A few weeks back I got really sick of hearing people tell me that, because of global warming, we’d have a warm winter this year. The start of November was incredibly warm – I was doing our evening walks wearing a t-shirt. However, you could smell the oncoming cold in the air, and then it really hit hard. This morning was minus 15 degrees Centigrade – which makes it really hard to smoke outside on the balcony as it tears your lungs.
We left it really late to move to our winter residence, mid-November, and instead of grafting like the other villagers were doing, we enjoyed the warm late Autumn lazily and hedonistically. And now we’re paying for it. This pile of logs still needs cutting and then chopping and stacking for Winter, and Winter came early and with a vengeance. Do you have any idea what it’s like trying to have a normal life – going to work, school or shopping – at minus 15? Noses freeze at minus 10 (walking to the cinema last night to see Bohemian Rhapsody, and then walking back again, was bracing to say the least).
This means that logs which were still damp inside will now be frozen solid, meaning that when we do get around to cutting them we won’t be able to keep them as round and complete logs because they’ll explode in the fireplace and therefore we must quarter them – when we desperately need them full to burn slowly through the night. Having my eldest away at Uni and my younger boy having proms and going away for a weekend to a cottage by the lake with his classmates means we are woefully unprepared, wood-wise, for winter.
We’ve just had another delivery (we paid extra for the foresters to saw them for us), but these won’t be seasoned for another year so they’re useless for the moment. They’re also covered in a dusting of snow and frozen together and to the ground. Beautiful logs, though.
The river outside the flat is already frozen and kids have begun to venture out onto it in readiness for playing ice hockey.
We’re having to keep on going back to the house to light the fire, use electric radiators and switch the boiler on, plus run all the taps, in order to try and prevent the catastrophe we had earlier this year, during the previous Winter. In a few weeks we’ll be back at the house for a long holiday – we just have to make sure the pipes, taps, toilet and boiler don’t all burst before then. After New Year I’ll empty the water and shut everything down for the long chill, but not yet. At least it gives us chance to walk in the hills while the house has a warm-up.
It was bloody freezing. Somewhere around minus 8 or 9 at midday. There were absolutely no animals out in the open.
At least I managed to get the starter motor changed on the Discovery and get winter tyres put on it this week – there is so much black ice on the roads and summer tyres basically turn into hard plastic below plus 7 degrees. The next main focus will be getting the wood supply sorted but my eldest has his Fresher’s Ball at uni this weekend so he’s staying there and therefore not available to graft in sub zero temperatures. Next weekend we all need to work – that’s if the huge amount of snow forecast for this week doesn’t bury our wood supply.
And here was me looking forward to playing Far Cry 5 on my new gaming chair and lazing in a hot bath reading a new translation of the Corpus Hermeticum…
I’m really getting too old for this shit. Can someone please remind me why I thought this life style would be a good idea?
But there is a positive side to all my whingeing like an old babka – I love Christmas and today we put up the tree, listened to Boney M’s Mary’s Boy Child and dressed my Jack Russel Sandy up like a psychedelic reindeer…
2nd December update:
It’s now a balmy minus 3 at midday and it snowed last night. Not a lot, but it’s getting more Christmasy.