It doesn’t seem so long ago that I was walking along the hedgerows, picking berries in the autumn sun as the leaves turned a mellow gold. Now there’s no doubt that we’ve turned the corner into winter. The country is gripped by a cold spell, with freezing temperatures and snow in the North and East. We only had a light dusting of snow here, on Friday, but it’s damn cold. To give you an idea, I went out to the DIY shop at 10.ooam today (my life really is that exciting) and the thermometer read -4 degrees even then. I’m doing that quintessential winter chore of going out each day with a kettle and defrosting the chicken’s water, which is freezing almost solid overnight.
The DIY trip sums things up at the moment. I haven’t done much lately, to tell the truth. I had a couple of successive weekends in which I fixed leaking pipes in the loft and mended a dodgy EGR valve on the new executive motor (an all-too common problem on diesel Vectras, apparently). After all this, Scarlett fell sick with an unpleasant (but not dangerous) stomach bug last week, so I was looking after a sick toddler. Then Mrs BWM caught the bug so I was looking after her too for a short period until I caught it myself. A friend of mine refers to his children as ‘little germ warfare factories’. I understand what he means now…
So things have been quiet on the wildlife and outdoors front. I haven’t managed to get out at all, what with things to do and the short winter days. I did get out for a quick walk today – my first in some weeks – but even though I had Scarlett wrapped up in her warmest hat, mittens and furry bear suit it was just too cold to be wandering around for long. The fields are frozen like iron and there’s a bitter wind blowing.
Hopefully I’ll have some slack time soon. In the meantime I think I’ll batten down the hatches against the cold and dream of those far-off summer evenings for a while.