Thursday, 26 February 2009

Mechanical mysteries.

I am always a sucker for an auction.

It has been a sure fire magnet to put up a sign saying "to the auction" anywhere near one of my regular routes.

I have, in the past bought a lot of stuff at various auctions and much "because it was cheap" gear has arrived in various houses of mine, much of it stayed a long time too.

But anyway that was the old days and these days we have.....


Needing a replacement for the IVECO, I was refused permission to bid on a rather splendid armoured Mercedes sprinter on an MOD site and was reduced instead to looking at something more practical.

Spotting an 806 Pugwat on the evil bay I bided my time and at the very last moment dived in and stole it for a pretty good price.

Now, of course there had to be a catch and sure enough there was.

It was cheap because there is a bit of a fault on the engine management.

A real bizarre one, hit 3000 revs and the engine simply switches off. The vehicle slows till the engine is at tickover and then it starts up again.

Progress is a series of jolts and spurts as I drive along with my eyes fixed to the rev counter.

It helps not at all that really the gearing means optimum change point is 3500 revs which drops you nicely in the torque band. Change at 2500 and you are in wheezing asthma land.

Was this a bargain or someone's lemon.....

We shall find out next week.


Wednesday, 25 February 2009

On any Wednesday.

It's funny isn't it.

Best laid ambitions....

We were going to explode out of bed on Monday and go off to be action people, well so far it's Wednesday and we haven't.

Management to be fair has gone off to her forestry and she will be off auctioning later.

I am left here to figure out how to amuse myself for the day.

Option one is to sort the shower, this should be an hours entertainment I am very unimpressed with modern things. I put a new hose and head on that shower a mere 10 years ago and today it's broken. you cannot get the quality of materials these days...

I think also I might go and investigate more wood. See if the woodman is home and lay up a couple of tons of scrap timber.

The new Bedford is sort of a success, we are cutting directly off the back of the truck and have built a nice stack where timber can be piled and dried.

This all smacks of organisation

I think some of the listlessneess was down to more flurries of activity from the inastate agent, he seems touchingly keen that we complete a deal and sell.

That is all very well but all that happens is that she who does not do waiting gets really fed up and we all pay the price for that. She does not like uncertainty, true all round really.

The property market is still, despite what people are saying, all over the place.

Everything is still at asking prices based on two years ago. I am told by an insider that those who actually make a sale are usually taking a 25% drop in negociation. The problem has now become surveyors who have cost a few sales locally by slicing even greater chunks off what everything is considered to be worth.

If I had bought a few years back I would be beyond sick.

Think I will agree with management (always the wisest course by the way), pull the house off the market and start planning some works. Leave the property market alone for a couple of years, by then we will have lost all the foslings and most of our own children. We could downsize big style.

We'll start off by cutting 20 tons of wood. If we could get that far ahead we would be sorted for next winter - an ideal state of affairs!!

Otherwise, the situation here is lurching towards the critical, we have just about run out of wine and are reduced to drinking UK type coffee.



Monday, 23 February 2009

What will I do then,

What will I do then, I'll tell you what:

I am going to spend a lot more time in Brittany thats what!!


Decades fly.

It is a strange thing. 10 years ago today my youngest, Gwion was born, about now in fact. Ten years have just evaporated, he will never again be able to list his age as a single figure and he is within sight of secondary school.

His oldest sister, called to the phone in primary school to be told she had another sibling (she didn't think to ask if it was a boy or girl) has completed her GCSE's and is almost off to university.

Something she celebrated by forgetting a vital piece of coursework and leaving a message on her fathers blog, as opposed to sending an email, telling me to email it to.....

Well not email it to anyone, just to email it.

So I might as well send her homework to Gordon Brown, it will make more sense than some of the stuff he has been getting of late and maybe he can mark her course work for her.

It is scary to think that ten years have gone, another ten, whoosh.

By tomorrow they will all have left home and be working, and what will I do then....


Sunday, 22 February 2009

spare me from strimmers.....

So we got out of bed today ready for work.

Well, OK we went to the Sunday market as a way to avoid it but anyway after lunch we went out on work bent.

Having pulled the strimmer in yesterday and cleaned out the fuel system it was time to see if it would start.

It went well untill the starter came apart.

4 hours rebuilding a recoil starter, took two of us to put the spring back in and then it still didn't work.

Ohh boy was I impressed?

You tell me......


Saturday, 21 February 2009

Holiday fatigue.....

With the week drawing to a close we have a bad case of holiday fatigue.

This morning it was out of bed early to take young man to meet mum, then back via another house we would not mind viewing.

This one might well tick the boxes but it's towards to the top end of what we can afford that's assuming they are not holding out for what the house went on sale for about 18 months ago which would make it beyond silly money..

All a bit academic really since there is no real money on the table for our house and the vendor of that particular house has vanished off the radar.

Anyway, back home to our wreck strewn drive, no one son had found the blown hose and replacement was well under way. With bits sourced from another spare V8

Sadly on the rover V8 there are a few bits of really fiddly plumbing and we had found them.

Now any normal vehicle. like say a Green Goddess, most hoses could be changed in about an hour tops.

Not this job, had to take a load of hoses off to get at the one that had gone and then it was charlie the contortionist to get the damn things back on.

Meant that number one son could not help mum clearing the patch we prepared last year to put in a willow fence with his little range rover and trailer. Nope he had to take a 7.5 ton flatbed to pick up the chopped down gorse bushes instead, still he could to in one trip what would have taken about 5 with the range rover.

Then it was off again to collect the young man from a little way up the M4.

Home now and teatime - Me? I am holidayed out, I could do bed at 8, thats 15 minutes.


Friday, 20 February 2009

Now, the holidays drizzle by.

Had a fair ammount of SW drama today, at 9 am too so it was serious stuff.

Went off for a Booker raid and get the bits for Lilly.

We came home and it was multi task day.

Last night we decided we are a bit lazy about life and we need to engage more.

So it was rebuild the starter motor on the Lilly that was Taliesins until it broke down and then it was mine.

With it working of course it wasn't, it was his again.

So we had to move his land rover which had stuck brakes and left a huge tear in the drive as we dragged it till Lilly let go a heater hose.

So we now have a drive zig zagged with broken vehicles.

Does my darling love this?

I might sleep on the setee tonight....

But of course we processed a ton of firewood today, cut and stacked.

Which is why we are both knackered.

Think I might do bed.


Wednesday, 18 February 2009

To buy or not to sell.....

Good lord, what a day out.

We spent the day on the move.

Bethan my baby girl, now entitled to drive, was safely in the back.

Off we went.

We started souless a souless unhappy house with a desperate seller. The arguments and domestic discord echoed in the voice that told us of all the property interests he obviously stood to lose if he did not sell.

Trouble was, despite his desperation for an offer one felt clear that the offer he wanted was some years ago in a past property boom.

Lovely sheds, to die for, Green Goddess heaven, absolutely everything we needed. Shame we could not live there.

Next on, ohh lordy, green goddess hell, did not work at all, but I would make it work to live there. No more to say former mill by a river, wonderfull house wonderfull place wonderfull price.

Well it might be.

I am losing it somewhere along the line.

There seem to be lots of willing buyers out there with unrealistic expectations of what the price has dropped to matched with a market that still thinks it's 2007.

BAH think I will walk away....



There is a certain stress to life.

This house selling lark really is a cure for relaxation.

Especially just now.

All those people out there who have totally unrealistic views of what you will take for my property which is clearly worth a fortune. Why can't people get real.

And of course those stupid people who have completely over the top valuations of their houses that they expect me to pay way over the top for. Why can't people get real.

Anyway, off I go on chainsaw bent.

Viewings this afternoon, going to see a house she has almost decided she does not want.


Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Thank goodness it's holidays....

It is really soo good to know it's a holiday.

Otherwise I would be working my self to death.

This morning full of joy and enthusiasm the management exploded out of bed, out we went to finish the wood cutting.

That was not all though, of course not.

We needed to clear a huge clear space for next winters wood.

this depite the fact we are now back on the property trail and have several viewings piled up for the rest of the week.

So rubbish was cleared, a firewood stack was begun and from now on we are on serious choping bent

I feel another scrap run coming on. A trip to the big scrapyard place up the road to clear all the junk.

Could be next week planned.

Thats if I survive this week.


Monday, 16 February 2009

Let the chain take the strain.

When I muse on the eventual if not imminent demise of petrol I wonder exactly how we will cope. I was outside today and a massive amount of wood was very quickly dispatched with the chain saw.

I could have used a hand saw but would probably have taken ten times as long.

Now we have another good few days supply of wood which I think we might spend another day this week increasing the stocks.

Management has re jigged the wood store we can now store even more indoors.


The lady's not for waiting.

Now, I should observe that the lady in question, the management, does not do waiting.

Patience is a virtue in which she was singularly sold short.

So this morning as I was talking to the inastate agent I was getting constant hints and suggestions of what I should be saying, whilst the lady in question of course declined to have the conversation for herself.

All deals appears to be off again with our supposed buyer living in a happy state in dream land; thinking that because he has taken a huge tumble on what he is selling I should take an even bigger cut in what I am selling here so that he does not have to lose out. I will carry any loses for him. Maybe he is a UK banker, they seem to think that everyone apart from them has to take a hit when the markets go jumpy.

Is he a banker, is does it rhyme with....

Talking a tumble selling houses is all very well but only if everyone is doing it.

The person selling the house we want was decidedly cool when a new offer was presented, in fact, she has decided that she can do up the house and sell it on at a profit.

That might not be a terribly wise decision, build costs have soared this last year and there is no guarantee that by the time you bring a house to market values will not have tumbled even further.

Though of course it could be argued, if you were me, that it could be a win win as she brings that house back to a market that could be even flatter in 12 months time with all the work done, I might be able to grab myself a proper bargain...

But, management has succesfully concealed her happiness by stomping round the house and she is now planning planting seeds after she has finished with the firewood we need to get cut today.

Management with an axe..

Hmmm that is not a good thought...

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Game on dude.....

So we are back on the property looking at ladder.

Our original house is still on the market but there has been a lot happening.

A pipe let go and the place has been comprehensively flooded.

The Vendor has also engaged in some "improvements" cleared away some lovely mature trees to create, well, I am not quite sure what..

That is before I see the carnage in the house.

The result of this has been a revised bid from us which has gone down rather a lot from where we were last time we were bidding.

That is just as well.

Our buyer "has done his research" and he now assures us that our house is worth just over half what it was worth two years ago. He can "prove" it too using statistics.
There is a long standing saying about lies damned lies and statistics, this is simply not right. Statistics are just numbers, they cannot lie, it is people who produce statistics with flawed logic and sometimes with deliberate deception.

Fortunately I did rather a good stats course when I was in Uni and I can recognise fiddled figures then I see them.

Could be an interesting morning in the estate agents tomorrow.

Today though has been a lazy day, well no a lazy day and a day taking Lilly the beast into town. Lovely V8 burble and ready urge on tap.

Never mind miles per gallon how about smiles per mile.


Saturday, 14 February 2009

My perfect Valentine.

We are a little misty eyed here at Penole today.

Fully aware of the date I thought of a few gestures to share my romantic feelings with the mistress of all we owe money on.

So, of course I spent a good part of yesterday resurrecting the aga so that object of my affections does not have to cook for 9 on a 2 ring camping stove.

Pleased with my efforts I went on eBay and bought her not one but two magnifying lenses, so that, next auction she will be able to read names on the water colours and if one comes up that would fetch over a grand up country she will not drop out of the bidding at 50 quid....

I am not sure why but she did not seem bowled over by these gestures of affection.

Still all is not grief.

Just when we thought nothing was happening, our buyer has reappeared. With a sense of humour too. He has put in an offer of about half what our house was valued at 18 months ago. I do like a laugh of a morning.


Thursday, 12 February 2009

Glory days of normalitty....

I am getting annoyed with myself, every time I seem to hit "post" after I think of a title and before I write anythings.

It has been a fortunate and quiet week, well OK maybe I exaggerate.

The kids have taken it in turns to be ill.

Bethan and Branwen and now Taliesin off in bed suffering from the bubonic plague that management has nearly gotten over she was almost zombie like over the weekend.

To be fair I have not seen her this ill in a while. Tallie has been the illest I have ever seen him.

Of course this coincided with me being all day in work yesterday. Something I could not get out of as there was a request for an interview in Welsh and as far as welsh speakers are concerned I am it as far as the degree goes.

Naturally, last week management had lost a lens from her glasses in the snow and meaning I had also to be on standby for any driving duties.

Goodness me what a day of running round!

Because of course this is my life, the person who was supposed to be interviewed in Welsh didn't turn up so I could simply have stayed home.

Since I was on strong money an hour I stayed anyway.

add to this the IVECO being reluctant in the battery department when it's cold and the Xantia having a slow puncture it all added up to a fun few days.

I had managed to get a load of wood in Tuesday as well as running round getting sick children from school.

So we celebrated today by waving the chainsaw a bit and I filled in with the axe.

She is a bit happier with us now having both wood stoves making up for a couple of days of being out.

Ohh did I mention that the wood ran out over the weekend - minor detail and easily overlooked.


Monday, 9 February 2009

Abnormal is the new normal...

So far so good,

Bumping down the drive in the Iveco today and managed to get all the way to the top past the parked Xantia and out.

Hip hip....

Well not quite, go to the bus and only the older kids had school.

The younger ones were sent home.

Still at least it was three down.

Then on and out with Gwion to school.

Management remains unwell so I went alone to get her glasses repaired.

Spent much of the day getting competative new insurance quotes for the monster, still alls well that ends ok.

Ordered up a load of wood, with a 7.5 ton flatbed lorry I can get serious with the firewood the campaign starts now....

The Xantia has been periodically sulking with the rear suspension periodically refusing to pump itself up. Not as bad as it sounds, dragging the towbar along the floor is clearing the drive nicely!!

Management has taken to her bed where she is watching things on her laptop and ringing her bell every time she needs some grapes peeled.

The night draws in, hey whats this from the met office?

A severe weather warning for more extreme snow or heavy rain.

Ohhh please....

Book me on the ferry


Sunday, 8 February 2009

Plague house.....

Another day another; well, another.

We had been promised rain last night and a thaw today.

Taking the local weather forecast; management noted even more fresh snow on the truck roof.

We were expecting a quiet day so of course coach was on the phone first thing, Tallie was needed for rugby training.

Having dropped Tallie into town in the beast I came home to take the rest to the Sunday market.

Well OK maybe not.

We got not very far at all and the IVECO was going no where and getting it back into the parking space was a real live struggle.

This took all the time we would have been at the market so it was now time to get the Tallie.

The beast declined to function so, sadly (yeah right) off up the drive I went in Gloria the green goddess.

I could of course have left Gloria at the top of the drive and taken the Xantia.

But that was too complex so I gave myself a treat and drove into town in 7.5 tons of 50's technology.

The shopping had to be done so me and the man went and did the biz.

Back home and the management had succumbed to a deadly lurg, too many days too cold.

She retired to bed.

Down the drive came Phil the Jeep, this time without getting stuck....

Having sampled the beast he was a wee bit impressed.

So of course we went on to observe in a neutral fashion a certain game involving Wales and Scotland.

All the time we have had to minister to managements every need.

She is currently running a temp of 38 degrees.

Her brow has been smoothed and she is currently in bed feeling sorry for herself.

I had better make sure she is OK

Mass bathing of kids is taking place, checking of school uniform.

Tomorrow they are in school, I don't care if it's open or not....


Saturday, 7 February 2009

Please someone - a quiet life for me.....

I have sort of watched in wonder as this week has progressed.

Last night I genuinely believed it was over, it was all calming down.

How wrong can one be?

Very, so it seems.

This morning started with a quiet lie in, well no it didn't out of bed earlyish so Gwion could go off for his mates birthday.

Just a simple drive up the drive. Well no, 45 minute later we were still digging pushing revving and swearing.

Stuck, unstuck, reverse a bit drive a bit stuck, dig out drive a bit reverse a bit stuck a bit.

Eventually we got Gloria involved and after a bit more revving stucking and unstucking we pulled the car backwards into the field with Gloria and then with it still on the hitch reversed all the way up the drive.

This left us seriously late dropping Gwion off.

But of course the day was not over, I had been doing secret deals buying a new toy. A range rover classic from which all the bodywork had been removed and replaced by a full roll cage.

This had been clad in flat alloy panels creating a kind of buggy. But not before the chassis had been shortened and the overhangs cut off.

This was a mere 50 miles away and off I went to collect it.

By now management was soaked so the heater was on flat out in the car, well it would have been had the fan not packed up. Still it works so long as you do 70 mph everywhere.....

So anyway we got there and collected the truck in question.

There was a certain minimalist feel to things and various minor features like side windows, heater decent weather protection had all been omitted.

Still I am no softy and off home I set, with management confused and not sure where I had gone.

Still she caught up with me eventually and we proceeded in convoy. Her with an air powered heater and me with well not much. My rear visibility was sub optimal and so of course I did not know it was her behind me.

Naturally this was when yet more snow started to fall. Wasn't that bad, my fire gear shrugged off the weather and was at least acceptably warm.

Well all was OK till the wipers failed coming home along the b road.

Now I am hot on safety, but safety is a broad concept. Stopping a vehicle miles from anywhere in a snow storm is a real safety risk, in a freeze to death sort of way. So I wiped the speed right off and drove along with my head hanging out of the door.

I will confess to having enjoyed things more than this, like being whacked over the head with a mallet.....

Next village, I stopped and cleared the windows. This seemed to work and with visibility I carried on, eventually I got home we left the xantia close to the road and I ferried management down the drive in the beast and the day continued.

By now it was lunch time so it was feed the hordes.

Of course there was more.

Gloria was still at the top of the drive so off we went to fetch the hero of the hour.

This was an ideal time for gloria to run out of fuel. Jerry can in hand we fueled the truck then flattened the battery trying to prime it.

Still it was downhill and with the new beast revving its heart out we managed to get Gloria moving and dragged it till the pump primed and it burst into life.

But of course there was more.

I had just agreed to buy back my old Bedford truck I sold in 1996 so of course there was even more.

Up the drive to move the car, bring the bedford back to it's old home and then up the drive in the monster into the car and take the Grease home.

Meanwhiles we had not been the only ones having excitements. OHH no, Gwions little friends had struggled back to their house through the snow. I arrived back home down the drive just in time to turn the beast round go back up the drive and set off in the car to collect Gwion.

Naturally, the moment we arrived at Gwions mates the blizzard started again.

So we diverted to the chip shop, went home, left the car and decamped in the beast.

Now, this is probably reading all a bit monosyllabic. For some reason I am not inspired, I feel tired - dunno why.

Tomorrow promises more of the same, or maybe less, less works for me...


Friday, 6 February 2009


Yesterday afternoon.....

Posted by Picasa

another uneventfull day.

Today we had a meeting.

Now of course this was important and a long way away so up the drive in Gloria to where the car had been parked yesterday.

Down to the B road and a clear run to the M4.

There were multiple motorway problems but fortunately not for us.

The day passed off quite uneventfully and the meeting was over quickly.

Home then.

A blast back with a diversion to pick up a parcel that our local lateral thinking parcel force driver left at my mates garage because he could not get to the house.

So this was us at the top of the snowy drive.

Management fancied that we would be able to get the car back to the house and so she elected to drive it.

Leaving me the less onerous task of turning Gloria around then following her in.

Of course this was not going to be that simple.

Having driven down the road and turned round I was was confronted by the management apparently parked on the drive.

No, she was in front of the car waving the shovel about.

Now, I must say it was pretty damn cold and one of the nice things about a GG is the wonderful heater.

Being managerial I decided that she really was doing a good job so I sat and waited patiently for her, well OK, I might have beeped the horn once or twice to encourage her. There was a nasty draught coming in from the door...

Several goes and she got quite a lot further down the drive with one tow from the GG to pull her back out of a particularly deep drift.

She was obviously struggling and really needed some help.

It was time I acted.

Being decisive I got my phone out and started taking pictures.

This was exactly what she needed.

She looked at me and it was as if a red mist descended.

She got back in the car and took off on two jets of snow, as if her hair was on fire.

She got all the way back to the house in one go.

Then of course it was time to open her present box.

All the military surplus stuff had arrived and she could check the box to see all the treasure in store.

She looked suitably horrified but as we speak she is wearing naval work trousers and a superb pair of warm socks.

Her goretex trousers have been borrowed by Taliesin, he is off somewhere staying with one of his little mates.

I am sure she loves me really....


Thursday, 5 February 2009

State of shock

Goodness me.

So anyway, this morning expecting the promised rain we awoke to snow.

Having checked the local forecast (head out of window) management decided it was back to bed as it was snowing.

Turns out both schools were open, so the kids could have gone, though of course they both closed again when it became clear that the weather was closing in.

The Met office optimistically assured us it was raining all day as the snow fell with ever greater determination.

When they had issued severe weather warnings, they still said it was raining.

We had now been in the house since Monday afternoon, we could take no more so off we went to town. Conditions were after all improving - the met office said so. It must be true....

This involved getting the car up the drive which was only going to happen if we used Gloria the fire engine. So with lots of hitching of ropes reving and reversing we got to the point where the hapless Xantia was dragged through various drifts till we got to the road.

I left management to it, to reverse the car out of the way so that I could get the fire engine back down the drive. Off I went down the road to where it was wide enough for a vehicle with a 90 foot turning circle to turn, then round and back.

Into the drive and pause which is where management managed to create a crisis to make a drama out of. She could not get the Xantia into the drive backwards and sat there slithering.

Rather then hitch up the ropes again I dived into the car, selected reverse and gently backed the car into the drive.

The neighbours, ah yes did I mention the neighbours, a goodly pose of other vehicles had built up and some comments and observations were made regarding gender diferences in driving which ran like water off the management back.

She just snarled serenly at them....

Anyway off into town, at this stage I was in trumpton attire, this being the only kit we have that is suitably weatherproof for lying round under cars and fire engines attaching ropes.

She was not going to be seen out with me looking like that she said.

I agreed to change but very fortunatly didn't

Into town, milk purchased, car fueled up, jerry cans filled for Gloria and a new battery thrown in.

In town it was rain, leaving town it was sleet, into the village and snow.

Climb the hill, drifting wheeling whiteout.

Up the minor road with conditions deteriorating exponentially, just about got past the drive and reversed in. Having decided not to take Gloria out and turn round, rather opted for reversing back into the field.

Mistake, big mistake.

Serious whiteout, lost sight of back of truck in swirling snow.

Visibility now officially not good.

Mirrors filling up, windows clouding over, my was I enjoying this!!!! .

Reversed in Braille using odd flashes and glimpses of track plus feeling the truck tyres riding up the sides.

Don't ask me how but somehow we made it into the field. turned round and drove back to house in rapidly deepening snow.

Decided to leave standing outside with a jerry can refueling Gloria for the morning. Wanted something to look forward to I suppose.

Replaced the battery, though of course I could do that in a nice warm cab.

Took some pics and of course blogger does not want to know them...

The management and I are now officially beyond suprise and wild surmise.

We await what will happen next with trepidation, though part of me thinks trepanation might offer some relief.

I might go to bed early tonight.

Now feels like a good time.....

A very good time...


Weather without end.....

Last night - MORE SNOW!!!

Where the hell is it all coming from

We are still stuck in the house both schools are open but we cant get there

Management is less than impressed.

If I can't get her car up the drive soon there could be bloodshed.


Wednesday, 4 February 2009

So far so good...

So, we did get through the day.

No chance of going to do anything in cars.

Xantia got a little distance up the drive then stopped.

Tried The IVECO, got a lot further then got completly stuck.

So out we went in the fire engine to fetch Taliesin, roads very much improved, our drive a write off.

So tomorrow morning the fire engine it will be until I get the drive dug clear or we get a bit of a thaw.

Got the fire running wonderfully and and the central heating still works too.

Shame the kids have never heard of closing doors, otherwise we could be warm.

Management has gone down with what she assures me is Ebola.

I hope to goodness we can get the kids to school tomorrow, don't think I could handle another day.

We are now out of milk so tomorrow will be an into town day.

One of the nice things about a GG mind is parking, park wherever you like...

Once again the day dawns white....

One look out the window and didn't bother thinking about schools and buses. No chance there would be school today, checked online and sure enough we have the children home again for the day.

The Aga is out the fire is out the central heating is in as were many of the cats for all of the night. Putting them out this morning was not easy, putting one out of the window as another three tried to get back in!

Yesterday afternoon Da Man was being shown the food outside and had clearly decided that "warm" is more important than "food".

Managed to get my videos up on you tube, including a magic few seconds of a childhood ending. Yes Bruce and Taliesin are now screaming into adulthood but there were just a few moments left to be children and build a snowman.

Memories they will treasure for a lifetime.

Me I am off in to town like a big child in my fire engine.

Need milk, that's my excuse.


Tuesday, 3 February 2009

A quiet old day....

This morning the sound of the alarm passed with little notice. We had already guessed that school would probably not be happening, we were of course right in that.

There were drifts up to 3 foot deep everywhere.

We had not reckoned with the water of course and a pipe had let go, yes yet another one so that was a fine mop and bucket start to the day.

Still it took little time and soon we had the system up and running.

The log stove was a complete boon delivering plenty of warmth for drying clothes socks and gloves.

The day was given over to things that children remember for life like sledges and snowmen.

Then of course the drama started.

Luckily I had left Gloria on extended low voltage charge and once I had realised the choke was stuck fully out we soon had motion.

Quick reccy of the drive reveled that nothing else was going to do.

We soon found out for sure as Biker Phil came to call and ended up abandoning his jeep a mile from the house.

Gloria took the drive in it's stride and soon we had the jeep on the hitch.

This is where it got complicated. Gloria was fine on the move but once parked up it sunk into the snow and it was only an hours digging that got us free.

Once on the move though the Goddess soon dragged the hapless Jeep free.

Great new footage for YouTube though!!

Then it was back home and the AGA was out.

This we really could manage without so after a brief pause I tried to relight it. This was the beginning of an unequal two hour battle featuring occasional smoke clouds, flare ups and one real live honest to goodness blow back (not me fortunately but management) so now it is impasse. I am going to strip the aga down in the morning.

Of course the talk of fires brings up the days real annoyance. A car caught fire in the valley today and the trumptons could not turn out. No one thought to give us a ring with the 4 wheel drive Green Goddess, how cool would that have been??

Cooler than the weather even!!!

Looking ahead, we are resigned to having the children home for another day, well actually I cannot see the schools opening for a few days.

Lets try and add a few images



It's quite as snowy as I have ever seen it.

Going to try and get up the drive in Gloria soon.

I might be gone some time....

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Near whiteout at Penole.

Gloria and Fishguard Belle in the snow.
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Snow Joke.... Beyond snow joke!!

We are now officially cut off

Blogger is not accepting posts, going to try again.

This is the worst weather I have experienced in 20 years.

Blogger is refusing posts - try again with no photos.


Monday, 2 February 2009

Snow Joke....

Being singularly well prepared for everything we awoke this morning with food stocks at an unusual low.

So it was off to Bookers Aldi Tesco with the weather suprisingly calm and even

Everywhere else in the country seemed to be on stop and we were getting none of it.

But it did intrude, in the heart of cow country there was no milk on the shelf in Tescos. Milk is brought in from so far away that the infrastructure had folded.

But we have the standard Brit whinge on the telly, the worst snow in 30 years and why have we not got the tools to deal with it?

Of course if we did they would spend the other 29 whinging about the costs of keeping stuff that never gets used.

We now have a severe weather warning in place but frankly it does not look like it's going to do anything any time soon.

Shame, I have the green goddess fueled and charged, all I need now is the weather.


Sunday, 1 February 2009

Bye Taff NYV795


Bye Taff, arrived safely at the Wirral last night at 9 pm.

Just in time for the snow.


Photo courtesy of Sir Bruce Photography.

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Another day another leak.....

Nice bright start to the morning, lying in bed drinking coffee and chilling.

Then came the news from the bathroom, water on the floor.

A quick investigate revealed only a minor dripping all quickly dealt with.


Still we now move into rough weather alert mode.

Securing a weeks supply of firewood inside the house.

It has not really promised us the snow but you can never tell.

Time to fuel up the chainsaw...