iggandfriends

Life, crafty stuff, long walks, thoughts, and little oddities.


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Cold wind and warm fire

Bonfire night brought the cold wind with it. We huffed our way to the bonfire, steam puffing out like little dragons. Hats, gloves and scarves brought into use. Stood stomping our feet on the grass, attempting to restore feeling. Hands firmly tucked into pockets, huddled against the chill. Oohed and aahed at the explosion of light and sound above. Then, warmed by the chatter, we headed for home, and the heat of the fire.

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Otter weather

Golden sun sets in blue skies, amber path lighting a way across the sea. Frosty weather means clear heavens – already the first stars are starting to blink into life above. The ocean ripples into land, silken waves gently rolling over the rocks.. Among the troughs of water, clumps of seaweed bob up and down. Somewhere out there the otter is hunting his dinner. No sign of him this evening. But this is perfect otter weather. Time to sit, and watch and be.

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Bare reeds and white dunes

Winter’s bare reeds emerge from the white dunes, silhouettes against the white. Here and there the freezing wind has stripped the grass tufts of their blanket. Leaving them peeking through, open to the elements. The night’s frost has formed an icy crust on the snow. A satisfying crunch as I walk.

snow dunes


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Home comforts

Thursday’s snow flurries turned into Friday’s blizzard. We woke to a white world, snow plastered against the window. A strange quiet. No electricity. No heating. No lights. Small camping stove out. Log fire stoked up. All day the snow continued to fall, hurling itself bad-temperedly at the ground. Tossed about by the wind, clawing at hair and face. A quick dash outside to post a letter became a struggle into the teeth of a blizzard. The path to the door and the pavement is shoveled three times. A losing battle. Inside the fire blazes, the only warmth in the house. Ice dripping from coat and hat. The kettle sings merrily on the hearth. Night draws in early. With candles lit and flames flickering the evening passes quickly. And so to bed, dressed for outside… hat and warm socks. Jumper and leggings. Duvet and three blankets. Hot water bottles top and bottom.

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During the dark hours the snow still falls. A gentler dance, but just as popular. The morning light sees 10 foot drifts piled along the roads. The local farmers attach buckets to the tractors and plow the roads in the village. In the heart of the community we are safe. Cocooned from the outside world, an insulating layer of snow keeping us separate. Still no heat or light. The local rescue vehicle pops by, checking up on all. We clear the paths yet again, neighbours working together. Lunch has been cooking since dawn, balanced on the edge of the coal fire. Afterwards we emerge and playtime begins. A new member of the village appears, sitting on the bench. Soon the clouds draw in again, pregnant. Snow flurries occupy the afternoon, as the sun slowly moves across the sky. Darkness arrives and the candles are lit again. With my flickering light I climb the stairs and bury under the duvet.

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Palm Sunday begins in sunshine, bringing longed for warmth into the room. A beautiful day. I go for a walk along the shore, sinking up to my knees in snow. Raid the garden for palm leaves, buried in a drift, and make palm crosses. No hope of church today – the road is still blocked to the east. By midday, the road north is finally opened. Electricity vans are seen, raising hopes. But lunch is stew slow-cooked by the open fire, and tea is toast and jam. The kettle still sings on the hearth at bedtime, and candles flicker on.

snow shore

Dawn today brought relief. Blessed warmth. Sinking through to my bones. The power flicks on and off before staying on. The main wires to the village are still down, but a lorry late last night brought generators. A day of restocking. The thaw has begun, for now.


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Silver song

Frosted grass at dawn in pale light. Mysterious flurries of snow, white flakes against a bright blue sky. Darkening day – mercury clouds drifting across above. Silver sunset reflected on glowing sands and silken water.  A small boat floats at anchor, riding lights like jewels in the twilight. Darkness wraps around, cloak of stars sparkling in deep blue heavens. Slumber awaits.

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NB: a safe return to base from my travels… I’ll catch up on all the blogs shortly…. it’s good to be back!


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Changeable weather

The weather here is much more volatile than up on the south-west coast of Scotland. In the last week the temperature has plunged below zero several time. We’ve had high winds, freezing fog, rain, mist and sun. The washing has frozen on the line, and almost been blown across the valley. The mountains have been covered with snow one day, and the next has been bright sunshine.  The dog and I have basked in the spring temperatures of 11 or 12. In the south facing sun-lounge in this house, the temperature has reached a hot 24 degrees occasionally. The plants don’t seem entirely sure what to do – open out or retreat back into the soil. Today seems to have settled on spring again. Down in the park, the catkins are dangling, looking like miniature caterpillars. And in the garden, the daffodils have emerged with trumpets blazing, just in time for St David’s Day.

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Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus! Happy St David’s Day! Off on my travels again tomorrow, leaving the dog behind in the care of one of other ‘aunts’ to await her owners return on Monday. I’m going to miss having the dog to look after. I’m heading to the south of England to help a friend clear out her mother’s house. Her mum has just died at the age of 100. A fair age, and a death more of a release than a sorrow. But with the traveling and the sorting, it may be a week or so before I blog again… or it might be tomorrow!