Thursday 23 December 2010


It's been quite cold, really quite cold. My ears tell me most mornings what the temperature beyond the comfort of my bed is likely to be, they then find me pulling the bed covers tighter over my head whilst I pluck up the courage to dive out of bed and get dressed. This can take quite a while some mornings, especially the ones where my ears are so cold I wonder if they might snap off!

-7.-10.-11.-13.-17.-11. These are the temperatures recorded at Shep's back door over the last 6 days. There was huge excitement the morning it was -13, we were both ecstatic and felt triumphant - the water was running!!! We have almost lost count of the number of days our house pipes have been frozen, hit double figures and frozen they would be. When the fresher days arrived Shep brought the used black plastic silage wrap up from the farm and attempted to wrap the house in the stuff but to no avail. There was then a lot more fetched up, we now sport a mini mountain of black plastic stacked up below the kitchen window AND it stopped the house pipes from freezing at -13 - yipee!!! Unfortunately -17 was too much for even the silage wrap and once again many hours were spent getting the water running in the house. But at least we know we are safe down to -13, a huge bonus.
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I was fascinated by this icicle I saw the other day, hanging off an old railway bridge which I wasn't able to get a very good angle of but it truly is a work of art. Our residence doesn't have any icicles yet, it obviously hasn't been warm enough to make anything drip. The last few days it has never got above freezing during the day and one day was still -8 at lunch time and -10 upon darkening (4.30pm). There has been some sunshine during the days but often clouding over with the odd flurry of snow for good measure.
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The above photos are of the same location. The first taken on 25th November, the second taken on the shortest day 21st Dec. Don't think Moss and Kale had considered walking on water before!!
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The closer shot shows just how frozen the Linn (waterfall)has become, one of the linns that the fish were running up earlier in November, suppose they'll be able to slide back to sea quite easily now!

It is good healthy weather but the severity of the frosts are causing problems with any housed animals, with water bowls and troughs freezing daily and some not able to be defrosted. Roads too are pretty dodgy, even main roads served by gritters are dangerous with unseen black ice. The snow coverings we keep receiving hide the icy patches making life difficult on foot too.

The weather has caused some to cancel their Christmas trips home, it has caused us to stop my 'mother-in-law' from joining us on Christmas Eve, the house is far too cold for an elderly person (especially one used to central heating) to come and stop with us, it is icy outside so dangerous under foot too but hopefully we'll catch up with her on Christmas morning.

The postman was telling me a few days back that 19 posties were off with broken limbs......... a man delivering heating oil was telling me one of their drivers broke his leg on the ice whilst making a delivery......... a neighbour has gone down and broken her ankle........Whatever you are doing in this weather, take care, take your time and try to remain in one piece.


pepperMO said...

Thinking of you all during these cold holidays. May the Christmas spirit prevail in spite of the wicked cold.


Tarset Shepherd said...

The Christmas spirit did prevail Pepper, thank you for you thoughts. -13c on Christmas morning but the fresh started, we now have rain and the snow is slowly vanishing - thankfully!

leirda said...

Beautiful photos! Love the icicle.

Tarset Shepherd said...

Thank you leirda, have to say don't think I've ever seen an icicle quite like that one.

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Brrr, the Arctic-like temperatures at Shep's place sound bone-chilling! The resilience against frozen pipes and the quest for warmth, documented with humor, make this an engaging and relatable read. Stay cozy!
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