5 February 2013


I should have known things weren't going to go well today when I opened the curtains to find the white stuff back in abundance. Not too deep and with what looked like a crumble topping from a recent fall of ice balls. I wasn't feeling great in anticipation of a two and a half hour dental appointment to prepare for a bridge/crown combo costing me a significant slice of my paltry savings. Snippet's early morning poo walk showed the snow to be manageable slush, so I decided to take the car while Origami Boy and partner went to school in the Land Rover. Halfway to town, my mobile rang and screeching to a halt, I answered to a very apologetic dental receptionist saying my procedure had been cancelled. About turn, cursing loudly, and home to finish painting the landing where we had mended a hole in the ceiling and stain blocked the water marks from a four year battle with infuriating and inexplicable ingress. All went well until I washed my brush and, without thinking, wiped it on what I thought was my painting trousers, forgetting I was wearing a rather nice long cashmere mix cardigan. Not so nice any more with its white emulsion streaks that had dried by the time I realised what I'd done. A glance out of the window while cursing loudly again raised panic as I noticed it was snowing again and I needed to get the car to the cattle grid onto the moor about half a mile away so as to avoid it being snowed in again. Quick change into non-painty clothes and a sprint to the car with Snippet. Two minutes to the cattle grid and a swift three point turn.....or not, as I found myself stuck in mud blocking the drive of the owners of the bungalow. More cursing as the wheels spun and a strange smell filled my nostrils. Half an hour later, having scoured the surrounding area for dead bracken and twigs to pack under the wheels and after a lot more cursing, I managed to back out and crunch the car into a low lying rock. More cursing. I parked, reversing off the road with more strange smells coming from the engine. Time to walk Snippet back. What could possibly go wrong? Within two minutes, I was crouching behind a gorse bush trying to shelter from an ice-ball blizzard. The word 'hail' doesn't cover it. Still near the road at this point, I was suddenly aware that a car was cruising past with its driver looking at me askance, clearing making a lavatorial assumption given my squatting position. Great. On-wards through sudden sunshine and upwards into gale force winds.  Bracing but manageable until a huge gust caught me off guard causing a stagger into a boggy puddle. Phew; just below the top of the welly but sadly, the back-draught suction effect as I pulled my foot out, caused me to crash forwards into the snowy long grass, scratching my head on a stray gorse branch. Loud cursing. Trudging up and over the hill into even stronger winds, I could see another blizzard coming fast. And there it was, sand-blasting my face with those ice-balls with nowhere to hide this time. My decision to run was misguided as I stumbled over the rough ground. Yes - down I went again, sliding on the ice-balls like ball bearings. At last, having heaved myself up again, I got to the bottom of the hill where the trees shelter me from both wind and horizontal flying ice-balls. How sweet - the few ponies sheltering here are neighing at each other I think to myself. Back home for a cup of tea and a well deserved slice of cake. An afternoon of ironing and trying to make Lasagne with the frozen bolognese sauce I forgot to take out of the freezer early enough, chipping at it violently to little effect. Time to take Trigger his hay before the school bus arrives. Ah - that neighing I couldn't quite trace had been him. The field is a mass of churned up hoof holes and slither marks in icy mud where he has been galloping about in his excitement. I give up. 

Here are some pretty ice puddles from yesterday though....

But these are from today....

These next two show how directional the snow had been in the night, sticking to the side of the trees, not resting gently on the tops of branches:

Here comes another blizzard!

Gorgeous Robin....

....and our delightful Mistle Thrush who is now a regular visitor

What can I say; it's not been the best of days but I've had worse. Hope your day was better! Until next time, here's Snippet with a stick in the snow......


  1. Yes I was trying to think what it looked like - white crumble topping!
    We had a couple of hail storms here today.
    Hope you have a better day tomorrow!

  2. Yep, that was a bad day! Hope it made you feel a little bit better by sharing the pain!
    ps no snow at all here.

  3. For me that would be a wine night. Weekday or not.

  4. Lovely photos, such as I've come to expect from your discerning eye and skillful use of what I imagine to be a very good camera.
    When I have a day such as you endured I have suspected that the first calamity or two throws off my judgment and I get myself into more of a mess. There's also the factor that I perhaps don't admit soon enough that I need some assistence in getting out of the situation--therefore I compound the indignities by being inept.
    I hope you won't feel aching and jarred tomorrow from wrestling with the car and the wild trip home!

  5. How do you cope with all that excitement in one day! Hope tomorrow is quiet by comparison, and you really should visit the loo before leaving home! ( actually that part was just the sort of misunderstanding that would happen to me).

  6. Such splendid but chilly photos!
    you are having a much more severe winter than we are!

  7. I am not sure what is worst your blizzard and winds or my bizarre 10 degrees to warm for 4 days then 10 degrees to cold.
    We should be 65 ish during the day and 40 ish at night with some rain in the valley and snow on the mountains. It will be a very bad summer (fires) for us if we don't get more rain and snow !
    le sigh

    cheers, parsnip

  8. Kath - Better already.....the snow has melted!

    Chinecats - Sharing the pain is always a good idea I think. Count yourselves lucky in the snow department!

    Rusty D - I have a problem with grapes so I resorted to chocolate instead....

    MM - Shoulders are a bit achy this morning but otherwise unscathed - thank you!

    Ann - I'm just glad it was a tourist in the car and not someone local who knew me.

    Elizabeth - Perhaps you might get some snow this month but I hope not. I remember snow in London being horrible; slushy and black within a few hours and totally disruptive with no infrastructure set up to cope with it.

    Parsnip - That is very strange weather and I suddenly feel rather thankful for what I've got!

  9. Oh dear!! I know I shouldn't laugh but by the second time you went down I was in stitches (thank goodness you're not literally in them!) I have a pretty vivid imagination and could picture every bit of it, the gorse bush incident was hilarious, whoops, I mean very embarrassing ;-) Seriously, I'm glad you got back relatively unscathed and hope your days will be much more serene in future.

    Love the ice puddle photos and the beautiful photos of the birds, you managed to get so close!!


  10. Poor you! There is totally nothing more to be said, everyone said it ;)

  11. ShySB - The robin was just outside the kitchen window and the Thrush about ten feet away, again, through the window. I love those little fluffy breast feathers!

    Next time I need to get out of the wind, I might avoid the squat as a position.

    Thelma - Just a bit stiff this morning so no harm done other than to my pride...

  12. What a litany of disasters! I do hope tomorrow is a much kinder day for you. You still managed to post lovely photos, thank you!

  13. Hi Virginia, lovely to hear from you. I hope you're having a good summer over there!

  14. Oh dear! What a mess of a day! I think staying in bed is correct.

  15. jesus, that was a bad day but on the other hand the pictures are lovely. i love photos of a stark winter landscape, they make me feel all warm inside. xx

  16. Gail - It could only go up from there really!

    Bev - I'm glad to have warmed you up! It's just icy today which is far preferable.

  17. Is that snow flakes or a giant in his eyes in the last photo?

  18. I haven't seen his eyes for years John.

  19. Yes, thank you, Em; my owl painting is now (pretty much) finished. I hope to make the image into a greeting card ... and then I will post it. So watch this space (though it may take me some time!).

  20. It does take forever doesn't it?

  21. Mistle Thrush and the Robin are beautiful! Your landscape photos are gorgeous too and celebrate all the seasons so wonderfully to great art! Thanks Em.

  22. Thanks Mark, I take that as a great compliment from you!

  23. Em, back from doing the ponies, post (first) glass of wine and pre cooking supper for everyone I've finally had a chance to look properly at your blog! It's brilliant, you write so well and the photos are glorious. What a beautiful (if hazardous in snow) place you live in. I confess to giggling my way through this post! I'm so glad I found dartmoor ramblings and am looking forward to reading more. CT x

  24. It is beautiful. It makes going on holiday difficult as I always prefer home! I do hope you find the right homes for your two ponies. I'm really wondering if anyone will take Trigger on; he's not easy. Looking forward to your next post. x


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