Sunday, 30 January 2011

Sign of the Times

I have been given an Award by a follower of this blog.

It asks me to say seven things about myself and to forward it on to seven new bloggers.

There are two things I feel I can share as I'm quite a private person:

The first is: that I am the fifteenth cousin of the writer William Makepeace Thackeray via my paternal grandmother.

The second thing is: I am not really into awards. I write a blog to express my inner thoughts and share some of the things that interest me.

So my thanks to Kim for thinking of me however, please all of you, pass the Awards to those who can accommodate them because I cannot :)

A Lone Sentinel

My time is now taken up with a few odd jobs and the political situation in Ireland has borne down upon me, for I am finding it difficult enough to attend to day to day matters, including the immanent celebration of Imbolc next week.

I have had to give myself a good inward talking to.

To put the show on the road as it were, for last week I felt almost like ignoring this important festival.

Today as I looked out of the window I observed that Mother Nature has taken a hand to raise three tiny snowdrops, in the otherwise winter ravaged grass of the front lawn. The snowdrops stand as lonely sentinels, these the first flowers of the year, an advanced guard to those later larger blooms that will stand tall to adorn lawns and woodland banks. Displaying to us the colour of bright sunlight yellow.

I long once again for warm weather and to feel the heat of the sun on my old back; for I have between this and the last blog gained another year and seven oh is drawing closer… not that inside I feel any different from when I was thirty-five and sometimes twenty-one!

Rather than ask you, my readers, to tell me seven things about yourself, what I'd really like to know is: How old do you feel inside ?

Friday, 14 January 2011

Winter at minus 18c

My friends, thank you for your patience. I feel that at last I have now recovered from experiencing the harshest of winter weather that I have ever known. We were fortunate, in that neither the water pump nor pipes froze; unlike ninety per cent of our neighbours. The only problem we had was that the outdoor calor gas tank froze and Yuletide lunch was cooked on the old range.

I had an unusual experience. Of being frozen to rear end of the pick-up truck which was delivering some turf and logs to us. At first I though that perhaps my down filled jacket was caught on the tailgate, yet when I looked carefully the vehicle was perfectly smooth with no projections. It was then I realised that my body heat, being vented through the coat, was turning to moisture then icing up on the truck!

This friendly fellow has the ability to communicate with us by tapping on the window when the bird feeders are getting low. The odd thing is that he doesn't feed from them, for he is a ground feeder. To conserve the supply of peanuts Mrs H cooked up some cous cous, putting it out in the front and back gardens. It attracted the Blackbirds, Sparrows, Robins and a solitary Thrush who fed regularily all through the cold spell. What was amazing was that one of the outdoor cats sat at the edge of a bush and made no attempt to attack them, likewise they seemed not to be bothered by her presence either.

We didn't get that much snow, only about two or three inches. Much worse was the ice which made disciplined drivers of us all. By keeping the speed to 20mph & in second gear I was able
to get around quite safely.

There is a face in profile in the light of this photo
which captured my attention.

Our water barrel froze solid and fell off it's plinth on the night of the 24th Dec. After ten days of milder weather I was able to up end it and tip out this giant sized ice lolly with it's inner cavern.

Today is a balmy 8 degrees and it feels like summer. We even have small green shoots of bulbs poking through the surface of the soil, a sign that Spring is on it's way and it can't come to soon.