Is There Any More Tea In That Pot?

Everyday events in the life of a tea lover.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

A snow day! 500 schools closed in our area on Monday, 21st January

It snowed all day on Sunday, and into the night. The schools were closed. Our road was like a sheet of ice. It looks beautiful, but as I have already said, throws up all kinds of problems.
The hospitals are busy treating people who have slipped and fallen.
 I had to stay indoors yesterday, waiting for the man to look at the washing machine, which had decided not to spin at the end of the usual programme, resulting in sodden clothes! As I wrung them out by hand, it reminded me of our holidays in France on the camp sites, where, from time to time I did the laundry by hand, in the basins provided outside! It seemed a novelty then! But at least it all dried quickly in the sunshine. (Eventually I progressed to using the pay machine. Unless it had a label on it saying "en panne!")  I learned quickly that it meant it was "out of order".        
Monday 21st January.2013. 
  I waited more in hope, than in any conviction that he would negotiate the hazardous roads, and arrive. He rang the doorbell at 4.00pm. A cheerful chappy, who took one look at the washer and, having been informed what was the matter, proceeded to tell me that there was nothing wrong!
"Ah" he said, "I'll bet when I put it on spin it will work".
It did!
The explanation being the programme computer had "got itself confused". If I left it next time when it appeared to have difficulty with it's spin, rather than switching it off because it was not working properly, it would "rebalance itself" !
When I asked how long I had to leave it spinning before it corrected it's "balance", he replied, "Could be an hour" !
I put a load in, after he had gone cheerfully on his way, and was very happy to hear it rev up and set off on it's spin, increasing the speed by degrees. It corrected itself almost immediately.  One happy bunny here is now washing everything in sight. Where would we be without electricity and modern appliances!                  
Tuesday January 22nd 
Today it's the turn of the dishwasher engineer to come along. It has been out of order for two weeks. This time it does need new parts! Glad to say it is still under an extended warranty.
The third thing that happened " Quel horreur!" My hairdryer packed up!! Oh Nooooooooooooooo!
Disaster. That hairdryer has seen good service. It is always one of the first things that I place next to my case when going on holiday. Been drying my hair since 2004. Not bad going!
So, farewell faithful friend.
Good job I have a spare!
Now I need another spare!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

And still it is snowing!

10.20pm  20th January 2013.

It is 10.20pm and has not stopped snowing all day. The trees and shrubs are weighted down.
Already many schools are closed tomorrow.
Timelord is going to London on the train, in the morning, hopefully(!) and is making preparations for the walk to our local station, (which is 5 minutes on a  normal day).
He looks as if he is going to the North Pole once he has all his gear in place. Hiking boots, all weather jacket, which he has used for our treks in the countryside or Lake District, when we've been on holiday, and climbed some of the lower to medium fells.Scarf, hat, gloves and thick socks!
         A quick change may be needed on train.........arriving in London on business in hiking boots would seem a little strange! ;-) But there again, who knows!
At least he has the privilege of travelling first class. (As long as he is at work).
    So, we'll see what the morning brings.
No mail has been delivered since Friday, and the man who is scheduled to repair the washing machine is due at some point during the day. But I think that will be a lost cause! Our road is like a skating rink, and now the snow has fallen on top of the ice.
      The Council do not grit this road, even with a school opposite.
With the amount of extra traffic during the day, and after school, it will be interesting to see what transpires if the school is not closed!
      Just walking along the pavements is treacherous.
So watch this space, as the saying goes.
Now where's my book...........nothing like a good read at bedtime.          

"January brings the snow, makes our feet and fingers glow"

As I sit and write it has begun to snow again outside the window. I am snug and warm inside looking out over a scene which looks beautiful. The snow arrived on Friday, 18th January and by the afternoon, several airports, here in England, and the schools in areas were the snow was reaching 8-10cms in depth, closed.

3.30pm Saturday January 19th 2013 (Photo taken on our walk)   
However. for those who used public transport, (trains and buses) it was a difficult time. Driving became hazardous and in some places downright impossible.      

We went out for a walk on Saturday afternoon, in the cold icy air.Temperature below freezing. There  is always a magical transformation of the landscape after snow has fallen.
Everything looks so dazzlingly white.
Animal tracks can clearly be seen. I noticed where a fox had obviously followed the line of a fence by a grass verge. The brush of his tail making a mark    alongside his paw prints.
Our own cat is always mystified when, on opening the kitchen door for him to go outside into the back garden, he is confronted by the scene in front of him.He had several attempts to brave the elements, involving sitting by the half open door until I closed it, as it was letting all the heat outside.
Contrarily then he wanted me to open it again......once again turning back at the cold air.
I closed the door once more.
But, no, at the third time he quickly stepped out and found himself into snow up to his middle! He took the plunge thinking if he ran fast enough it would make a difference. But all his usual familiar pathways were invisible. This was quite comical to watch! He was hopping like a rabbit. After several minutes of re orientating himself, he made it to the top of the garden and off into next door's.
A plaintive miaowing by the patio window heralded his return.                          
Conversely, Doughnut, next door's cat, had tried to make his usual leap from the adjoining fence on  to our extension roof. He missed his footing, not being able to gauge the edge, and landed slightly on and slightly off his target. His back legs not reaching their mark.
I realised this had happened as there was a very loud yowling, and thinking he and Tiger were fighting I went to look.
All was quiet.
Then I saw the tell tale evidence of Doughnut's demise in the pawprints at the corner of the guttering just above the fence. Scramble marks.

Garden, Saturday January 18th 2013 

 I refilled the bird feeders on Friday, and there have been blue tits, great tits, greenfinches  a robin, blackbirds, starlings, redpolls, gold finches and sparrows. The red wings have arrived, a sure sign of increasingly colder weather. I was amused by a magpie perched on a branch, trying to peck at the coconut shell filled with fat and seeds, hanging on to another one of the apple tree. It was just that bit too far out of his reach. At each peck, it swung away from him, only to swing back again and hit him. He persevered for awhile before admitting defeat.
The great spotted woodpecker, however has mastered the art to perfection, only he uses his talons to cling on to the shell whilst he digs out the fat and seeds which are encased. A red flash of his rump, and the white and black of his plumage. I love to watch him.        
A local road at 3.45pm Saturday 18th January. ( Photo taken on our walk)
Later on in the evening we braved the neighbourhood pavements, now icy, to walk to our friend's home along with some others, for supper and board games. Our walk home about 10.45pm was along quiet roads, not much traffic, and the surfaces gleaming like glass. Snow muffles sounds.  

Saturday, 5 January 2013

A little bit of January sunshine!

Timelord and I took advantage of the early sunshine yesterday to go for a walk. My attempts at a panoramic view were not entirely successful, (if you look very carefully!) but it does capture the crisp light of a beautiful morning. There have been so few this past months. It was not as cold as it has been lately, nor as wet. The birds are now beginning, tentatively, to practise their first new notes in readiness for spring. A long way off I know, but I saw my first crocus in flower, on a verge by the side of the path. We meandered along a lane, and eventually came to the farm shop and cafĂ©, a sight which always gladdens my heart!                                                                                                          We both had a coffee and then set off once more, this time in a homeward direction.
Later on that same morning I went to sit and wait in the summerhouse at the top of the garden, along with my camera, in order to try and photo the redpolls on the feeder.
I did manage eventually, after sitting still for what seemed like an age, to take a picture of one of the goldfinches.
Today, I took one of my little redpolls. They are so dapper with their snazzy red caps. I love to  watch them all when they arrive.
But I could not be a wildlife photographer, as they must have to wait for hours and hours in one place before taking the shot they most prize! Stamina and  patience are required! I must be lazy, preferring to sit and watch them all as they come and go, as I drink a steaming mug of tea!
 A goldfinch on the nyjer seed  feeder

One of the redpolls.   

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Year's Day 2013.

The 1st of January 2013 greeted us here, at least, to a cloudless clear icy blue sky.And sunshine! Something I cannot resist! So, wrapping up warm, I decided to have my breakfast outside sitting at a patio table covered in ice patterns.
A first for me, like the day itself. Hubby was snuggly oblivious to all this, being in the Land of Nod....zzz
I so enjoyed the novelty of the sun, low down in the sky, as it's rays climbed and crept across the garden, melting the frost.  
The steaming mug of coffee left a ring where the ice had been. 
The previous evening having already spent 3 hours in the cinema earlier, to see the new Hobbit film, we decamped to another friend's house to await the old year disappearing.    
Breakfast on New Year's Day. 
 I had not had much sleep the night before, necessitating another visit to the doc's on the morning of New Year's Eve, (due to a continuing bout of sinusitus), so we left before midnight, like Cinderella, to drive home. But we were able to watch the fireworks all around the area, as they burst into the sky, and the sound resounded in the clear air. We were in the loft bedroom, which has a panoramic view over the gardens and rooftops. As we remained there for awhile, Chinese lanterns began to appear, floating one by one against the back drop of the stars. We counted 15 in total, a they drifted high up, from the west to the east.
So the New Year was ushered in for us.
Uncharted territory.                    
The Hobbit
As a passing reference to The Hobbit, we found it a bit too long. I have read the book twice, and also The Lord of The Rings, which caught my imagination in the early 1980's. I think you either like Tolkien or you can't understand what all the fuss is about!
The film itself is extremely good. A second being in the pipe-line.
There are 3 in the Lord of the Rings saga.
The epic journeys undertaken in the books are translated very well on to he cinema screen. Yet, as I have already remarked, the whole thing was very drawn out.
So, as I write, Tiger having insisted on sitting on my lap, and  now curled up asleep, the first day is now no longer fresh and new.
(Incidentally, typing on a laptop which is balanced on the arm of the settee, can be a bit tricky at times! Fur ball having taken the available space).
It is almost time for tea. We have spent a lot of time today out of doors, completing a walk this morning and another after lunch.
The cold fresh air is beneficial for me.
It creates a healthy appetite!
Now it needs satisfying............before the day closes.