Monday 21 January 2013

Winter's Grip

Snowbound again today. Everything is monochrome outdoors and we're marooned.

I'm wearing many cosy layers, eating lots of soup and endlessly clearing the snow from the bird table.
Spring is on the windowsill but beyond the glass, winter has us in her icy grip.

And we're rather enjyoing it.
Arch and his new friend. For Francesx

Friday 18 January 2013

Beautiful Day

The day of my dreams today. Snow on snow, schools closed, everyone sent home from the office and nothing to do but gaze and be spellbound.
Later we ventured out. Out into the swirling flakes and biting wind because who knows when a day like this will come again and boys must sledge and throw snowballs. No snowmen here though (sorry Frances!), too cold, the snow too dry and powdery.
It was magical and I just wanted to drink it all in and relish every icy gust. Not a day of stillness and crispness but much more exciting, a leaden sky, heavy with the promise of more snow.
It's a pain undoubtedly and causes no end of trouble but we were as ready as we could be this time and had a stocked up fridge, fuel and made alternative plans and I have revelled in it. Proper winter, as it should be, how I remember them.
We said hello to the pigs in the wood while they guzzled away their nuts, climbed to the very top of the hill then hurtled down. Oh it was brilliant. Exhilarating. My very best childhood memories revisited in the whoosh of a sledge and our little chaps whooping and spinning around.
It's a long walk back up our hill but very worth it for such a magical time. I love winter xxx

Tuesday 15 January 2013


Winter at last...swirling, great feathers of flakes blanketed all before it yesterday morning.

Our littlest chap went to school on a sledge and snowmen were built on the playing fields.

After the school drop off I tried in vain to get into the city but failed. Gridlock and snow heaving down meant nothing moved.

So I turned tail, headed home and thanks to modern technology cosied into work at the desk in our bedroom and watched my view grow more magnificet by the minute.
And I had some lovely company. The hedgerow was filled with finches and tits, siskins, redpolls and buntings.
And when the east wind blows and brings us snow, it brings a flock of fieldfares our way too. Every now and again they took off and flew in formation around the valley, before heading down onto our decking for apples and fat pellets.
My perfect sort of day in the office!

Sunday 13 January 2013

Frosty Sunday

Do you think these could be snow clouds? All this promising that the Met Office is doing is getting my hopes up rather too high. I've got a suspicion we'll end up in the middle; missing it all.
Across the valley this morning it looks very frosty, bright now but very cold. A day for cosying in I think. My sister and her tiny ones are due over later so we're planning an afternoon of playtime and hot chocolates all round.
Even this pair are staying close to the fire, despite the garden hedge being full of tiny birds they love to chase and I'm glad for that. They're not the brightest felines and the birds have their tactics completely sussed.
I always put the feeders high up in the trees and this morning we've had a dozen long tailed tits, gold finches, blue tits, great tits, reed buntings and the robin all paying visits. The jay that comes for peanuts scares the living daylights out of my felines and the hens do a good job of keeping the furries away from the birds.
I made it out yesterday though on my new bike and surprised myself a bit (thanks for all the lovely, lovely comments on my last post btw!) The towpath was very muddy and it was hard going but I kept at it and headed down the valley for a few miles before turning for home. I thought maybe I'd chalked off about 6 miles but a friend showed me an app that maps your route and turns out it was just short of ten!
I can't quite believe it. Had to take some painkillers during the night because my poor old legs were really protesting, but today I feel great. Just need to pluck up some courage to get up a hill soon.
So I'm feeling pretty cheery and the first daffs of the year are making me smile too. And look what arrived from the greengrocer on Friday night...sunshine in a box! These clementines are delicious and aren't going to last us long.
So, a wintry weekend we have at last. I don't like it when we miss out seasons and as we never got our summer, I'd be disappointed if we don't get a winter either. Contrast is what its all about for me, not some samey, bleurrgh of never ending mildness and damp. So bring on the snow I say and the sunshine in June.
Happy Sunday

Saturday 5 January 2013


I've bought a bike! A proper one with far too many gears, suspension and no basket on the front. You don't even need to pedal backwards to change gear. This is a revelation let me tell you.
We saw it for sale at the Cycle Hire Centre over the hills. It’s a proper machine and I’m a bit petrified  but it was a great deal and means I can actually get up a hill.

I feel like someone has given me the key to a door. I never really feel too comfortable walking very far alone and sometimes I just want to head out and do something…so here’s my chance. Feel quite over excited about it to be honest.
The bigish boy came with me to pick it up this morning and we set off on the trail together, just me and him. We don't get the chance very often and it was really precious.
He's happiest at home really  with his books, drawing and Lego but he's growing in confidence on his bike too and it made my heart soar seeing him riding along and enjoying himself so much.
Together we tootled along in the wind, spotting buzzards and kestrels, saying hello to walkers and just enjoying the fresh air.
I love the winter landscape; bare skeleton trees, the bleakness and that great feeling of pink cheeks and the wind in your face.

Think I'll be sticking to the towpath for the time being but I’m really looking forward to getting out more. Bring on the Tour!