Monday, 6 December 2010

Friday......... it tried to snow! An improvement!! (3/12/10)

Friday morning was not a good one. My ears felt like they were dropping off with the cold and I was still in bed! A fingernail through the ice on the inside of the bedroom window spoke volumes. Brrr.....

The morning got worse, cold tap in the bathroom didn't seem to want any water to come out of it, same with the kitchen tap - frozen pipes. Great!!

The back door did not want to open, it was frozen shut. By now my sleepy haze was rapidly turning into a blue haze.........

I'm sure it must have been a pretty morning, I just couldn't see it through the haze which was piling upon me. My fingers fleetingly stuck to the metal bolt on Mosses kennel door, I really should know better, especially as seconds later the same thing happened on the metal catch of the garden wicket (gate).

The padlocks were frozen solid when I reached the shed the bike is housed in, a flask of hot water was required. On returning to the back door I checked the outside thermometor, -16, guess that might explain things.

I was cursing the freezing fog which was just beginning to lift, the hoar frost was unbelievale, inch long shards of ice adhering to everything in sight. As already said I'm sure if I'd just stood still and taken five I may have revelled in the magic and beauty of it all, however, I didn't, I just muttered and felt the discomfort of the frozen moisture in my nostrils.

By the time all the defrosting had been dealt with (the other half was left in charge of the water in the house) I felt I was running late and skipped feeding the sheep down the valley. Wrapped a scarf I didn't know I had round my face and sped off to head away out bye.

I didn't actually speed at all, it was too cold and I really didn't want to make it feel any colder by travelling at a rate of knots on the quad, also, for all they are four wheel drive they will still skid, slip and career out of control, it was far too cold to slide off the road and end up in a heap somewhere.

So where are the pretty photos? Couldn't be bothered with the camera, chances are the batteries wouldn't have worked in the cold anyhow, but I had plenty on my hands without trundling off with the camera too.

Half way to my destination I stopped, hopped off the bike and did some warm up excercises, jumping up and down, flapping my arms around, running on the spot, then running up the road, back down past the bike and back to the bike again. My feet and hands were so cold and I think all I really managed to do was end up out of breath but still cold. It was as I was driving away I noticed a neighbour across his field haying sheep. There'll probably be some crack (conversation) down the pub that I'd lost my marbles and was spotted careering around like a lunatic. Probably won't be the first time such things have been said about me and won't be the last either!!

I was thankful of the cuppa when I arrived at my destination. My feet and hands still felt like lumps of ice, my scarf was iced up too. I was told upon my arrival that I wouldn't win a prize in a glamour competition - what a surprise!

The day didn't pan out as we would have wished, an injured tup needed rescuing and something else put out to replace him. The sort of problem you can get in a normal tup time, catch the tup, stick him in the bike trailer and come back with another one. Sounds simple but not when the snow lies all around and too deep for a bike. It took 'til lunch time to resolve the problem.

The tractor and plough had to be used to plough a route across country for the bike and trailer to travel on, then........ the sheep had to be tracked out to reach the spot the bike was at, then..... the tup had to be caught and manhandled to the bike and the others released. Then........ the bike and trailer were stuck and had to be towed through the already ploughed snow to get onto the road. Such fun!!

There is no doubt about it that the simplest of tasks take so much more doing when you can't travel anywhere, when you have to drag your feet and legs through deep snow, when things freeze. The days are short enough as it is without everything taking many times longer to do.

The good news of the day was that it flightered on with snow, nothing else, just enough to give a dusting of the white stuff - wonderful! Worth all the other hardships just to have a quieter day weather wise.

Shep returned down the valley sooner than other days, in daylight this time, with the intention of feeding the sheep down the valley. Calling in at home first to warm up only to find a message on the 'phone from the elderly sheep keeper, sounding quite irrate and informing me that I hadn't been to hay her sheep and the snow was too deep for her to do it......... The other half must have noticed the steam which was starting to escape out of my ears as I donned my hat and he beat me to it onto the quad and away to hay the sheep. Probably the safest solution at the time!

The other good news of the day? Our water came away just prior to my return, 4pm I am told was the magical hour when water started to run through the taps. A huge relief as the only heating we have in the house is an open fire with the back boiler, which would not have been wise to light if the water was still frozen.

We do however have a very small open fire in the bedroom and could have sat over that roasting chestnuts I guess. Fortunately it didn't come to that - just as well coz we don't have any chestnuts!

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