I intend to leave a note for myself:-
NEXT TIME IT SNOWS, DO NOT CLEAR IT INTO HEAPS UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.
The farmer and I have just been for our Sunday afternoon walk down the lane with Tess. The snow has largely gone except where it has been swept on to the verge by the snow plough. In the farmyard it has almost disappeared except for a large heap in the corner, where the farmer pushed the snow out of the way with his tractor. And I have to report, dear readers, that the snow that is left is FILTHY. In our little market town the snow plough cleared the roads and put the offending heap of snow on to three spaces in the central car parking area. It is now a black, weeping mountain, littered with the odd cigarette packet and the odd drinks can.
Then, yesterday, I read an article in the Times by Stephen Bayley who suggests that London is now the dirties and worst-managed city on Earth. He speculates on the really dirty streets and particularly the pavements and reminds us that places like Paris and Berlin manage to wash the pavements early each morning. I must say I have seen this happening in Istanbul and in Beijing too, so why can't it happen here?
Another thing he points out is that where there have to be traffic barriers of any kind, for some reason in England they have to be weighted down with bags of sand on the 'feet' - and this he reminds us in the country which bred Isaac Newton.
The other thing which now litters our lane - a result I suspect of very bad conditions on the local roads, so that everyone walked their dog/s down our lane - is dog poo. Sorry about this, but great heaps of it are now revealed on the grass verges. Luckily, before too long the grass will begin to grow and will cover it up.
Apparently Ruskin so despaired of the filth on the London streets that he took a brush and swept them himself. I suppose I could do the same down our lane - and I suppose I could take a hair dryer out to the heaps of snow and melt them quickly. But I can assure you that the view down our lane is pretty depressing at the moment.
We came back through our front, walled garden only to find that the voles have carved up another vole city on our lawn - we hadn't noticed it before but they have had a real beanfeast.
On a more cheerful note - nine long-tailed tits hanging on our fat balls at the bird table created the most beautiful pattern - they were all facing in the same direction and their wing markings were absolutely beautiful, so that cheered me up a bit.
The Burn's Night supper was most enjoyable and we had a splendid chat. For those U S readers who have informed me that they don't really know what haggis is, and what are neaps and tatties - the answer is that haggis is made of oatmeal and some quite unspeakable parts of animal (offal I think) and herbs - I personally would not eat it under any circumstances - it is mixed together and boiled in a sheep's stomach or some such. Neaps are turnips and tatties are, of course, potatoes. The haggis might have been a no-no for me, but there were some sublime puddings on offer.
Couldn't resist posting this photograph of Tess, taken a few minutes ago. I think it is fair to say that looking at her, she obviously does not have a care in the world. Have a nice Sunday.