Tuesday 26 February 2013

Winter Blues

Well, thank heavens I have the computer working again.  Scared by the possibility of it just going completely belly-up one day I am taking the precaution of loading my most important photos onto Amazon Cloud.  Two big files took nearly ALL DAY to load yesterday as this computer (10 years old now!) is soooooooo slow.  I have some backed up on disc, and some of the older ones on Photobucket, so I need to sit down for a day and sort out what is where . . .

Mind you, sitting down up here for a day is not really possible at the moment as the house is just so cold away from the woodburner, or the kitchen first thing in the morning when we have the Hergom on for an hour or so.  The temperature in most of the house is about 10 degrees C (50F) and we are low on oil and have no money to top up as we have a big electricity bill due.  I hope we have a long hot summer which starts in March!!!

 We have had plenty of time to gaze upon this view lately . . .

Anyway, since we have been without a phone line, and the distraction of broadband, I have been working on the research for my Edward Thomas talk and K and I have been busy harvesting wood for next winter's fuel.  Last summer was so dire and wet that we left it late to cut and split wood, and because of the rain it went away damp and has burned damp and cool all winter.  Only now are we getting some decent stuff on the fire, and that is from a couple of long-dead trees that the river brought our way.  K also felled 2 doddering old ivy-clad Ash trees at the top of our yard, and there is one more trunk to fell but the lean on it means it will go backwards over Next Door's fence so we need to check out with him if we can flatten his fence and then resurrect it again.  We have been enjoying Mountain Men on Sky (not seen the series before) and inasmuch as we have always been fairly self-reliant here, we can understand the way of life these men have chosen.  Definite shades of Mountain Men when we got the rope across the river from pole to pole for BT! The river bought us a wonderful seasoned oak trunk.  It was the very devil to chainsaw and kept blunting the blade, but we got it in three pieces.  The smallest we managed to get back to the car (a 50 yard carry).  The biggest is still there.  The middle piece we FINALLY, after much levering and struggling as the two ends kept falling in to the middle and trapping the piece we needed to remove, got the middle section moved.  K and I began to try and get wedges in to split it as he wanted some planking to make an oak coffer for our bedroom.  Anyway, at the end of 2 mornings' work with this, we gave ourselves the afternoon off.  Next day, some barsteward came and took it.  We were NOT AMUSED.  It was a two man carry and I was just not up to carrying it. It must have weighed well over a hundredweight and had to be got up a bank first . . .

I had a stroll up the lane yesterday whilst K cut wood, and saw the first wee Tenby daffodils out on a sunny bank.  Not as many as in the top picture, but things are going the right way.  We just need a bit of spring sunshine ahead of its time to come and cheer us up.

The cats are keeping warm (they're no fools) and are to be found near the fire and on our bed, depending on their dispositions.  Here are Miffy and her son Alfie (aka Wild Thing as he is a bit nervous and gets silly!) on the cart shed door.

I have found that all my photos from past postings now seem to have been saved to Picasa, which is handy . . .  At least I can be generous with the photos again.

Today our daughter T goes on holiday to Marrakesh with her best friend from work.  I am envious.  I hope she enjoys it and forgets all about work, as her job is hanging by the balance there and she faces the real threat of redundency as they are doing it on a best interview criteria and she has always struggled with interviews.  She has missed out on two posts she interviewed for - being offered a 12 hour contract yesterday - who can live on the wages of 12 hours' work - especially as it is spread over a week so she would have to be in two hours here and two hours there and not be able to look for a 2nd job?  She was on 30 hours before and this was topped up with Working Tax Credit to a living wage.  Say a prayer for her that she gets her Visitor Assistant position back and at decent hours . . .

Well, this is my Volunteering Day, so I had better sort myself out.  Here is the view across the Deer Park . . .


  1. How lovely to see some new photos of your beautiful corner of Wales. Those little Tenby daffodils must be such a cheering sight.
    The two cats look very well and contented.

    I shall be thinking of T when her interviews come along. She really deserves a break and a job she can rely on. Hope she enjoys her holiday too.

    Have a good day at the Big House.x

  2. I can identify with some of your anger re, computers as our Internet has been on and off (mostly off) for days and BT can't come out for NINE days. I know it's nothing like as bad as what you have suffered though. Ditto the cold, it is a struggle to keep warm and we have a big leccy bill too. Roll on Spring.
    Your cat photo and the daffs one are lovely and I wish your daughter luck in job hunting.

  3. What pretty cats! I am fascinated by the patterns on their tails.
    As you know, I love cats. Be it the 'common tabby' a black and white, ginger or a tortie--each one is so uniquely marked.
    Glad to hear that the Edward Thomas project is coming together.
    A pestilence on whoever lugged off your log--may they drop it on their toes and be disabled!