Monday 19 December 2011

Monochrome world

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Aye, that was the sight which dawned on Friday morning, very much monochrome, cold, grey and white.
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There wasn't actually that much snow around, just enough to whiten things and make life difficult.
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Have to say I've been feeling kinda smug, somehow I've managed to miss the colder, snowier, frostier days for heading away out bye. I don't mind working in wintry weather, it's the travelling that is often the drawback, to date I have been fortunate, the odd day of wintry weather Tarset has experienced hasn't been the odd day I have to herd the tups out bye, like I say - lucky!

Until Friday morning that is.
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Now the morning dawned kinda white, not a vast amount of the white stuff it has to be said, just a covering. I had intended to set away at daylight as a necessity to be back down the valley for lunch time could see the morning being a short one, however, the whiteness made me wait a while, hoping it would clear as more traffic hit the roads.

The thought did cross my mind to take our quad, but that was a bit of a wussy idea really, I mean, there was just a whitening, bad job if car and I couldn't manage the gradients we were going to face on our journey.

We trundled off, car and I. Obviously a 'new' car and as such an unknown entity on wintry roads as to date the need to try it out had not arisen. I now know it travels as well as I do on the slippy stuff. In all fairness we trundled along at my well known slow pace and managed to almost reach our destination without too much trouble other than the odd back end slew but momentum was kept up and all was well.

It wasn't until momentum had to come to a halt that all was not well. Just a few hundred yards from our final destination there was a gate required opening. I pulled the car up and walked towards the gate, only to notice from the corner of my eye that said motor was disappearing backwards back down the road. Oh Ho!

The drawback with the road conditions that morning resulted from the weather the previous evening. Rain, frost then snow. The snow wasn't deep enough to prevent tyres cutting through onto the ice so basically the journey had been done on 'white' ice, which resulted in the mishap or not at the gateway.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, if only..... if only I'd had sense to fling the gate open before trotting off to retrieve the motor. Laurel and Hardy really didn't seem to have a look in that morning, a black and white silent movie it indeed was. Did I say silent? That's probably an oversight as knowing me there would probably be some cause for an odd swear word or two to pass my lips.

So there I was, just about to open the gate when I noticed the car was disappearing backwards with no one in the driving seat, I trotted off after it, jumped into the empty seat and went to put the handbrake on. Handbrake was already on. I yarked it harder and stepped out of the motor and watched quizzically as it continued in a backwards direction without the wheels going around and again without anyone behind the steering wheel - my car was possessed!!

Next time this ever happens I will open the gate before running after the motor - promise!

Car wouldn't go forwards so we gracefully slid backwards until the soft grass verge halted our journey. I then got out and opened the gate (that was the easiest bit of the whole manouevre!) Car and I were reunited, it still where I left it this time, only I found it seemed to quite like being where I'd left it, going forward wasn't an option and it seemed going backwards wasn't going to be either, a combination of soft verge and icy, snowy road was trying to snooker me - well I'll be damned!

It felt like the longest part of my journey had been that gateway, I had to laugh at the ludicrousness of the whole situation although there was a slight concern of the drains on either side once some sort of movement occurred. It was a slow process, not a steep gradient at all but 'new' car and I were not seeing eye to eye on this one. Eventually I won. We made it to our destination.
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Animals got fed, this Galloway cow just adding to the monochrome morning
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Moss enjoyed his snow bath so at least someone was happy. I felt that I just had time to do the necessaries before turning around and heading back down the valley only to find road conditions had worsened with good old car giving me one or two almost heart stopping moments. We did both arrive at our final destination in one piece however and we never offered to budge again for the rest of the day, and for that matter the car remained stationary for a number of days to follow.

Friday evening saw I and other half heading to the local Town Hall for the Amateur Dramatics Christmas play 'Excalibur', only too grateful to accept a lift off friends so no need to drive again that day. I hadn't been the only one having fun, the other half found himself leading silage over into the Rede and he too had had 'fun' - so pleased the exciting moments were shared! albeit seperately.

The play was well worth seeing, an excellent production. Far better than the roads which were deteriorating rapidly due to slush and ice, even the main routes were covered in black ice.

The following morning saw me heading away out bye with our quad, wussy or not, I really didn't care, car and I were not going to be made a fool of again! We probably arrived at our destination a lot quicker but also a lot colder!
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Not quite such a monochrome day as we had had the day previous, the hard frost ensured some sunshine once the flightering on of snow ceased.
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At least the clarts weren't too bad, and there were some 'pretty' moments.

The day was a cold one, time was running short and not all tasks were completed, again probably my fault for not heading out there as soon as I ought to, more a desire to wait till the frost gave a little, although I doubt very much that it did give at all. The view as I left had a 'warmth' about it which I couldn't feel but could appreciate with the eye.
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There is no doubt that the ground is white and crisp and even. Crisp being the optimum description with -5 and -4 recorded at my back door these past couple of nights, that is all to change if we believe the weather forecasters, mild weather and rain is heading our way, ground will be bottomless but roads safer to travel - there's no winning!


Dafad said...

Yo Shep!
Blimey what a difference to our area!
Seems like you've been having adventures,but have managed to cope and kept your sense of humour too. But what wonderful photos.You must have a really good camera. Am glad you're O.K and thanks for asking about us. Generally, we pretty much get what the Brecons get but not quite as bad.
Just take care out there all of you.

Tarset Shepherd said...

Hey Dafad! We've gone back to clart and glar now - lovely! But far better driving conditions of that there is no doubt. Camera is a Nikon Coolpix little compact thing, a treat after lambing time as the big camera kept getting left behind and missed photo opportunities. Have already managed to break the femmer shutter thing on the front tho' so the lens is now all scratched - got to be robust to live in my pocket!
Anyhow, good to hear you're still alive and not run out of loo roll yet.