UEA tutor, 63, takes skis out of hibernation for morning commute

Malle Payne skiing into work at UEA on Wednesday. Picture: Malle Payne

Malle Payne skiing into work at UEA on Wednesday. Picture: Malle Payne - Credit: Archant

It's one way to beat the traffic on the morning commute.

63-year-old SSE tutor at UEA Malle Payne refused to let the winter paralysis affect her journey into work, and dusted off her 40 year old skis to glide from Hall Road to the university this morning.

As a child she would ski to school and back in her native Finland, and relished the chance to bring them out of hibernation.

'I grew up in Finland and used to ski to school as a child, so I went to the attic, took my skis down, and got a lot of surprised looks on my way into work,' she said.

'I had this idea to get the students involved. Many of them are from Asia and the Middle East, so a lot of them have never seen snow before, let alone skis.

'These skis haven't been used since the 70s because I brought them from Finland, hoping I could use them again one day. I have never had a chance to do it in England, which was disappointing because that was part of my childhood.'

She added the disruption snow creates in the UK was 'a bit of a joke' for Scandinavians.

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'To have a winter like this - this is a perfect winter in Scandinavia,' she said. 'Roads do not get closed there when this happens. This whole idea of everything coming to a standstill when there is a bit of snow is a bit of a joke for Scandinavian people.

'This is mild compared to what usually happens in Finland.

'There aren't enough days in the year when there is a proper winter so I can see it would not be cost effective to equip snow ploughs and winter tyres on cars.'