Friday, 17 December 2010

Slowing down

The last week has been quite a hectic one for this little homebody.

Last weekend I was in Liverpool visiting friends, then on Monday I finally forced myself to go to Shrewsbury to do my Christmas shopping. Wednesday saw me driving up to Manchester for a production of The Messiah at Bridgewater Hall. Unfortunately what was supposed to be a quick trip up there, followed by a leisurely supper and an evening of sublime music ended up being rather frantic. An accident on the M6 turned the normal hour and a half journey into one lasting four hours. When I finally arrived, Jane thrust an insulated coffee mug into one hand and a bowl of lasagna into the other and said I would have to eat them in the car on the way to the concert hall! We made it with literally two minutes to spare.
The music was worth it though, and the whole experience made me very grateful that we made it out of the city and away from the daily commute when we did.

Yesterday, however, everything came to a grinding halt.
I was supposed to be going down to Essex for Vera's funeral, to see R's family and to deliver Christmas presents, but the weather had different ideas. The snow forecast for Saturday arrived two days early and I found myself stuck on my hilltop again.

As a result I spent much of the day wandering around aimlessly, trying to focus on some housework - so that I could actually achieve something with the time. I have no idea why this always happens, but the sudden relaxation after frenetically running around trying to get things sorted always results in a more or less wasted day.
Possibly it is a small amount of guilt at not making the journey, even though I know it would have been rather foolish to go. R's Dad was relieved that I didn't as he would have worried about me the whole time, but it still felt wrong not to be there to say goodbye.

In the end I simply gave up and went out with Moose for a good long walk. The snow was fresh and still shallow enough to walk on comfortably. I love the leaden light created by weak winter sunshine fighting its way through snow-laden clouds. The complete lack of traffic allows the other sounds of the countryside to ring out clearly - hungry sheep in the fields waiting impatiently for the farmer to bring a new bale of haylage, startled black rooks rising as one from the white-shrouded depths of an oak tree, snow falling suddenly from an overhanging branch.

I am glad we went out yesterday as another foot of snow arrived overnight.
Feeding the animals was interesting as their bowls and waterers had completely disappeared. Everything - including me - was more than ready for their breakfast by the time I got round to them.

The snowplough has just been along the main road, so I now have the choice between digging out the Land Rover for a trip to the shops to pick up a few things, or staying inside in the warm and putting on the oven to do some baking.
At the moment the thought of the baking is winning!


  1. i simply love where you live. peace. symmetry. thank you for allowing me on this journey with you.

  2. J I have never experienced anything like your weather in my life, so I look at the pictures but can't quite imagine it. It is interesting what you say about the quiet -- it makes sense now that I think about it. All the photos are beautiful but the first two are elevated to art.

    Stay warm and dry my friend.

  3. It does look beautiful, but it is debilitating, and it can make us feel very marooned as we live on our own.

    I'm sorry you didn't get to Essex, but yikes ... in the snow? You made the right decision without doubt.

    Went a bit misty-eyed when you wrote about going to see The Messiah - my Dad put on that production in Bahrain many many Christmases ago. It is amazing isn't it?

    Wishing you a peaceful xmas with your family J xxx and Moose of course ;-)