Friday, 17 December 2010

The North Wind doth Blow.

and we shall have snow. Well that's as may be but so far we just have bitter cold and a lot of ice about. At mid day it was minus five outside our back door and even Tess - the most outdoor of dogs = is reluctant to go out.

I had such a pile of woollens needing washing that I did a machine full this morning. They were pegged out on the outside line and blew merrily in the breeze. When the farmer fetched them in for me he took the pegs out and the garments remained happily on the line - frozen there.

We have a permanent rat trap set under our hen house because the rats tend to go there in Winter. This morning the farmer had caught a stoat in the trap. It was dead of course and part of me felt quite sad but the farmer assured me it had been under the hen house for one purpose only - to attack the hens. So, I have hardened my heart. At least he died quickly and cleanly rather than starve to death in this cold weather, which much of our wildlife will undoubtedly do.

I envy Tess her thick coat of coarse hair. The farmer and I were talking about this at lunch time and speculating how our ancient ancestors kept warm - I think maybe we have got soft over the generations.

Well, the poetry bus has its first passenger - well done Peter for being on the bus first - I hope you have a thick travelling rug to keep you warm until Monday. If you want to read Peter's poem go to

I am just off over there to have a read myself. Sorry I can't do links but on Monday I will publish a full list as you let me know. Keep warm

###Have just managed to get Peter Goulding on to my blog list - so to read his excellent poem you can click on the stammering poet and scroll down one and you'll get to it.


Unknown said...

Certainly is bitter cold at the moment but we were also spared the snow. I was hoping for your country-wise knowledge for yesterday's picture but the consensus was for hawthorn! Get the farmer to go out and snare a mammoth. That would keep you warm!

Helen said...

Take care .... I'm working on a ticket to ride!!!

Elizabeth said...

Claud said it was snowing in London this morning.
I think our ancestors were pretty damn cold all the time.
Shakespeare said it best:

When icicles hang by the wall,
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipp’d and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tu-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

When all aloud the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson’s saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marion’s nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs his in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tu-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

I think Marion's nose was pretty common.
Did you know that chilblains are incipient FROSTBITE?
we all had then way back before central heating.

A pat for Tess
24'f here this morning at the dog run.....

Heather said...

Modern life has made us soft Pat. I remember having painful chilblains as a child and ice on the inside of the bedroom window, both things of the past since having central heating. How early man survived I can't imagine. A quilted coat and little fur-lined wellies might encourage Tess to go outside!

Gwil W said...

Pat, I should have mentioned it earlier. It's a great photo you have for your header; I sense the speed of the car round the bend.
Good wishes,

Acornmoon said...

That brought back memories of frozen sheets on the line and frost patterns on the inside of the window panes. My granny had a theory that hanging your washing out in the frost made them whiter? Maybe..

Have a wonderful Christmas both of you and little Tess x

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I suppose I have an advantage of being covered in quite thick fur! But I still feel the cold on my neck in winter!

Golden West said...

I have just read in the your Daily Mail newspaper that the snow is expected to last into the first weeks of January and is the coldest since records were kept in 1910 - good grief!

steven said...

weaver we're hovering between minus twenty c and minus five depending on the day. snow is about ten cm deep but that's nothing. the real snowy months are coming. hanging clothing out in the winter!!!! steven

Dominic Rivron said...

Poem posted:

Anonymous said...

Those Yorkshire winters, so vividly described here, Pat. Have you managed to walk the washing back in yet?

My West Riding boarding school (a little south of you, I think) was run by a tough Quaker couple for whom the abnegation of creature comforts was a cheerful virtue. We had no heating in our dormitories and the epic winter of 1963 had us waking up just after dawn with the light from the window filtered through huge frost-flowers and a thin dusting of rime coating our blankets. Then we had to get up to do morning tasks - peeling potatoes amongst the cockroaches in the basement, preparing breakfast and trudging through the snow to bring in coal and coke from the boiler-room. I've never felt truly cold since!

mrsnesbitt said...

I remember learning this poem at junior school - no doubt the teachers were trying to prepare us for Northern life eh? Yes - tis very very cold - think I will potter in the kitchen to keep warm!

Dave King said...

We've had a few inches dumped on us this morning - no winds to speak of, though.

As always, a splendid post Weaver, one to gladden the heart even when the content is dispiriting - it's the way you tell them, thou knows! Keep it up for all our sakes.

annell4 said...

Lovely post. It is cold, there is acceptance. A quiet peace. I liked it. Thanks

annell4 said...

At last it has snowed, I fear it is global warming? So much has disappeared this morning? Weather report from Taos, NM.

angryparsnip said...

You know it is really cold when the dog doesn't want to go out !

I just know Tess is camped out in the warm kitchen.
We have had a few days of cold, middle 60's to low 40's at night but it will be high 70's all the way to Christmas... My Scotties love it and say Woof to their cousin Tess....

cheers, parsnip

Totalfeckineejit said...

A stoat? You've got to be kidding me!
Was it a fast one?

Karen said...

I'm waiting at the bus stop, Weaver.

Helen said...

I'm on the bus ..

Rachel Phillips said...

Did the stoat have its winter coat on?

Totalfeckineejit said...

i am on the bus ms weaver.

BT said...

It looks pretty snowy Weaver. Our dog isn't too keen on going out either - unless his mate Max calls! I would have felt the same about the stoat. We have seen lots of foxes lately - they must be hungry. The cats just stare them out! Keep warm and I hope you're fully recovered from your hospital spell.

Heather said...

Just posted my contribution for the Poetry Bus. I have also just had a memory from childhood of my mother bringing in frozen washing and wondering why the sleeves of shirts and pyjamas didn't snap off when she folded them!!

Enchanted Oak said...

I've never lived where it snows. The coldest temperature here has been 12 degrees F but usually no lower than 28, and we think that is quite cold, spoiled as we are.
I had to look up "stoat."
How did you know I had posted?

Crafty Green Poet said...

snowing again here too,

Pondside said...

We sit here on the far edge of the continent and read about your terrible weather - only rain and wind here, and that's alright. A green Christmas will do just fine, thank you!
I love your wintery header photo.

izzy said...

I know I left a comment and a link!
but it isn't here- I'll have to go retrieve it again.