Believe me, you don't want to trip.
I did and I'm suffering the consequences. I'm recovering from sprained rib muscles from a fall last Monday- quite painful, even with Difene, Paracetamol and all the benefits of modern medication. I'd like to say I was hill-walking or doing something exotic, but I tripped on the stairs in NEXT in Blackrock Shopping Centre, and have been taking it handy ever since.
Meanwhile the Killiney Alps have never looked so good. After a chilly photo-shoot featuring solar-powered street lighting with Jaune Hendy from Ecotec and Peter Moloney at Killiney Shopping Centre I headed up the hill along Ballinclea Road to a winter scene overlooking Dublin Bay. The kids had a ball - tobogging down the hill, and hundreds of others were having a great time.
So far Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown has been doing a good job informing the public about the action they are taking to deal with the cold snap (or maybe that should be a prolonged break). They've been posting updates on the news scroller on their website, with a lot of useful info on gritting and water conservation during the cold weather.
Local Authorities are in charge of maintaining most roads, and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown have a map showing which roads are due for gritting here. I'm pleased that they understand the need to grit footpaths as much as roads. Nationally the Emergency Response Co-ordination Committee has been meeting, and John Gormley has stated that the Defence Forces are available to assist any Local Authority that needs additional help.
In the meantime, a little common sense can go a long way towards helping us through, and here's some practical advice:
1. If you're able, clean the footpath outside your home. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes with a spade or shovel. It reduces the risk of neighbours slipping and sends out a signal that all is safe and well.
2. Call into any neighbour that you haven't seen out and about. An offer to pop down to Londis to pick up a few messages will be well received.
3. Try not to drive, but if you have to venture out, shift up to second gear once the car is moving, and keep the revs low. When slowing down let the gears do most of the work, and avoid sudden braking. There's good advice on the radio, RTE news website and AA Roadwatch's website and Twitter feed, as well as Dublin Bus and Irish Rail.
4. When walking, take short steps (penguin walk, as someone said to me yesterday). A pair of old socks can give great grip, if worn outside your shoes. Dress in layers and make sure to wear a thick hat, gloves and scarf.
5. If you have frozen pipes, a hairdryer and extension lead can help deal with the issue inside the house. If the problem lies outside you can contact your local Council. Dún Laoghaire Rathdown information is here, and their emergency number is 677 8844.
6. Keep an eye on the weather forecast. Met Eireann have a good Dublin area forecast here, and Wind Guru is a bit more techie, but looks further ahead here.
Enjoy the snow if you can, but be careful out there.