13 March 2013


Goodness it's been cold. A bit better today but, looking out of the window, I see it is snowing again. Trigger's trough has had an inch of ice over it twice a day, to be perforated with a metal stake and then hacked at to make a drinking hole. Yesterday was Origami Boy's ninth birthday and we woke to the pounding of feet down the corridor at 5.55am. Lavatory flushed, I noted there was no noise of the cistern filling and then, no hand-washing water. This is VERY odd as we have tanks in the loft that fill slowly from the bore hole and then have their contents pumped to most of the taps in the house. Even if the pipes from the bore hole freeze, we always have the tanks to back us up. The downstairs lavatory and washing machine run directly from the bore hole so we usually have water one way or another. NOT today. The window in the loft had blown out and icy North Easterly winds had been wafting over the tanks, pipes and pump and had frozen them overnight. The pipes from the bore hole had also frozen so we had about a litre of water in a bottle to do teeth but nothing else. Poor Origami Boy spent his birthday breakfast alone whist partner and I took fan heaters into the loft and ran around fetching water for flushing from the nearby stream. I feel terrible about it. At least he has his party on Saturday, taking four friends to the hell that is Crealy Adventure Park. Still, a middle aged woman's hell is a nine year old boy's heaven so we will fix smiles on our faces and wrap up warm. The water is back now thank goodness and the snow is beginning to recede. It's snowing again quite a lot now which is a bit of a worry though. Anyway, here are some pictures from yesterday. I could only have my hand out of my gloves for a minute to turn on the camera before the cold became too much!

This strange ice structure was hanging off Kestor Rocks. As you can see from the next two pictures, there appears to be nothing inside the beautiful leaf shape but I'm assuming there must have been a blade of grass at least for it to build up around.

Snow bath

I had good news yesterday in that the farmer who rents the fields up here, including Trigger's paddock, has said I can put him in with their three Dartmoors for a month in one of their fields next to the cattle grid as you come onto the moor. It's about half a mile from home and I'll pass it twice a day anyway. It solves a problem for the moment. Here it is. You can see his new companions snoozing in yesterday's brief spell of sunshine. It's a risk putting him in with an established threesome but one I'm prepared to take in the face of bald paddock and lonely pony. All being well, I'll be moving him on Sunday.

The Mistle Thrush is back. Yesterday I caught it eating porridge. I was spotted and off it flew.

Today, I managed to photograph this Buzzard on the wing. Not brilliant but better than I've managed before.

Then, on the way up the drive, I spotted this character staring at us from the huge Beech tree. He's not Snippet's greatest fan and Snippet would have him for breakfast. 

Plans are afoot regarding all our futures. My Mum has expressed an interest in us pooling our resources and buying somewhere that could accommodate us all and be split into two separate dwellings. It means we are unlikely to live out on the moor as Mum is not keen, but she understands that we can't live in the village, so a compromise will have to be found. What it does mean is that we can look at somewhere with enough space for Trigger too which would be great, in case I can't find the right home for him. It will take time I should think, but partner and I are looking at somewhere never know. Anyway, I'm rambling and really need to do some serious housework and party planning.  Where did those nine years go? Until next's Snip enjoying the snow. 


  1. Belated good wishes to OB. Sorry to read about the frozen pipes, what a shame it had to happen on an important day. The dreaded adventure park should make up for it though. Good to read Trigger is going on his hols, I hope it goes well. The house thing sounds interesting, you must keep us informed.

    Great photos again. It did look viciously cold though, I suspect it might have been one of the few times being a sheep seemed appealing!

  2. I was tempted to bury my hands in their fleeces but they're wary of Snippet, needlessly - he's very sheep friendly thanks to much treat training when he was a puppy!

  3. The house situation does sound interesting. Good luck with it.

    Love your ice pics (no pun!). I thought of you yesterday. Dartmoor was visible from afar - a big white lump on the horizon.

    If Snippet wants squirrel for breakfast he is very welcome round here!

  4. We could see Exmoor as a white strip too but it didn't photograph well. Unfortunately, Snip will kill but not eat. I guess that's what they're bred to do. He's only ever got one vole which he dispatched in seconds and dropped - job done. Luckily we are overrun with voles so I didn't feel so bad about it.

  5. Great photos no snow for us this time even a light dusting would have been nice looking forward to more of your lovely photos

  6. Happy happy 9th Birthday ! wishing lots of fun for all at Saturdays party. Darn that freezing North wind. What a "start" to wake up to first thing, never mind any time.

  7. Julie - you are well rid of the snow quite frankly - I've had enough now. Glad you like the photos!

    Cindy - I've passed your wishes on. He's just gone to bed to read and I am settled on the sofa. I'll be glad to get to bed too tonight!

  8. A Belated Happy Birthday to your son. It looks as cold there as it is here.

    Gill in Canada

  9. I do hope all your plans come to fruition - and remember you only need to find one house that fits the bill - so you never know. Glad about Trigger - hope he fits in well.

  10. Gill - Minus 10 degrees on Tuesday morning!

    Weaver - You're right - it takes finding one but selling two might be the issue. We'll just have to see what happens. Big step having a parent so close too!

  11. Great photos as always - gosh it looks cold! Sorry you had to have frozen pipes on OB's birthday but hope he enjoys his treat. Brought back memories of trawling round Alton Towers and Drayton Manor when my 2 were younger!

    Hope all works out well with Trigger on his holidays.

  12. Luckily Crealy is on quite a small scale so there are no major rides. Unfortunately the forecast is rubbish for Saturday!

  13. Yes, hope all your plans work out.
    What an excellent (albeit temporary) solution for trigger.
    As ever a splendid vision of a very different world.

  14. Fabulous pic of the thrush. We get lots of them in the fields but I can never get close enough :-( Hope OB had a good day - I expect the saga of the frozen water will have made it one he always remembers. I shall think of you on Saturday!!! Great news re the paddock (you can breath again now I expect?) and also about house potential. Finger's crossed for everything. CT x

  15. Elizabeth - It's all a bit too soon to be honest....I'm not sure I'm ready to move so close to my Mum! Still - if the right thing comes up, we should probably do it. Houses like that round here are pretty rare.

    CT - am certainly breathing easier, yes. Ask me that again as I watch a showdown between him and three mares on Sunday!

  16. I really hope it all works out for you. Trigger may well learn some equine manners from his three Dartmoor field mates and that might help you in the long run.

    The moor looks SO cold in your beautiful snow photos.

    Many happy returns to Origami Boy!

  17. I hope you're right! They do look very docile and sweet but any behavioural issues he has are bred of fear from the past so I'm hoping he doesn't find them scary.

    It's warmer today but the ice hasn't melted on the puddles yet. Lovely strong sunshine but forecast to rain all day tomorrow. Great.

  18. Hope OB had a better day as the hours went on...
    Great pics of ice & matted sheep. At least it stopped snowing! Rather you than me-I visited Crealy once-NEVER again (Even if L begs!) x

  19. Love all the snow photos and the gorgeous one of the squirrel!

    Frozen pipes are really a bummer. Fortunately we haven't had that problem this winter being as it's been mild.

    Good luck finding a place. I know house hunting can be frustrating.

  20. Jopsy - Crealy hell but they enjoyed it!

    Gail - I'm so glad you've had it mild. Snow is lovely for a bit but, when it started again today, my heart REALLY sank.

  21. Where ever you move I hope Snippet has a place to run. I think he will miss the moors.
    Good luck finding a new home.
    How is the rent a goat working out ?

    cheers, parsnip

  22. We won't ever move too far from the moors. The one we want to look at next week has a bridle path next to it that leads straight up to the moor. It may not happen for years if we don't find the right place.


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