Monday, February 1, 2010


I'd rather hoped we'd seen the last of the snow. But Friday night it returned with a vengeance. So Saturday dawned dull, grey and freezing; a white blanket covering the landscape, with distant hills obscured by mist. Noticed a couple of birds on the kitchen window sill looking for crumbs. Broke up some stale bread and fed 'em. Then fed 'em some more. Stoked up the stoves. Got dressed and gave the dogs a walk, ploughing through six inches of snow, my Gore-Tex lined Lowa commando boots (second-hand off eBay) earning their keep. It's really quiet round here at the best of times but when it's snowy and misty it's deathly silent. Suddenly heard the crack of a rifle from across the valley. And distant barking. The hunters are out. Best not venture far. Had a quick circuit of the back field beyond the old granite cross then returned home (click pics to enlarge).

Phone rang. Georgie. Said it was nice and sunny back in London and she was just off to do her week-end stint of mother caring. She and twin sis Don take it in turns, juggling work commitments with acts of Florence Nightingale, sometimes aided by their older sis. So they get no rest and they get told off at work for being late and taking time off. Suggested getting a carer in. Apparently they have one already, two days a week. Told her to stick mum in a home. She refuses to go. And it costs seven hundred and fifty quid a week. Whaaaat??!! Well, what about a council care home? That's about four hundred a week, but mum's not eligible. Suggested getting the part-time carer in for more days a week. Said she'd have a word. Then had my usual blast about the imminent and massive problem of what happens when we ten million boomers need caring for. Nothing's been done in the way of preparation by Tony Bliar and Gordon Brownarse and their New Labour band of incompetent dickheads. Nothing. Still, when that time arrives, and it'll arrive soon, that bunch of tossers know they'll be history so they couldn't give a damn. Bastards. Mark my words, there's gonna be trouble. Big trouble.

Fed the birds again. Ran out of stale bread. Realised I'd run out of grub too. Jumped in the car to get stocked up with supplies before we really get snowed in. Road was just about passable with two tyre tracks down the centre. Occasional tyre tracks deviated towards the side, marking spots where cars had met head-on. Visited supermarche, boulangerie, tabac and essence garage. Bought enough to see me through to next Friday when I hope to fly to Edinburgh for the Scotland-France wugger, weather permitting. Returned home. Still snowing so bit tricky getting back up the hill. Good job I'd fitted those new snow tyres a few days back. Got more wood in, battened down the hatches and switched the telly on to listen to the radio coverage (weird, huh?) of the afternoon's footy. Nothing. Just an on-screen announcement: 'no satellite reception'. Dragged ladder out of shed, climbed up with broom, risked almost certain death by leaning out at a crazy angle and brushed snow off satellite dish receptor thingy. Went back indoors. Success. Listened to footy. Then dogwalk, cooking and bed. Had nightmare about being snowed-in for months.

Sunday dawned sunny with a clear blue sky. Bliss.

Flung open boudoir fenetre and hung out Jock's smelly bedding. Then slung my smelly bedding (also used by Sprocket) in the washing machine and fitted clean sheets. Takes hours for a bohemian comme moi to figure out how to get a duvet into a cover. Tried to enlist the help of the dogs (I thought they could crawl inside) but they just stared at me with a look that said "walkies". Went for a walk, came back, hung newly washed duvet cover and sheet on bannister rail to dry (washing line out of action due to removal of old lamp post), tidied kitchen, cleared table, dug out coloured marker pens and ruler and drawing paper from the depths of the indoor shed and got stuck into this new illustration brief that has to be done before the Scotland trip. Immediately had a couple of queries to the brief. Couldn't contact 'cos it's Sunday. Shall do so ce matin, soon as I've scribed this rubbish. Worked all afternoon. Then dogwalk. Planned on a soiree of working, cooking and telly-watching. No chance. Phone rang. Isabelle. Come round immediately for an aperitif, supper and a chat with Christian about the Scotland trip. Did so. Wobbled back at about tennish. Missed Top Gear. Walked the dogs up the granite cross. Bright as daylight. Full moon and snow. Plus these ridiculously bright new street lamps. Watched Match of the Day and went to bed in fresh bedding. Sprock kipped on the settee.

And, surprise, surprise, today's dawned sunny too. Maybe we'll make that Friday flight after all.


  1. Hope the weather is ok for your flight to the match. I'm so jealous! I've been on a Six Nations countdown for awhile now. Enjoy!

  2. Thanks Sara. I shall enjoy it if Scotland win. If France win, Christian will be unbearable.

  3. Oh I so enjoy the way you write, and hope you have a fun time in Scotland. Last photo was awesome, by the way.

  4. Thanks Vera. Chuffed you like my ridiculous attempts at scribing. My old English teacher would have a fit if he read this stuff. I rather like the last photo too. Interesting pinky bits. Actually managed to get up ce matin at 5.30am so Scotland trip might actually happen. Dogs seem a bit confused by early rise. Shall drop 'em off at prison, er kennels, on way to Limoges airport. Edinburgh (or Edin Bourg as neighbours call it), here we come!

  5. thanks for sharing the excellent photography