Thursday, 1 March 2018


The Systems Administrator went to London as planned for yesterday's lunch.  It took two changes of train each way.  On the return journey, waiting at Colchester for the local connection, the SA saw one train delayed for fifteen minutes because the sliding doors had frozen open.  When the SA's train stopped at Colchester Hythe the doors failed to open, and it set off again with the Hythe-bound passengers still trapped inside.  They managed to escape at Wivenhoe via a door at the front of the train that was working, and the SA was able to alight at our local station by the same door and yomped back across the fields in the dark.  The lane to the house had already filled with drifts up to knee height, blowing off the fields.

I walked down to the gate to look at the lane after breakfast, expecting some drifts, and found the entire track covered with about a foot of snow, drifting to two or three feet in places.  That answered the question of whether the Skoda was going to the garage this morning for its annual service and MoT.  They did ring yesterday afternoon and I had to warn them then that while I hadn't forgotten about the service, it depended on whether I could get the car off the farm.  I rang back first thing this morning to break the bad news, but the manager was very nice about it.  His own usual route to work was impassible this morning due to drifting snow, which probably made him more inclined to believe me.

The chickens still will not come out of their house.  I stood by their door making coaxing noises, and a couple of them poked their heads out making small pitiful burbles but they would not budge.  I began to worry that they were not getting anything to drink, and cracked and put a basin of water in the house.  I had thought that thirst was such a powerful instinct that they would come out for water if they were really thirsty, and it can only be a matter of time now before they kick sawdust in to the bowl and tip it over, which I was trying to avoid since it must be quite bad enough at the moment being a chicken as it is, without having a wet house.  It is difficult to know what to do for the best.

We are running out of bread.  I started to make a loaf, on the grounds that it would be quite nice to have some bread in this weather, and for something to do.  After two hours of proving the dough, far from being spongy and elastic, is still determindley solid, so we may have fresh bread later on, or may be stuck with ryvita and oat cakes for the duration.

The cats are very bored and very irritable, except for Our Ginger who is philosophical about these things and didn't want to go outside that badly in the first place.  Mr Fidget went out briefly and caught a thrush, to my extreme annoyance.  Roll on the thaw, although I think we will need to start digging once the wind drops if we don't want to be stuck here for days.

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