It’s A bit Brrrrisk!!!

When Dad said that winter was slipping into spring early this year he certainly wasn’t expecting this, two weeks of very cold weather, down to -16°C for long periods!

Luckily no major damage to report on the island but we did lose nearly all of our stored pumpkins and squashes along with the remains of the potatoes, and the onions have certainly been frozen despite it all being stored underneath straw in the barn.  Even the brassicas in the garden took a hammering, but our loss is the pigs gain!

In this kind of cold weather a lot of time is spent just keeping things ticking over, looking after the animals and keeping the home fires burning. 

The chickens refused to come out of their house for about four days and the sheep couldn’t wait to get back into theirs at the end of each day queuing up at gate in the field to come back under cover.  It’s all good fun for the kids though (old and young!), with snowball fights and sledging. Adam even managed to get onto his skis and ski down to the village, much to the amusement of all the locals!

 

Luckily we still have plenty of projects to be getting on with, building the new Bodger’s Yurt in the barn and a composting toilet in the cart shed. They will be transported to their respective plinths in the woods at a later date.

Wendy and I decided that this was as good an opportunity as any to take a couple of days off and head to Paris over the valentines day period.  We caught an early TGV from Angouleme and arrived in Paris a couple of hours later .  We walked for miles and miles and I have to say I was very impressed – the architecture and stonework is très magnifique and they haven’t spoiled the centre with modern, high rise buildings.  The last time I was in Paris was in 1989 and since then they seem to have dealt with the dog shit problem and even the waiters seemed pleasant, polite and helpful!

We stayed the night in Montmartre which was lovely and the following day we continued our tour on foot.  It was interesting to wander around the almost village-like area amongst all of the street artists, and one of the characaturists there stopped me to say that I had the perfect look for the work of a cartoonist – I didn’t know whether to be flattered or offended!  Having notched up lots more miles and most of the sights, we caught the TGV home – it was a fast, comfortable and trouble free journey and we arrived in Angouleme when we were supposed to!

We now seem to be in the midst of a thaw so hopefully we can get down to the willow and start coppicing with avengence, there’s lots to catch up on before the daffs come out!

Best Wishes, Matt

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