My journal and my life

Posts tagged ‘Winter’

Post #34 Winter Swim

This is where Hayley should have been, but there she was – gone!

Pleasley Woods

Entering woods from a different direction, I’d forgotten that this path led to an open glade, complete with a pond.  Hayley hadn’t forgotten – she’s a labrador water diviner – I’m sure her dad must have been a seal, her mum an otter.  As she suffers with hip dysplasia, I tend to keep her away from water in winter, but by the time I reached her, she’d actually broken through a thin layer of ice & done this:

A pond full of logs

Hayley has a mission, she has to rescue any branch or log drowning in the water & will amuse herself for ages retrieving pieces of wood, even submerging her head completely to reach them as they bob under water.  There was a large log that proved particularly difficult as it’s girth was too big for her jaws & all she ended up doing was spinning it round & round. So frustrating 🙂

Winter pond

After a good roll in the grass, she selects her favourite branch from the newly rescued wood pile & patiently carries it back to the car.  She’s never happy to leave it behind, but if brought home, she’d set to & shred the wood into little pieces with her teeth.

Carrying a favourite stick home

We have a routine once home, I have to sit down with Hayley on my lap for the first half hour of her exhaustion, otherwise, she follows me round & won’t settle.

Post #25 Snow Dogs

Dogs love snow, it sends them whappy!  Whilst it’s difficult for us to trudge through the drifts, the dogs chase snowballs & each other.

Snow Dogs

There’s always hares on the field where we walk, but they usually ‘hare’ off & are quickly camouflaged.  The dogs half-heartedly run after & then give up.  Today I could see many against the snow at the opposite side of the field which was criss-crossed by their distinctive tracks.  The dogs were snuffling in the scrapes where the hares had rested, revealing the ground underneath.

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After an exhilarating walk, I had a good day, dipping in & out of two or three clients’ work all day, plenty to keep me busy working from home. It’s Friday with more snow forecast & as I write this, it’s already more than an inch deep – more fun for the dogs 🙂

Post #18 Daffodowndilly

It’s snowing outside at the moment & photos this weekend are likely to be of the icy landscape, but giving a hint of the better weather to come I have a vase of bright yellow daffodils.  They are so beautiful & I just love them, which is why my daughter Sarah bought me a bunch – she’s so thoughtful 🙂

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Children tend to love tales of their parents’ or grandparents’ lives & she remembers the tale I told her about asking for a bunch of daffodils for my birthday when I was a child.  That’s all I wanted, daffodils.  I don’t know how difficult there were to obtain all those years ago in January, but with a child’s innocence, I wouldn’t have considered that.  Nowadays, due to importation from hotter climes & forced growth under glass, we can buy any kind of flower all year round.

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They are still a luxury to me & I really should buy more as a treat for myself.  However, my husband considers all cut flowers as ‘dead’ because as soon as you cut them, they are dying 😦  So after years of not being bought flowers, nor feeling comfortable taking them home myself, it’s hard to remember to do so now.

There’s a story about Sarah’s request for a birthday present too.  One year when she was little, all she wanted was a pretend birthday cake & a lollipop!  She got them of course.

Post #17 Winter Flowers

I hope you can see the delicate blue flowers on this rosemary plant.  The bright sun was behind me casting my shadow onto the pot.

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When I bought the rosemary along with other herbs to plant up together in a big tub, I didn’t know it was one that trails & I love it.  This mini herb garden is in the sunny corner outside my back door, ideally situated to reach out & pluck a few fragrant stems for cooking.  It’s sheltered, but I didn’t expect flowers in winter & happened to notice them on the coldest day of the year.  I’d just come back from a walk in the ice & snow with the dogs, who were fascinated to know why I was on my knees & getting in the way of my shot.  I don’t know how long they’ll last, but they are a delight to see when I go out.

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Post #14 More Snow

This photo answers my on the previous post. After it snowed yesterday morning then brightened up to become a lovely sunny day, I wondered if the forecast was correct by threatening snow in the evening.  Then I woke up to this:

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A good couple of inches on the cars & side roads, but clear on the main routes.  Unfortunately it was still dark when I set off, but I could see the trees & hedgerows, covered in snow, ghostly white in the gloom.  It wasn’t snowing & I did wish that I was able to walk the dog through the crisp white woods instead of going into work.

By lunchtime it was snowing again, big heavy flakes & none of us could concentrate, wondering whether we’d have to leave early to avoid traffic problems.  But, this is England & two hours later, everything was dripping & melting with the sun bright in a clear blue sky.  There would be nothing left by the time children came home from school.

It’s freezing outside tonight, dangerous for driving & I’ve finally closed the bedroom window.  I don’t like to be cold, but when I’m toasty warm under the duvet, love to breathe fresh air & have the window open a crack.  My husband thinks this is extravagant, with gas prices so high, letting out all the heat that’s been paid for.  So I admit it’s my little luxury, but then I can remember the ice on the inside of my bedroom window as a child in a house with no central heating, the only heat a stone hot water bottle at my feet!

Post #13 First Snow

First snow of the year, just a dusting but local children managed to find enough for a small snowman & luckily it’s a Sunday so they can play before it all melts away.

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The snow was forecast for this evening so I’m not sure whether it’s arrived early or if there’s more to come.  As you can see, it’s now a lovely bright & clear day, but our weather can change very quickly.  The UK doesn’t really cope very well with snow either, so hopefully it won’t fall tonight or it will cause chaos for commuters heading off to work tomorrow morning.

Other countries well used to winters of constantly below zero temperatures & heavy snowfall are well prepared & continue on.  Britain shudders to a halt with slow moving traffic & jams at the slightest fall.  School boilers fail & to their delight, children are sent home.  Many homes find themselves without electricity & quite often water for days on end.  It’s a shock to see how quickly supermarket shelves empty of staple foods when deliveries cannot get through.

In recent years snow storms are infrequent with perhaps only one bad fall each winter, if that & with the dull, damp summers we have these days, it seems that the freezing snowy winters & long hot summers I remember from my childhood are long gone.  Such a shame in my opinion, as I much preferred the sharp contrast of seasons & extremes of weather.  Instead we dress for winter & shed layers of clothing as it turns mild & freeze at summer bar-b-ques when the temperature suddenly plummets.

If you want to instigate a conversation in the UK with anyone, just mention the weather……

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Blog #10 Winter Frost

Look at the frost this morning 🙂

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This is the view from my office window, which as I work from home most of the time, means the view from my spare back bedroom.  That’s why I chose this room to use as my office, even though it’s the largest.  The smaller front bedroom looks over the street, has enough room for a double bed, wardrobe & few chests of drawers which is perfectly cosy for sleeping.  For too long, with growing teenagers in the house & an insomniac husband, we’ve been surrounded by computers, sewing machines, TV & associated paraphernalia – not at all feng-shui.  So when I moved here, it was luxury to have a bedroom purely as a bedroom & as I spend longer working in daylight, it’s fantastic to have an open view.

We’ve had such a wet summer & winter so far, waking up to so many dreary, damp days, this is great! Give me a crisp, bright frosty morning any day.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to go for a long walk as I had far too much work to do, but far better that than too little & no income. It’s been a good day & I’m happy 🙂

Blog #1 New Year’s Day Walk

I’d already decided to share a photo per day and briefly blog about it from 1st January, when an email from Michelle Shaeffer dropped into
my inbox – the power of email marketing!  I can’t remember signing up for newsletters, but obviously must have thought they would be
beneficial and the challenge to blog every day for the 31 days of January at just fits with my resolution.

Midday on New Year’s day in the East Midlands of England 2013 is typically cold and grey, but at least not raining as it’s seemed to have
done none-stop for weeks.  My black labrador Hayley needs walking so we set off in the direction of a path that’s the least wettest
underfoot, merely muddy rather than soggy.  Everything at this time of year appears to be dead in muted tones of brown, beige and grey,
until I came across this bright yellow lichen.  An ideal picture for my first post!

Yellow lichen on winter branches

Now my husband has treated himself to a fancy SLR digital camera, but other than a dog lead, I’m not fond of carrying anything that won’t fit into my coat pocket so my photos are taken with my iphone.  Compared to the early digital cameras, smart phone’s now have a much better resolution – plenty good enough for my requirements.

Another goal for 2013 and beyond is to stop rushing around so much, to slow down a little, notice and appreciate the little things. So, after admiring the lichen, I slowed my pace, opened my eyes and looked for anything else interesting and found lots as the pictures here demonstrate   I must admit that I am fascinated by the texture and colours of bark, and Winter of course, is the best time to admire tree trunks without troublesome leaves getting in the way.

I’m not at all artistic like my friend Lin who’s paintings of trees I love but I do often think of how the bark could
possibly be replicated in fabric and embroidery. One day when I’m retired and have more time as another resolution is to set aside some
time to get out my sewing machine and use it.

Happy New Year everyone and thanks for reading – catch you tomorrow.

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