This morning I woke up to the loudest clap of thunder I have ever heard, and of course our electricity immediately went off for three hours. True to my word, I have since the last cuts purchased a second hand gas heater and it has been a godsend. But yesterday the gas ran out on the cooker so I had used the bottle from the heater to cook last night. So I still didn't reap the benefit of it while the power was down. Now I am looking out for a second gas heater and a spare gas bottle. That should cover every eventuality.
Every winter I am lulled into a false sense of security as we approach Christmas and the weather is still not too bad. Cold at night admittedly but still with some nice sunny days when you can get outside to do things. Consequently, I am always surprised by how cold it starts to get in January. In January the weather starts to get colder with plenty of storms and rainy days. Bringing with them the electricity cuts that so often accompany the bad stormy weather here. We have had a particularly cold winter with several nights below freezing, even snow flurries on two occasions and it has caused havoc with some of our more tender plants. Some may recover some may not, we will have to wait and see what happens when the weather improves.
Looking back at my post on 28th February last year, I mention that "we have been blessed with some glorious weather for the last couple of weeks" Well that didn't happen this year! However, we are getting the odd sunny day now and hopefully they will soon get to be more frequent as we move into March. I do hope so.
David has been doing odd bits and pieces in the garden when the weather has permitted and has nearly completed the wall between the drive and the back garden, as well as having made a start on his shed. He is so looking forward to having a 'man cave' again. He doesn't know yet how much toot is moving out of the house into yet though!
The hard landscaping of the back garden has taken a lot longer than we thought, but it is well on the way now. The reinforced concrete hearths have gone on the barbecue and outdoor oven, so they should be finished in time to use this year. When I look back to a picture taken last spring you can at least see a difference.
hearth going on the oven base
Picture taken in March of last year
Picture almost one year on - walled raised beds, paved, bases for barbecue & oven in & wall going up
I have only left the house twice in February. Once to go and do our monthly shopping, and another day to go to the car boot. Oh joy! I love those car boots. This time I purchased a brass oil lamp for the back garden, a rug for the sitting room, rose plants and a catering size stainless steel cooking tray complete with a drip tray to use in the outdoor oven. Then on to Eyna restaurant for a full English breakfast, followed by a rummage through the 3C's charity shop - love it!
On my last blog post I wrote about our old cat Çingene and how poorly she was. She was so poorly that for three consequetive nights I thought she would pass away in the night. I know that if at that stage I had taken her to the vets he would have put her to sleep. But as she was not in any distress and knowing her like I do, I felt inclined to give her a chance. She is still with us and is a lot better than she was. I am now thinking it is 50/50 that she will make it through the winter and into another spring. We must not ever underestimate her spirit or sheer bloody mindedness to get through. I am still making her hot water bottles for her bed, but sometimes she is moving to sit on the radiator or a dog, and she is eating well again now, so there is hope.
Red can't work out why Kizzy is wearing a cat!