Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Even crosser!

I wish I could have shared with you the spectacular sight today of two cock pheasants fighting in the snow! They met on the garden wall, and immediately took offence at each other, fluttering down to the ground where they leapt and struck out. This went on for several minutes while I alternately watched in delight as the sun shone on pristine snow and the rich russet of their feathers as they jumped and curvetted, and cursed while I tried unsuccessfully to make the phone camera work. Wretched thing, it refused to load, and the pheasants disappeared into the hedgerow.

Now that I really want to photograph the pheasants before the snow disappears, the sun probably won't shine tomorrow. But for now, at any rate, I like this picture.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Cold and cross

Well, not quite as bad as that really, but the kitchen blackboard on which we note things for the next shopping trip looks as though someone just threw letters at it, so many things are needed. When we buy next year's calendar I'm going to make a note on the October pages that we must stock up on chicken corn, dogfood and prescription needs...that's snow shovels, down the bottom because Younger Son and I could have done with one as we lurched along the track last Friday (with me pushing the car). Lemsip is there, too, because I got home from London that night with a cold which I'm still recovering from, and which is responsible for the lack of blogging here in the last few days. I've been saving my energies for the daily trip outside to clear the gutter where the broadband connection comes into the house, to feed the wild birds and to take the hens their bowl of warm porridge. Instead of demerara sugar on top (which is how I like it), they have a generous sprinkle of dried mealworms.

There's no immediate prospect of getting out. We're not completely cut off, as the neighbours have just managed to get their 4-wheel-drive out this week, but our cars won't manage the mile up to the road until the snow clears a bit, and more is still coming down every day. This is the view from our French windows - that black thing on the left-hand-side is the gutter, which came down last winter as well. There should be some hills in the distance, but I haven't seen the Cheviot for a week. We won't be desperate for supplies until the milk goes off or the bread flour runs out, but today I came in from the outdoor jobs and made a honey and ginger cake for comfort eating (and to use up the older eggs). As you can see from the rather blurry picture, it wasn't long out of the oven before YS and I succumbed to the lure of hot cake. While I was making it I spotted half a jar of marmalade in the fridge - I know what I'll make next! If the milk goes before we can get out to replace it, having cake should help to offset the horror of drinking my tea black (though there will be much gnashing of teeth if this becomes necessary, since I am a tea addict, incapable of working without a regular supply).

Oh, our post has just found its way here by tractor! YS is happy as he was expecting something - we rely very heavily on shopping by post here - me, less so, as the parcel posted from Devon last Tuesday still hasn't arrived. Ho hum. I'll keep hoping for a thaw, but meantime a huge load of snow has just slid off the roof outside my window!