Saturday, 4 December 2010

winter is a coming

One of the things we were quite excited about when we moved here was the chance to get some proper snow. We had visions of pristine snow fields and woods that were untrammeled, snow men that didnt get knocked down immediately and maybe even "getting snowed in".  Ah it would be winter wonderland indeed !

 And of course it snowed, and then snowed some more and ... well if you live in Britain you know the rest !


Which presented the first problem - how to get up the hill (in the photo foreground). Luckily I was smart enough to drive the car and van up  the night before. But not smart enough to park at the end of the drive (300+ m long) . So guess who didnt drive the car to work...

I eventually managed to dig the van out to drive along track (by letting most of the air out of rear tyres) before the heaviest dump of snow. The car is still there (although its more like a snowdrift now !). The van made one trip for supplies to Tescos before it froze up as well ! So we acheived the "getting snowed in" bit (vehicle-wise at least)

The snow man that didnt get knocked down  was next on the list. Would you try kicking this one in ? She's still there after a week .

Next thing we wanted was the perfect snow fields. Well they were certainly very lovely until I got out on the bike for a blast about. It even inspired April to have a go for the first time in five years.

However this is where owning property starts to be a liability. The snow looked lovely on the fields, trees and barns but as it got deeper and deeper it also got heavier and  heavier. I got a bit worried about this after some branches snapped of the massive cedar tree - it was already damaged from previous winters as well but you can just see the fresh scars in this shot .

The sheds were looking very creaky - some of the beams looking a bit  banana-like ! I had a raging fire going to protect the tractor area in the vain hope it might melt some of the snow off - there was about 40cm by this point. At least I knew I'd tried to do something if it did collapse. The tractor still has its front axle off (at the engineers in Edinburgh) so I couldnt move it or use it for snow clearing.

And then the shed next to it DID collapse - during the night - the one Sam and I had been mixing mortar in a few weeks ago !

Luckily the cement mixer was against the wall and didnt get squashed

The shed was going to be demolished soon anyway so this helped , however I hadnt planned on demolishing that cedar tree BUT... demolished itself ! Thats about a quarter of the top left side gone. The right side was looking ready to go as well - it was practically a flat snow field on top of it

Not a lot of work got done other than hours and hours of snow shovelling - which I quite enjoy luckily since its a good workout ! I have managed to unscrew and knockdown some of the vertical panels in the big barn which is now huge since the silos have all gone.

and also started on removing the fixed asbestos cement panels on the outside .

The reason for this is to accomodate a 35 foot caravan I just bought on eBay on behalf of my Dad who is coming up to help soon. The caravan is going to live in the opened up shed for the winter. Although I suspect if we get that much snow again Dad will be in the spare room.  That should be a little safer but maybe not much warmer...

It has been an excellent week and perhaps the best bit of all was being able to crunch through the pristine snow in the woods at 11pm one night when it was otherwise absolutely quiet ( all the local roads were closed)  and almost as bright as day. Very calming after all the excitement !

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