Sunday, January 29, 2017

COLDER world

And there you have it, even the man who sells wood burning stoves thinks it has been a bit colder. Although he is trying to sell us a stove, so you would expect him to say so really. The high of having his expertise available to fit the 'chosen one' in our kitchen before winter melts down, to the consequent phone call and free-fall after the announcement of a four week delay.
Winter is done by then. 
Waiting is nothing new to us though. I began counting down the colder days back in November, before winter was winter. It is actually quite a depressing trait to do when you start repeating the day's date or the day of the week. Suddenly a week until it is February becomes 6 days, which sounds longer! Or you group a few days together until it is Friday when our neighbour Jano is wandering past the window to catch the bus for his weekly shop. Then switching languages and repeating days into Slovak, even the sound of the words creates a psychologically longer week. Thankfully there is no leap year this time.
The abundance of fruit and pumpkins in the cellar remains, despite being slowly digested or processed. Progress is snail pace until the farcical Spring arrives. 

Friday, January 20, 2017


Frozen for weeks but accumulating in an anxious week of severity and extremely low temperature. All is snowy white and calmer now but for a time we couldn't escape the cold. Outside water froze within minutes, hen shit likewise. 
Waking in the morning to see little Harik shivering was painful to see. But he never wants to be inside, that's how he was brought up by his previous owner. 
Inside has not been much better. Our stoves chucking out heat but not to us it seems. Four jumpers on felt like none. Brisk walks outside, lips and noses felt like Vicks vapour rub had been luxuriously smudged on. 
The local town hangs onto the festive spirit as christmas continues in shop windows. But faces are droopy. The coolness in the air leaves a bitterness, though a shrug of shoulders to carry on regardless. What's new is only exaggerated gossip.     
A million miles away from the Dad's Army politics in the bigger world. But the eyes are still watching, as time passes each slow wintry week sinks away. Snowed down with only opinion and no action. Bring us something to warm to please.   

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Hen do

Our pampered hens could not face their fear of snow. The insults and swearing as I open the hen door that first morning after. Two hours later and not a single step outside. But this was to be there temporary moving out day anyway, to a warmer undercover spot as the first taste of a real winter begins to bite. For the next week they are sharing with some very bemused cats in the old henhouse quarters. Soon they are stealing from the cat bowls, who's in charge here? Now nearer the front door and within eye view, our every step outside and the demanding clucking starts. Our realisation as to why we had put their henhouse so far away in the first place.
The bleak conditions coming and a test for all nature to show its hardy survival skills. For us, four jumpers on top of thermals and that's inside the cottage. Just the sound of the burning stoves to remind us that we are warm enough. But working with our resources, namely autumn's apples at the moment, help to keep us occupied. Recipes of new jams and wine, maybe another attempt at cider without becoming vinegar this time. Plenty of time to try as the wind blows the snow back onto the cleared road and leaves us stranded for a few more days.