Monday, 22 January 2018

Goodbye snow

At last the snow is reluctantly deciding it is time to go.   Today the temperature is five degrees and slowly but surely the snow and ice is receding.   The roads and footpaths are still icy in places and with melting snow on the top are lethal, particularly for us ancients who fear breakages with every step we take.   A much faster thaw is forecast for tomorrow with temperatures up to twelve degrees - such is the contrariness of our weather here in the UK.

It was our Book Group meeting this morning - five of us meeting in one another's houses.   This month we had read and came ready to discuss Patrick Leigh Fermor's 'A Time of Gifts' -the first of a trilogy written when he was in his sixties about travels in his late teens and early twenties.   We had all enjoyed it - and if you haven't read the three books I can thoroughly recommend them.   Our next book is Benjamin Myers's 'The Gallows Pole', so I have just ordered that one.

Saying good-bye to snow like we have had for the last week, it is easy to think that it is good-bye to the snow for this winter.   Whilst I sincerely hope it is, it is far too early to even dare to think that.
What seems so exciting when one is young, nimble footed and keen to snowball, sledge, ski and the like becomes a nightmare when one is likely to fall over and break something vital.   Sorry to be so depressing, but I have lost yet another friend this weekend.   Friend D fell on Thursday and broke his wrist, went into hospital overnight while it was set and seen to and before he could come home on Friday had a heart attack and died.   The total of friends lost in the last year steadily rises - I fear it will reach a dozen before the first anniversary of the loss of the farmer.

No more glum and morose talk.  Let's celebrate the snow going away, the bulbs coming through, my amaryllis in full bloom, the birth of a new baby grandchild to my cleaning lady, friendship,
the delicious sea bass I cooked for myself at lunchtime.   I could go on.   Life isn't all bad - isn't all good either.   Just normal.

21 comments:

Terra said...

My husband read many of Patrick Leigh Fermor's books and I read a few, Fermor was a giant of writing literate travel accounts. I had not heard of the trilogy you mention. Stay safe in icy conditions Weaver.

Derek Faulkner said...

Deaths and bad luck happen to us all Pat, regardless of age, it's just part of life. If I was you Pat, I'd just dwell on the good bits. You're leading the pack when it comes to showing what you can do in old age.

Bonnie said...

I'm sorry to hear about the passing of your friend. You are so right about watching our footing as we age especially in bad weather. I am glad you are always so wise and careful about not going out when conditions are bad.

Your book club sounds like fun. It is enjoyable to discuss a recently read book with others and it gives you some thing to look forward to as well!

Take care friend. xx

Mary said...

How terribly sad to lose a friend so unexpectedly. I'm so very sorry for his family and friends. I know times such as these are hard to comprehend.

Pat, when you can, please post a pic of your amaryllis - mine is starting to open this morning and I'm so excited to see what will appear!

Librarian said...

It must have come as such a shock to everyone who knew your friend D., his family especially; going into hospital "only" for a broken wrist and then having a heart attack... Very sorry to hear that.
But you are right, there is plenty of things to be happy about, too.

As for the contrasts in weather, we are supposed to have up to 15 Celsius mid-week, while this morning we had our first snow since well before Christmas!

Shawn Maeder said...

The remnants of our last snowfall have gone too, quickly melted away on two days of exceptionally warm for January weather. Like you I can’t imagine we won’t have another between now and the end of February. I still enjoy the snow, especially as I have finally bought myself a New England worthy parka after shivering here for 2 years in my fashionable but not nearly warm enough coat. That and a pair of hideous heavy duty boots and I’m good to go. I do get very annoyed though when my walk takes me down a block where residents have not shoveled their sidewalks. Uneven and icy brick pavements are very treacherous. I haven’t fallen on them yet but I live in fear.

angryparsnip said...

Life isn't all bad and it isn't all good... so true. I wish for even I really would like even at this moment.
So very sorry to hear about your friend,what a shock to family and friends.

mandibles is playing with snowballs.
cheers, parsnip and mandibles

Jules said...

I'm so sorry to read of your friend's passing Pat. I hope the snow is soon gone for you and you can manage to walk out safely. X

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

I've read a couple of books by Benjamin Myers. They were both pretty grim and I presume a book called The Gallows Pole won't be any more cheerful. Certainly a contrast to the youthful optimism and baroque prose of PLF.

Mac n' Janet said...

Do keep safe, it's so hard to recover when you call when you're older, better to stay home and be safe.

Rachel Phillips said...

Life hey.

Virginia said...

Sorry to hear of your friend's death - the speed would've been a real shock, leaving 'good-byes' unsaid. I remember my favourite aunt mourning the passing of her friends with their shared life experience. But she also mourned her ... 1. doctor 2. car mechanic. 3. financial advisor, all of whom she had relied on. They were a real loss, and she said it made her feel out of her generation.

Heather said...

So sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. You are right to take the rough with the smooth. I remember my grandmother hearing of the loss of another of her friends, and saying 'It makes you wonder who will be next'. Not morbid, just normal.
Glad the snow and ice are going, but there is February to be got through before we can feel safe. Snowdrops in flower in our little communal garden, daffodils in bud, lots of crocus on their way, and in a border beside the path and against a wall, a gallardia in bloom!

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear of your friend. I am always worried that my mum might fall now as she is a bit wobbly on her feet sometimes with her vertigo and my dad died after a fall at home - so do be very careful how you go especially in this winter weather. My daughter and her husband were snowed in in their new abode not far from you - she has now discovered there are no gritters and snow ploughs go along their road as she thought - not sure how the milk wagons get to the farms to collect the milk.

Joanne Noragon said...

Much of my snow is gone and the anemones are up. It won't last; snow will bury all a few more times. But such an nice start.

Alphie Soup said...

I certainly hope you will go on Weaver. I'm sure there's many an outing, lots of meals and the occasional ukulele concerts left in you!
Those books sound very readable but I am exercising restraint these days and not adding any more to an already overlong list.
Alphie

thelma said...

You have the right attitude, just allow life to happen, we can't change the events happening around us. Must admit ankle fractures are a real misery so do be careful when out walking.

Devon said...

In the past 5 years my husband and I have lost so many, his sister and her husband, my closest friend, his very close friend, his mother, and recently my only sibling, my sister. At 52 years old I suppose I thought this would all happen later in life. I agree with you Pat, it is very troubling if we focus on what we have lost.
We will all join the departed soon enough, so for now I am enjoying each day. I knit each night on a blanket for my sisters first grandchild due next month... there is so much to look forward to yet.
That book trilogy sounds very good. I have often thought of getting in a book group. Might have to look into that this year!

Elizabeth said...

The Patrick Leigh Fermoy sit on my 'to be read pile' already.
So glad you recommend them.
Yes, what joy snow and ice bring to the kiddies! - and how it wears off in one's dotage...
I'm sorry for your losses.
Sending much love from very wet New York.

Becky Meyer said...

So odd that you mention this book! I just bought the trilogy and read the first volume over the holidays. I loved it and would have loved to have been a "fly on the wall" and hear your discussion of it. I live on a farm in Illinois and after I somehow stumbled across your blog several years ago I have looked forward to reading your posts frequently. I, too, am a retired teacher.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Welcome to newcomers to my blog - nice to meet you.
Mary I will try to take the photograph tomorrow if there is enough light.
Thanks everyone - hope those of you who read the books enjoy them.