Wednesday, 4 April 2012
What a difference a day makes.
The farmer finally got in from his crisis with the tractor at 5pm. The mechanic arrived at half past one and they managed to get the tractor into the open-fronted barn for repair. By that time it was raining hard and within half an hour the rain had turned to snow and winds of fifty plus miles an hour had risen. They were coming from the North and blowing directly into the barn.
By the time he got in he was freezing cold and wet through but still had to take the dogs out, feed the farm dog, feed the cattle still in their winter housing and bring in the logs. By the time he sat down for his dinner after a hot shower and a thorough change of clothes it was half past six. He had the lasagne, broccoli, cauliflower and leeks I had planned for lunch, so plenty of nice warming food in him,
He sat by the stove all night and made himself a large hot toddy (whisky, lemon juice, honey and hot water) to warm his cockles.
This morning there is four inches of snow. It is still sleeting and there are plenty of branches down on the Scots pines. There is a snow drift at the top of the lane, so I shall not venture out to Writers' Group. But, as I write, the sky is clearing and there are patches of blue here and there. The snow is that really wet stuff, so should go quite quickly.
I took a photograph, through the kitchen window, of the farmer feeding the garden birds. They were all waiting. It must be very hard for them. Nesting last week in temperatures in the late teens and now this. Still, it is set to go today, the barometer is rising and the sun is trying to break through. As Eliot says, "April is the cruelest month."
Which reminds me of something which will make you smile. When I go to the supermarket on a Tuesday morning I always go to the same man on the check-out. We have a mutual friend and it is part of my Tuesday ritual to have a chat with Richard. Yesterday he admired some pears I had bought and I said, "Did you know that Flaubert said that a pear was only perfect for eating for about ten minutes in its entire life - before that it was unripe and after that it was too ripe and almost uneatable"? No, he didn't know that. Later, as I was packing my trolley he remarked what awful weather it was and I said, "Eliot said April is the cruelest month." His reply was, "I must say this is not the normal sort of conversation I get on the checkout."
If you live North of a line from Birmingham to the Wash in the UK - keep well wrapped-up today.