Friday, 8 January 2010


We are enjoying our isolation here at Rock HQ, snowed in, our track impassable to wheeled vehicles and neither of us have work to go to. Beth and Tom walked here bringing essentials last night, baked beans (they are real beans you know), milk, eggs and a Nimble loaf. The shelves at the supermarket were empty as everyone is panic buying as the ice age is set to continue, hence the diet bread. We are fine here, the freezers full of home grown meats, quite a few tinned and dried stuff stored in the pantry and a huge quantity of alcohol thanks Ben's Christmas on line shopping spree. We have enough here to last til the thaw.

Our animals on the other hand are not so fortunate. Unable to graze or forage they are even more reliant on us for sustenance. There is enough hay for about a week left but the hard feed ran out a while ago. As we are unable to get a trailer up with a load of the usual stuff a daring plan was concocted on the second beer last night. Rene the reliable Rx4 is out of action, his exhaust having fell off. Fifi the focus is unsuited to the track in good weather so in the current climes she is about as useful as goats are at garden maintenance. The plan was to get Fifi to the main road, drive over to Countrywide, fill her to bursting with yummy goodies for the critters and then as a reward for her hard work drive her back and abandon her in The Oracles yard and use Rene to ferry the feed back up the hill. Failing that use the wheelbarrow or sledges. What could possible go wrong?

For once, absolutely nothing. Fifi broke out onto the main road despite the inches of snow and ice. She managed the skating rink of a yard at Countrywide. The suspension didn't break when loaded with a fortnights feed for sheep, horses and dogs. Much of what we wanted was not there so alternatives had to be bought, hardly surprising, most people are in the same boat as us. As I was there a farmer pulled away in a tractor the trailer loaded with the last sixty four bags of calf nuts. The cost must be massive, the food I bought today for ours will last, if measured carefully for two weeks. For the same cost we could have got two months supply from our bulk supplier. Still needs must.

To cap it all Fifi really pulled out the stops and somehow managed to get all the way up our lane and is currently not so much parked as abandoned in the entrance to the yard, her impressive progress stopped not by ice but by lazy Ryeland sheep who chose to have a snooze exactly where the car wanted to go. I would like to think it was driving skill that got the focus there and back again but in reality I know it was luck. As I came home via the supermarket where customers are rationed to two loaves of bread, the shelves are bare in places, we are even more stocked up with vital supplies. The forecast is for more snow over the next few days, for me the novelty has yet to wear off.
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