Friday, 30 January 2009

Hot and Cold

Actually, no, it has turned out horrid! Us weather buffs are looking towards next week when the UK might get a dumping of snow. I like snow and rush off to take photos hoping that one will be good enough to turn into this year's christmas card. My brother in Australia meanwhile is suffering one of the hottest heatwaves to hit the Melbourne area. Hot or Cold which to do you like?

Friday, 23 January 2009

Direction Dyslexia

This is what I have - or rather I call it this! I really am very stupid - I never seem to know which direction I am facing. Obviously I know our garden is a north facing one and so on. I am flummoxed if I see a sign on a motorway giving the option The South or The North etc. Husband says he could not exist in the world if he did not know which way he was facing! How about you?

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Sign of The Times (Part 2)

Apparently the two planes destined for scrap at Kemble have caught the imagination of locals. The "Cotswold Life" Magazine popped through our letterbox today and there in the middle pages was an article titled "Jumbo Graveyard for Elephants". Kemble Airfield is on a ridge so these two aircraft can be seen for miles around - they certainly look strange like two gigantic migratory birds blown off course. The article included a history of the airfield which has just survived a planning enquiry instigated by some locals (probably fairly new arrivals) because they did not like the noise! (What a waste of money). The airfield has been around for some 70 years and was used as a "ferry pool" for spares and supplies during the war.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Sign Of The Times?

We pass Kemble Airfield quite frequently, at the end of the runway there is a business that scraps and dismantles planes. Throughout the year the planes come and go at a leisurely pace.
At the moment however there are two planes parked, a jumbo from Air India and a 737 from Air Seychelles. They look like wounded birds and it is a sad sight. Our local newspaper reported that the two pilots from the Air India jumbo had flown the plane for a number of years and were very upset at having to leave their aircraft. Captains of ships never like to say goodbye to their vessels so perhaps it is the same for the pilots of the steel birds of the sky.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Verging Onwards

In a previous post I commented on the state of our verge. Our house butts up right to the wall and despite all enquiries to Parish Council, Water Board and Highways Department nothing has been done, they pass the buck between each other. Husband and I decided we would buy these plastic verge markers - we thought it would be a back-breaking job digging holes etc but it was not too bad. Our neighbour lent us a "spit" and a "spike" to help with the digging and away we went. We have also dug in a recycled luminous marker I found in a ditch - this marks where the water meter is placed as a reminder to the local tractor driver who rather than slow down when a car is coming the other way prefers to drive over our verge. It may be that other residents will complain to the Parish Council - in a way I hope they do as the issue will then be sorted out with the Highways Department perhaps putting in kerb stones.

Just another rant (if you can bear reading it) verge markers have to be made of plastic so that if cars run into them no damage is done to the car. I say b*****cks to the cars and their careless drivers - what about our house? I do not go driving on verges, I slow down if another car approaches me in a narrow lane - nowadays it is all hurry hurry hurry. OK OK I have finished now!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

I Love The Smell Of . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Newly turned plough. Over the cold snap I was able to park my car on a frozen verge (usually too wet to risk) and walk a new route. I passed this field which belongs to the local farmer and a lovely aroma of fresh earth blew my way - wonderful! The farmer was telling me they had been able to get on quite well with the ploughing with the frozen ground until the sun came out. The top layer of frozen ice melted causing the tractor wheels to slip and no purchase on the ground was gained, ploughing resumed early evening when it had started to freeze again. Just in the friendly chatter I have with the farmer I gain an insight to all the rules and regulations they have to follow - it must be awful not to be able to farm how you wish. For example, I did not know that slurry is not to be sprayed on the fields at a certain time of year (I think probably now) - I would guess another EU regulation?

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

A Good Sign

Husband has opened up and cleaned the greenhouse. Our neighbour helped him wire up the electric panel to facilitate the use of his propagator, frost-stat and heater. Here he is sewing geranium and cabbage seeds. This year we should get a better start in the veg garden because of the greenhouse (this was not installed until late April last year). My use of words is often not very good and I almost wrote "Here he is sewing his seed" !!!!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

The Last of the Fog

I pass this little style on one of my daily yomps and always mean to take my camera with me, but keep forgetting. Beyond the style in the summer there are buttercups and cows so I shall take another photo from the same spot later on in the year.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Doormats Come To the Rescue

A very strange day today. At the moment (11am) it is -4C we have frost, dense fog and suddenly snow. I do not think I have ever witnessed fog and falling snow at the same time before. Very slippery (especially for wonky knees) so Husband and I used two doormats each as stepping stones, picking up the mat behind us as we went, to reach the garage. Main roads are OK to drive on but I decided to not go swimming because this meant driving on untreated country lanes.

Our new verge markers arrived today (see a previous post). We shall have to wait until the ground thoroughly thaws before we dig them in. So far the various authorities have been particularly unhelpful in this matter. If the local authrities do not like our verge markers perhaps they will then galvanise themselves to produce their own???

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

I Wish We Had Some Bread

Husband and I are incompatible when it comes to walking. Husband likes a two to three hour tramp most days, but I with wonky knees and a pair of crutches to contend with usually manage 40 minutes. I often go by myself down to the farm or the airfield or just around the village, sometimes our neighbour comes along with me. Today she and I drove to The Cotswold Water Park (a posh name for a large collection of gravel pits) which is five minutes away. I actually do not enjoy these gravel pits or "lakes" as they like to be known, I find man-made areas turned back to nature can be a bit harsh. However as these "lakes" were frozen over we decided to make a visit. We stood and watched these poor birds swimming round in a small circle of unfrozen water - they assumed we had something to eat for them and with wobbly legs they staggered over to us across the ice. Unfortunately their effort was unrewarded because we had forgotten to bring any food with us - we felt guilty.

It started to snow. Has anyone else noticed that the air smells different when it snows?

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Frost Has Turned To Stone

We have had the first snowfall of the year here in North Wiltshire - it did not amount to much which is a shame as I enjoy it. This is a photo taken at our house we sold two years ago. Husband still misses the garden there - he says there was always something to be done all the year round.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Minus 6C This Morning

It is turning into a lovely day here in North Wilts with clear blue skies which will lift the spirits! At our previous house we owned a small paddock which was originally a quarry - meteorologically (long word!) speaking it was a "frost hollow" and the lowest temperature I ever recorded was Minus 12C.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Now You See Them and Then You. . . . . . . . . .

We seem to be blessed with a cowboy type tractor driver who races at full speed through the village carrying slurry. He cannot bother to slow down if a car is coming in the opposite direction and charges up on our verge - so far he has destroyed about a foot depth of grass. Unfortunately we have the water meter and other services placed in the verge - also the wall you can see is part of our house! (Our neighbours have a worse problem).
Our friendly farmer has given us these cones for the time being - and well , you can guess what happened last night. New Year revellers stole them all!! But I am not faint hearted - Husband just accepted the situation - I did not!
I jumped in the car and toured the area and eventually found the cones scattered in a deep ditch.
Our neighbours, affectionately, call us "The Janitors". We were the first people to buy one of these four new houses and our kitchen windows face the others over a driveway. All manner of electricians, plumbers etc etc call on us first asking for directions, we take in parcels etc etc. So my cone recovery was all part of the Janitor's job perhaps?