter weather may be, there’s bound to be someone who thinks it’s just dandy the way it is, thank you.
    About the only thing I think we can all agree on is that NO ONE really wants to stand on the frozen Thames in single-digit temperatures without the benefit of a single down-filled garment, eating roast ox while watching a bear-baiting. *G*

    Reply
  86. Wow, we really ARE beginning to sound like the Wenchly Weather Channel! But it just goes to prove that no matter how diverse the winter weather may be, there’s bound to be someone who thinks it’s just dandy the way it is, thank you.
    About the only thing I think we can all agree on is that NO ONE really wants to stand on the frozen Thames in single-digit temperatures without the benefit of a single down-filled garment, eating roast ox while watching a bear-baiting. *G*

    Reply
  87. Wow, we really ARE beginning to sound like the Wenchly Weather Channel! But it just goes to prove that no matter how diverse the winter weather may be, there’s bound to be someone who thinks it’s just dandy the way it is, thank you.
    About the only thing I think we can all agree on is that NO ONE really wants to stand on the frozen Thames in single-digit temperatures without the benefit of a single down-filled garment, eating roast ox while watching a bear-baiting. *G*

    Reply
  88. Wow, we really ARE beginning to sound like the Wenchly Weather Channel! But it just goes to prove that no matter how diverse the winter weather may be, there’s bound to be someone who thinks it’s just dandy the way it is, thank you.
    About the only thing I think we can all agree on is that NO ONE really wants to stand on the frozen Thames in single-digit temperatures without the benefit of a single down-filled garment, eating roast ox while watching a bear-baiting. *G*

    Reply

  89. When I was little (many years ago) I lived in northern Saskatchewan and winter was highlighted by the winter festival. This involved everyone gathering on the local river for sled dog races, lumberjack contests etc. If I’m remembering correctly, we would even drive the cars down on to the river to park. i do remember walking around to see the various activities – and since I was young and chicken I would jump all the huge cracks in the ice I saw.
    I think the festival was moved off the ice when the water treatment plant interfered with the river freezing….
    Thanks for reminding me….

    Reply

  90. When I was little (many years ago) I lived in northern Saskatchewan and winter was highlighted by the winter festival. This involved everyone gathering on the local river for sled dog races, lumberjack contests etc. If I’m remembering correctly, we would even drive the cars down on to the river to park. i do remember walking around to see the various activities – and since I was young and chicken I would jump all the huge cracks in the ice I saw.
    I think the festival was moved off the ice when the water treatment plant interfered with the river freezing….
    Thanks for reminding me….

    Reply

  91. When I was little (many years ago) I lived in northern Saskatchewan and winter was highlighted by the winter festival. This involved everyone gathering on the local river for sled dog races, lumberjack contests etc. If I’m remembering correctly, we would even drive the cars down on to the river to park. i do remember walking around to see the various activities – and since I was young and chicken I would jump all the huge cracks in the ice I saw.
    I think the festival was moved off the ice when the water treatment plant interfered with the river freezing….
    Thanks for reminding me….

    Reply

  92. When I was little (many years ago) I lived in northern Saskatchewan and winter was highlighted by the winter festival. This involved everyone gathering on the local river for sled dog races, lumberjack contests etc. If I’m remembering correctly, we would even drive the cars down on to the river to park. i do remember walking around to see the various activities – and since I was young and chicken I would jump all the huge cracks in the ice I saw.
    I think the festival was moved off the ice when the water treatment plant interfered with the river freezing….
    Thanks for reminding me….

    Reply
  93. Susan, what a fascinating post! I was only dimly aware of the Frost Fair in Restoration England until reading DUCHESS–mmm I can smell those roasting chestnuts–so thank you for the fuller picture. I’ve lived in New England all my life. While I like summer, I like it in moderation–after a few weeks of high temps, I’m ready for spring. Or fall. We’ve had winters when it snowed endlessly, and that got old–but when it doesn’t snow at all, or hardly worth mentioning–as this year, it’s a little depressing. Love that crisp air, and the magic that a blanket of snow creates. I have gone out walking at night in snowstorms–and the experience was simply wonderful. But I still won’t drive if I see a snowflake anywhere.

    Reply
  94. Susan, what a fascinating post! I was only dimly aware of the Frost Fair in Restoration England until reading DUCHESS–mmm I can smell those roasting chestnuts–so thank you for the fuller picture. I’ve lived in New England all my life. While I like summer, I like it in moderation–after a few weeks of high temps, I’m ready for spring. Or fall. We’ve had winters when it snowed endlessly, and that got old–but when it doesn’t snow at all, or hardly worth mentioning–as this year, it’s a little depressing. Love that crisp air, and the magic that a blanket of snow creates. I have gone out walking at night in snowstorms–and the experience was simply wonderful. But I still won’t drive if I see a snowflake anywhere.

    Reply
  95. Susan, what a fascinating post! I was only dimly aware of the Frost Fair in Restoration England until reading DUCHESS–mmm I can smell those roasting chestnuts–so thank you for the fuller picture. I’ve lived in New England all my life. While I like summer, I like it in moderation–after a few weeks of high temps, I’m ready for spring. Or fall. We’ve had winters when it snowed endlessly, and that got old–but when it doesn’t snow at all, or hardly worth mentioning–as this year, it’s a little depressing. Love that crisp air, and the magic that a blanket of snow creates. I have gone out walking at night in snowstorms–and the experience was simply wonderful. But I still won’t drive if I see a snowflake anywhere.

    Reply
  96. Susan, what a fascinating post! I was only dimly aware of the Frost Fair in Restoration England until reading DUCHESS–mmm I can smell those roasting chestnuts–so thank you for the fuller picture. I’ve lived in New England all my life. While I like summer, I like it in moderation–after a few weeks of high temps, I’m ready for spring. Or fall. We’ve had winters when it snowed endlessly, and that got old–but when it doesn’t snow at all, or hardly worth mentioning–as this year, it’s a little depressing. Love that crisp air, and the magic that a blanket of snow creates. I have gone out walking at night in snowstorms–and the experience was simply wonderful. But I still won’t drive if I see a snowflake anywhere.

    Reply
  97. I’m interested in where you found your information on the Frost Fairs and the Little Ice Age. I’ve been researching it and am having a difficult time finding anything with references.
    Thanks

    Reply
  98. I’m interested in where you found your information on the Frost Fairs and the Little Ice Age. I’ve been researching it and am having a difficult time finding anything with references.
    Thanks

    Reply
  99. I’m interested in where you found your information on the Frost Fairs and the Little Ice Age. I’ve been researching it and am having a difficult time finding anything with references.
    Thanks

    Reply
  100. I’m interested in where you found your information on the Frost Fairs and the Little Ice Age. I’ve been researching it and am having a difficult time finding anything with references.
    Thanks

    Reply

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