Friday, 26 February 2010

A Snow Mover

Apparently there are various techniques that may be employed - sawing into blocks and pushing, cutting a trench then inserting something like a huge cheesewire and pulling ......

I thought that I was going to sit down to watch Masterchef and hadn't got a clue what my husband was talking about but he was fascinated by the tale and although I was trying to do PE kits and consent forms for the next day, I ended up watching the last five minutes or so of the earlier program. I don't know what it was called, but it seemed to be connected with winter in Yellowstone National Park.

Snow fall is very heavy, and buildings struggle to carry the weight of a layer which can easily be 2m deep. It is, apparently a particular problem at the eaves which overhang, to protect the building from the elements, but are largely unsupported. Structural damage may easily result. This brings me to the title of this blog. A 'Snow Mover' is contracted to climb onto the roof, and remove the snow. The 'General Store' was said to be one of his largest buildings. With a very gently sloping roof, the layer of snow was up to his shoulders. This was one for the 'sawing into blocks' technique. I don't quite remember the details, but I think it took longer than a week to clear the roof and he would expect to return several times over the winter. His own house seemed to have slightly more slope to the roof and I think that was one on which he employed the 'cheesewire', although I wasn't quite tuned-in at that stage.

I had become engrossed in the ins and outs of a job which I would never have imagined to exist. I know Scotland was struggling yesterday, but this sort of puts UK weather into context. How many other previously unheard of jobs are there. UK last names are often derived from jobs which existed in our history and this can sometimes be a fascinating insight. I think I was particularly intrigued because we were watching someone in one of the most developed countries in the world, performing a task which I hadn't imagined to exist, using only basic hand tools and his own strength, working in quite severe conditions.

Perhaps this does not capture your imagination in quite the same way as it has mine, but if anyone knows of any more obscure occupations in modern society, I'd love to hear about them.

Appliqueeing miniature buildings onto gadget cosies to sell on Folksy does not have quite the same ring to it. However, in true Blue Peter style here's one I made earlier. I hope you like it!

1 comment:

  1. I like it! Your writing is wonderful, I really enjoyed reading this. My most obscure job has to be motherhood! If only there were a job description, sick pay and 3 weeks holiday a year - although I wouldn't swap it to be back in an office!