Watching the weather

The weather is a continual source of interest, beauty and sometimes challenge so one obviously wants to know a lot about it.



tells me it is chilly enough to need the stove and that there is a southerly breeze.

Where as this:


tells me this:





This morning the white foreground merges seamlessly into the white background.  It is as if the safety curtain has descended as a break between dramatic landscape enactments,  The air is motionless which accentuates the busy twittering of birdlife marking out territories and checking out mates.

The bare necessities

Moving out of the city one very quickly realises that the basic necessities of life, previously taken for granted, have to be actively sought out and provisioned in advance – running out at a critical time could have life-threatening consequences.

So it was with some anxiety we realised last night, with heavy snow forecast and our escape route becoming more and more icy, that we were down to our last aubergine:



A quick check with local provenders deepened our despair –  the nearest branch of our troubled national retail giant did not list them (or indeed any vegetable beginning with a) on their website.  Our network of like minded contacts reported that as they were not growable here (a problem to be addressed later) they were not part of the local currency.

So up at dawn today to start foraging.  After travails and tribulations we tracked down our quarry:


So tonight all is again well with the necessities of life flowing nicely:


Frost and Sun

We have been having permanent frost and (just about) permanent sun over the last two days – what a wonderful combination.  The low temperatures mean less mud (particularly on the feet of the dog) and the low sun lights up the frost and casts long shadows.


This is the view from our dining table.  The distant mountains provide an ever changing panorama of cloud and light over snow covered slopes.  In the near field the sheep ebb and flow.

We were quite happy being city hens

So we proceeded with our plan this morning.  They thought they were doing us a great favour by opening our door and letting us explore this thing they call “the countryside”  So we stayed in bed.

We then had to suffer the indignity of being forcibly removed from our cosy sleeping quarters and having the door firmly shut behind us.  We were not going to over react.  We stood, with dignity, just outside our bedroom door and agreed to go on a hunger strike.


Then, when they weren’t looking we moved off quickly to hide under the trees where they couldn’t see us.  That should worry them a bit.  And while we are here there seems to be some good scratching to be done.


The real day one


Yesterday the space outside the house was totally filled with two massive lorries and a large white van.  Now all that remains are wheel ruts and a few discarded chips.  Today we have not seen another person.


Molly and Dahlia – our experience so far.

Jan 15 – Rudely snatched from our house, stuffed in a crate and buried in the back of a truck for five hours. Released into a cold bare greenhouse where we had to roost on a potting rack.

Jan 16 – Showed our disdain  by standing in the corner of the greenhouse all morning.  Seemed to work as in the afternoon we were transferred here.

Jan 17 – Not too impressed as they didn’t put any cover on our run and when we woke up the ground was all white.  Staged in indoor sit-down strike in protest.  Have heard them talk about opening the door of this run tomorrow but probably won’t bother going out.


The bottom field seems well drained.

The start of a list

A neighbour ended 2014 with a list of 91 bird species seen on their land.

On our day visit yesterday our land was visited, among others things, by:

  • A goldcrest jithering round in a small conifer directly outside the house
  • A buzzard quartering low over the vegetable patch wondering if the mice had moved out with the previous owners and dreaming of guinea pigs
  • Two hen pheasants strutting through our wood
  • Either one robin with the skill of popping up within a few feet of every location I was active, or a team working together.