Thursday, 13 February 2014

Plenty of fuel for the log burner.

A wild night here.   The forecasters promised gales of up to one hundred miles an hour on Western coasts and some coastal flooding.   But by the time the winds had traversed the Pennines they had eased somewhat and were only reaching about eighty miles an hour.   According to our local forecaster they were due to 'peak' at around 9pm and sure enough, they duly arrived dead on cue.  She also suggested there might be four inches of snow by morning.

Unable to sleep I get up at 1.30am and peep round a curtain to look at the scene outside.   It is beautiful.   An almost-full moon casts a ghostly light on the snowless fields.   The wind, still high, rattles and shakes the Scots pines; planted in 1927 to protect the then newly-built farmhouse from the prevailing Westerly wind.   At almost one hundred years old they are tall and rather spindly but hopefully planted near enough together to hold one another up should one fall foul of this awful wind.  

The scene invites an Impressionist painting.   I wish I could capture what George Moore, the Irish writer, called Impressionism - "the rapid noting of elusive appearance."

Once downstairs I indulge in another cup of Horlicks and share a Rich Tea biscuit with Tess who has come out of her sleeping crate and is now snuggled down in her basket by the Aga.   She can't stay in that all night as she has cleverly discovered how to open the hall door and find her way up onto our bed.

At 3.10am I put down my pen and leave this on my laptop for morning.  Climbing the stairs I look round the curtain again.  How I envy Monet, able to catch a tantalising sight of Rouen cathedral from his hotel window he began a series of thirty paintings, catching the same scene in different lights. I'm sure most of us have a loved view we would like to commit to canvas at different times of the day.

20 comments:

Robin Mac said...

Oh Pat, you are all having such awful weather over there, I am so glad you could find something lovely in the midst of it. Cheers

shadypinesqltr said...

What a lovely picture you paint with your words! I have found myself wishing the same thing. Here in Michigan, our winter has been so cold and the snow so deep that the deer have been silently coming up and eating the bushes around the house. I looked out the bedroom window during the night and, in the moonlight, could clearly see two deer silhouetted against the snow directly below me. I left them to their feast.
I am glad you survived the storm. Over here they have started naming winter storms. This last one, which thankfully missed us, was called Pax. "Peace"? An odd name for a storm I think.

Cro Magnon said...

I had to let the cat out at about 2am last night. The moonlight was wonderful.

Pondside said...

You've painted a beautiful picture for us - I can see it clearly.
As I write, it is nearly 0630 and the wind is hurling the heavy rain at the house. The roof is steel, so it provides a background to the morning that is both exciting and comforting. Like you, we have a lovely pile on the veranda ready for the stove.

Gwil W said...

Cup of tea and a biscuit and what is called Yorkshire Grit will help see you through these wild days. Good luck.

Gwil W said...

We're watching old James Herriott films (episode 7 today) dubbed over in German on Servus TV which belongs to Red Bull. It's fields of mud and muck everywhere. I'd forgotten how realistic it all was.

George said...

Love that George Moore definition of impressionism. Like you, we've been facing very threatening weather here in upstate South Carolina. Fortunately, we made it though Winter Storm Pax, which was described by our National Weather Service as "catastrophic" and "historic." Strange times we live in, especially in terms of weather.

Chip Butter said...

'Tis true, one's most creative self is best served in the middle of the night. No doubt, that was the case for you on this wind-blown early morn!

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

Good afternoon, Pat.
I was up at 330 this morning watching the snow beautifully falling like mad. We have 38 cm and another 12 cm expected.
I saw pictures of the flooding in your country on the news last night. They said it was the most rain in 250 years. Wow.

angryparsnip said...

Even if you can't set the view to canvas you set the view and night with words.
Such a beautiful post today.

cheers, parsnip

Heather said...

The countryside in moonlight is almost worth getting out of bed for on a winter night! I would love to be able to paint well myself - at least the course I am working on has helped me to improve my sketching.
I thought of you and wondered if you were affected by that awful storm which hit the north so badly. There seems to be no end to the storms and we have more to come at the weekend.

Lorrie said...

Although losing sleep can be frustrating, there's something about prowling about a quiet house in the dark that appeals. To look out on your lovely winter painting is an added bonus. I hope you could sleep in a little later.

Barbara said...

Your word pictures are wonderful! I wish I could see the landscape you describe. I have often wished I could paint the sights around here, too.
I do hope you stay safe in the awful wind. Your weather sounds worse than ours.
We are currently in the midst of winter storm Pax. I have no idea why they name the storms now.
At least 18 inches of snow and wind and very cold temperatures. We were only able to do morning chores after digging our way to the barn by flashlight. Next week we are to have temperatures in the 50's, so we will exchange our snow for mud.
Oh well...one day closer to Spring!

Bovey Belle said...

I was awake at 2 a.m. but we'd had a power cut, so no cup of tea for me! I crept into my office and shone my wee torch outside across the garden, and by that time the storm had eased somewhat. Earlier on the pine tree on the lane outside our gate was writhing as if in agony.

My dad was a very good artist and painted copies of Impressionist paintings, so I know the genre well and what an apt description you shared with us.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Although my imagining of your view, your night, will not be the same as they really are - I now have a strong picture of each in my head.

Reader Wil said...

I have been thinking of you and of your country. We see those images of the flooded areas regularly on tv. How awful to lose your house .I hope that everything will be okay before long. Fortunately you have great hobbies! Have a great week, Pat!

Twiggy said...

Sounds lovely. We had mad winds here last night, a covering of snow and just enough ice for Twiglet to slide across the garden this morning :)
We count ourselves very lucky when we see the floods on tv. Keep cosy
Twiggy

Willow said...

You were certainly having me being rather insightful right along with you here ! You did paint quite the picture with words as someone so cleverly commented earlier ! Splendid !

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

What a wonderfully written post! It made me feel like I was right there. When the wind roars through like that, I always have a difficult time sleeping. It makes me very restless.

It has been a long, cold winter here in Missouri, but I was reassured that Spring is on the way when I heard a pair of horned owls calling to each other the other night. That means they have come back to their nesting territory. My reasoning is, if birds (of any kind) are getting ready to nest, Spring can't be long in coming.

I hope that the wind there will calm down. Take care.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for joining in. Rain again today - so hunkered down to watch the Winter Olympics.