Yes I know nothing for weeks then two posts in one day!
Statto came to stay last night, he will be back again tonight but not until late. Anyway I offered to give him a lift to the station this afternoon he was going on a first date. Owl has been poorly all week but was looking and sounding better today. I suggested that he came along for the ride just to get out of the house. Although it has been sunny today it was still cold. I decided that I didn’t need to wear a coat as I would be in the car (the one that has no heating) and we would only be about 10 minutes.
After we had dropped statto off Owl was saying how good it was to be out of the house. I decided that it would be nice to go for a short drive in the sunshine. Taking a detour out toward the village pub that we enjoy visiting once or twice a week. Not that we have been there for about 2 weeks.
Just prior to where we turn off for the pub we took a right turn following a road we hadn’t been along before. We didn’t use a map (although the SAT NAV was in the glove compartment) we didn’t even discuss using it. I just drove. It was lovely being out in the countryside in the sun. I followed lanes that twisted this way and that, up steep slope and down even steeper ones. Along lanes where rain water was running off the fields. Bumped over pot holes, squeezed up against hedges to allow other large 4 x 4’s to pass on single track lanes. Daffodils were growing in patches, as were crocuses, I also saw some snow drops along one bank.
It really was a lovely drive. Countryside bathed in February sunshine, just perfect for taking photos. Where was my camera…oh yes at home. I say my camera but really I mean my iphone which I love taking photos with. When we had left the house I had taken nothing but my car keys. Owl had his iphone with him but when I pulled up at the side of the road to take a particular picture of the sun glowing on a line of trees, it wouldn’t work it was stuck on an update.
By this time my hands were becoming very cold, the temperature had dropped from the 7c it had been when we left home to just 4c. If I had worn my coat I would have been able to put on my gloves. Had I brought my purse we could have stopped at one of the quaint village pubs to have a warming beverage. But no I had gone out with nothing but my keys. It was right after we had stopped to take photos that the road we were on turned sharply north between woods. Plunging into the shadows away from the bright sun it turned even colder.
By the time we found ourselves back on the road to home I had been driving for nearly an hour and the sun was fast sinking below the hills to the west. Such a beautiful sunset too with pale pink and gold running across the sky. All we can do now is hope that we have the opportunity to repeat our drive (next time armed with coat, gloves and camera) in the not too distant future.
Sitting here on a sunny Saturday morning basking in the blue sky it is hard to believe that we have had such different weather in the last few weeks.
This is only the 2nd of February and already this is looking like it is going to be a year of extreme weather. In this part of England we don’t often exprience so much weather, we have our own ‘micro climate’ sheltered as we are by the hills behind us and the island before us. Yet we had more snow a few weeks ago than we usually have in a decade. Back in January 2010 they told us we would have heavy snow which would start during the evening rush hour. Of course nobody believed what we were told. During the afternoon we looked through the office windows to see rain. It might be snowing elsewhere but not here.
5pm on the dot I left the office as I was going to visit my mother in the local hospital. As I started the engine so the first few snow flakes crossed my vision. By the time I reached the other side of the town the snow was getting heavier and had already begun to lay thickly on the roads and it had only been 5 minutes or so. I decided not to visit the hospital but go straight home, a journey that usually takes about half an hour, this time took me 7 long cold hours. This snow stayed around for about two or three days .
Then in December of the same year we woke to find several inches of snow everywhere.Again this lasted for two or three days before everything was back to normal. We don’t cope well with snow in these parts as we don’t see it often enough for there to be contingency plans.
Since December 2010 we have seen the odd snow flurries and maybe a light dusting of snow or three but nothing heavier. Not that is until January 2013. All week they had been predicting snow. Of course opinions on whether we get it were divided. There were those who went into panic mode and those who poo poo’d the whole idea of us getting snow. Myself I just figured I would wait and see….what else could we do.
I woke at 4.30am, checked outside nothing. 5.30am it was starting to snow. By 6am we had a light dusting on the car but it wasn’t laying on the roads yet. By 7am it was now on the roads and pavements. Although we have a 4 x 4 truck I decided not to risk driving into work and not being able to drive back. I took the bus to work for the first time, it was only a 10 minute ride, but apparently it was one of the last buses to run past our house. Those of us who live closest to the office made it in. But by 9am it was looking quite bad out there so we were ordered to leave. My Manager dropped me off at the main road and I walk from there. It continued to snow for the remainder of the day. I have never known so much snow to fall in one day (I don’t remember the snow in 1963). Our cat had a shock when she went out through her cat flap…she only managed a few steps before turning tail and heading back inside. We had snow on and off for several days…..that was a new experience for us here. On the Sunday afternoon it took us 20 minutes to get our truck off the drive. It was a full week before the rain washed away the snow.
Then the rains began. We had days when it didn’t stop. Nothing unusual in that really after all this is UK. But with the melted snow and the rain together rivers flooded, fields and roads were left looking more like lakes and still there is more to come.
So looking at this bright blue sky on this early February morning is a welcome relief.