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.

18 comments:

Maggi said...

I'm hoping that the sunshine that is breaking through up there will be with us soon. It has been snowing hard with string winds since at least 4am and the sky (if i could only see it), is still full of the stuff.

Dave King said...

I feel rather envious.Still, we did have rain yesterday and overnight. Can't remember when we last saw such a phenomenon. In fact, I had forgotten the sound it makes on the conservatory roof, and asked Doreen what it was!

Elizabeth said...

The hot toddy was obviously the right thing.
What astounding snow - looks miserably wet and drear.
Loved the pear conversation. I always buy them as am seduced by the shape and then they sit in the fruit bowl
uneaten until I get worried they will rot.

TS Eliot at the supermarket? Don't get that around here!

HAPPY EASTER

Pondside said...

Noooooo! What have you done over there to make Mother Nature so angry?
TS Elliot in the grocery line-up...you must have made the clerk's day!

Heather said...

If you live south of that line, keep well wrapped up. There have been snow showers in our neck of the woods today and the wind is biting. Goodness knows what the weather will serve up next.
Hope the farmer is none the worse for his hard day yesterday.
Re pears - I had to throw a couple away recently. They looked perfect on the outside but had rotted in the centre. So disappointing.

jeannette said...

Wow, life can't be boring! Hope the tractor will keep doing a good work! And that by Easter it will have warmed up (and no rain!). Yo two have a happy (and warmed up) Easter, Weaver!

MorningAJ said...

It's been sleeting here but it never settled. You take care and keep warm and try to get it warmed up by the time we get there in a couple of weeks!

Robin Mac said...

My goodness, April is certainly being cruel. I hope the hot toddy worked for the farmer and he is none the worse for his hard day yesterday. I can't imagine having your kind of conversation with any of the checkout operators here! Cheers

H said...

Mark and two friends are supposed to be up in Scotland doing an expedition module for their university course. On Monday, they switched to plan B and headed for Llangollen. Today, after a night of tent-pole-bending gale force winds and snow, they ended up at a parental house in Shrewsbury. Tomorrow, they are heading for The Roaches in the hope of salvaging something from their time away. A bit of calm and sunshine would be a welcome relief for them!

Pam said...

I laughed because when I first read your supermarket pear conversation as I read it wrongly - Richard philosophizing about the pear, not you, and was very pleasantly surprised at his knowledge and take on things. Re-reading, it all made sense!
I've had similar conversations at the check-out to have a young face stare back vaguely and quizzically with a ...
" Mmmmm???? Sorry????"
Now I stick to the weather.

The Solitary Walker said...

Back to winter, Pat! Well, it is the Easter break coming up, so what did we expect? It's been quite extreme, the dive from temps of 20 deg. to 5 deg., hasn't it — even for English weather.

acornmoon said...

It gives a whole new meaning to the "perfectly ripe pears" I bought today!

Have a happy Easter. x

Hildred and Charles said...

My sympathies |Pat, and to the Farmer, too. Where was Spring hiding when all this ruckus was going on?

Toffeeapple said...

And how is your wild plum faring?

Loren said...

Weird weather. And here I thought you had just raced past us here in the American Pacific Northwest, odd because in the past few years that I've been following you the two areas seem remarkably similar, weather wise.

Hopefully we've finally put our snow behind us.

Rinkly Rimes said...

The weather is crazy!. I hear the UK has just had snow but that it's deep in drought in some parts! Here in Australia we had a dismal, wet summer (my first bad summer in 40 years!) and now it should be Autumnal it's blazing summer. Climate change I suppose.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Plum blossom has survived thanks Toffee Apple - even the tulips which are in bud and promised such a splendid display have begun to straighten up again - these plants are hardier than we suppose. Thank you for visiting.

Golden West said...

What a thoroughly enjoyable visit this morning, Weaver. I loved your story of the check-out man, marveled at your snow and chuckled that Tess could not resist the chocolate. I save your blog to read with my once a week Sunday coffee and it's always like catching up with a good friend. Happy Easter to you and yours.