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Dear Diary:

9th February 2006  -  A warm Winter?!?!?!

I was watching the Winnipeg news a few evenings ago and I'm not being rude when I say that any one back in Australia would have laughed them selves silly. You see, when the weather girl A Long Term forcast for Winnipegcame on I believe she said, quote "and tomorrow its getting warm again with a high of negative 5."! She was being serious!

Believe it or not, this has been a reoccurring theme for the past month. Given the average in Winnipeg for this time of No snow here at City Hall!year is about negative 15 plus with chill into the high twenties, I guess the weather girl was not wrong. That said, every place I have visited so far, the locals have all agreed its been a very "Warm" winter. I guess ultimate testament to this was the fact that Toronto had just about no snow on the ground in mid January when I arrived and Time for the Pub Mick!the temperature was hovering around Zero degrees Celsius! Mick and I actually considered getting the footie out for a kick! Of course we were not so silly and instead headed to the pub...

Of course, it still can get Icy! I've been to Peterborough The river in Peterboroughthree times now. The previous visits having been in the summer. Winter in Peterborough is a very different place I can assure you. The people are just as lovely and welcoming, but the weather outside is not so for an Aussie I can tell you!

The Ice slides!The temperature for the day had ranged from 0 to back to negative 5, again very warm by local standards. As I discovered, the general walking and driving conditions can deteriorate some what quickly and for the first time in my life, I got to experience truly frozen road conditions! While walking over to to visit some more local Peterborough mates in the form of the Cullen Dudes, I got a good dose of Ice! It took Ryan and I about 30min to do a 10min walk as the road and Ice Ice Baby!footpaths all had about 1-2cm of *VERY* smooth slippery ice on them! To truly understand just how slippery it was, consider this. I spotted a car driving down Ryan's street and More Ice in Peterboroughslipping sliding away. I smiled and waved at them to take it easy. A few seconds later I noticed that it was in fact a police car! The officer stopped and we had a funny chat. He said that the police cars had some of the best snow tyres you could buy and yet he was having trouble. He was not looking forward to the rest of his shift that's for sure! Then again, he did have a good smile on his face after he threatened to use the mace spray on me after I pointed out the forecast for Sydney was Sunny and 30 degrees Celsius!

At least my visit to Donna & Dave's place in Barrie Ontario The view on the Frozen Lakeoffered up some typical Canadian winter I got one!!!conditions. Yes they all said it was a warm weather, but for an Aussie bloke it was truly winter. So what if the creaking and swell of the frozen lake was a bit off putting as we walked out to go fishing. I caught one, so its all good!

My arrival back in Chicago sealed it. Exactly 10 years ago No Snow here!I was living/working there. As I recall the average maximum temperature for the month of January 1996 was about -25 degrees Fahrenheit. That's a touch below -30 degrees Celsius!

I'm off to the tallest mountains in Canada next, so I suspect its going to get a tad colder! Then again, it was Groundhog day a February 2nd and this year the Groundhog, who apparently had a 83% success rate in forecasting did not see its shadow. This mean there should only be another 6 more weeks of winter! Given that's when I get back to Europe, that's fine by me! Party hard campers!

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