It started snowing here on the 16th of December, There was a thin film of the old style proper snow - the big flakes, or 'bin lids' as my mam calls them. As I returned from Bristol on the 21st an inch had brought the city to a stand still and cast the airport in to chaotic delay. As I look out the window today most of the snow has gone though there is a random patchwork on the hills. To my mind that makes a month of snow on the ground. The mercury is slightly above freezing.
We had a white xmas and a white New Year. Extreme weather events meant that i was snowed in alone at New Year and I remained snowed in for over a week. A lot of time and energy were bound up in the routine of coal and wood and keeping warm, keeping the chickens happy (or as happy as they could be given the minus 10 nights and minus 3 days). The Morso squirrel was a legend that never went out for 10 days. The occasional frozen spring meant no water and that means no central heating. It was all quite surreal, groundhog day gives an idea but doesn't explain the reality.
There was extreme beauty with the extreme weather. 2 metre icicles from the gutter. Fantastic ice crystals that you only get when the temperature is arctic cold. Immense hoar frosts that betrayed the direction of the winds. And then yes, a whole period of time where no wind blew at all. Perfect stillness. A rarity given the location and where for the past 3 years the vegetable crop has suffered due to the relentless westerly winds. On one still evening i ventured out and produced a light installation
So the snow grew deeper and became compacted. The bin man hasn't been for a month, the post man couldn't get through for over a week. At least the phone line stayed in, i don't know if i could have handled total solitary. And then last sunday the barn behind us collapsed with the weight of the thawing snow.
Here's the icicles