Monday, 11 January 2010

Oh the joys .......

What a day!

About an inch of snow fell here overnight but it was really windy. MP was going to take the car part way down the hill yesterday but decided against it, we thought it wouldn't be too bad and we'd chance it this morning.

So we set off about 5.45am, gingerly got to the top of the hill (about 250m from the house down a dirt road), crossed the cattle grid and stopped to see how bad the top was. The top of the hill is quite exposed and if the road blocks with drifts it's usually here.

There were a few drifts wall high (about 3ft) at the left of the road, but MP thought it was passable ...... that was until we got stuck about about 20 foot down!! No going anywhere and I couldn't get out of the car due to the snow. MP tried for a few minutes, I rang the out of hours service at the local Council, (have it in my phone for just such occasions) and asked for the snow plough, then having climbed into the drivers side and out of the car, we walked home to get the shovels to try and dig the car out.

Over and hour later, after much digging on my part and MP's, much sweating and even more swearing from MP, he managed to free the car and reverse back up to the cattle grid. After trying to get back to the house forwards he gave up and started reversing up the lane, twice nearly ending up in the ditch at the side, but he finally got the car back to the house safe and sound.

After a quick coffee, MP set off again with shovel to try and clear the top of the hill. I stayed in the house and sent messages to work to tell them I wouldn't be in :o) He rang a while later to say some neighbours were also digging out the hill with him and had offered to pull his car through if needed so he could get to work. So he dashed back, got his car and set off down the hill. He made it to the bottom (no pulling required) only to find a few miles down the road it was jammed with traffic and he had to turn round, come all the way back towards home, past it, and onto the motorway to get to work. In the end he got to work just before 10am having left here to dig at 7.30am. Men!!

So I have had a nice holiday at home. Luckily my boss is pretty cool and the organisation I work for easy going when it comes to the bad weather, think it's because a) it's the NHS and b) everyone is pretty much in the same boat, but should get in tomorrow. Just been to the top of the hill and although it doesn't look obvious, I think the snow plough has been up.

Hill down to the road at 3.45pm today

Having just read back through my blog, I can't believe I haven't mentioned it before now - we are over 2 weeks now without any central heating, hot water or cooking facilities!

We have an LPG tank here, living off the beaten track, and when we checked it before Christmas it was getting low, so we rang the suppliers for a delivery. Unfortunately, the snow arrived before they did and despite one valiant effort between Christmas and New Year, where they got about 20 ft from the tank before the lorry slid and they couldn't get the rest of the way, they haven't been able to deliver. By the look of the weather, it will be some time before they manage to deliver again.

Usually our council are really good at gritting our hill. It's classed as a level 1 road so gets gritted when the main roads have been done, but this year due to the national salt shortage, we aren't getting gritted (as you can see from the photo) so until the shortage is over or the snow melts (whichever comes first) we are unlikely to get any deliveries of anything, including post.

The house has been freezing and me with it. The coal fire in the lounge helps but doesn't warm much so we have had to purchase some more radiator heaters (to go with the little heaters we have) and what a difference they make. So we move them around the house trying to keep rooms aired and warm if possible.

great little heater from Argos

Cooking is somewhat limited but we are learning to be creative :o) MP tried to use the stove burning to fry something (the top gets really hot) - wasn't too sucessful, so most of our meals have to be prepared in the microwave, the slow cooker or a sandwich toaster.

My culinary repertoire

I am not even going to explain what happens to personal hygiene in hard times, lets just say ........ I haven't washed my hair in the sink since I was a child and it was sooo lovely to get to my parents at weekend for a bath!!!

So enough of the drama's. I will keep you updated on the gas situation as I post.

I have found time for a little scrapping this weekend although you do feel the cold when you sit still.

Quick LO of MP - unusual to get a photo where he isn't pulling a face

My entry for Sarah's cards December sketch competition (still needs a little something)

I have signed up for a mixed media/collage backgrounds workshop online, run by the very talented Nancy Lefko. Class should start today and I am eagerly awaiting the first email and video, so watch this space.

Right, enough now. Got to go turn the dumplings over (beef in ale done in the slow cooker) and I am messing about with an art journal (page 1 isn't looking too good so far), so till next time, keep safe and keep warm :o)

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Happy to take any comments and constructive feedback, Thank you for taking the time. Julie