So where's the snow?

Muddling through life from Austria to Wales; God, life and a small black dog


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Snow, snow, snow and no clearing it up!

I really enjoyed the recent snowfall here, no shovels in sight. But now it’s melting and getting slippery, I could almost wish it would rain again. All photos taken on Mountain Ash golf club.

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COLD!

At present, a lot of the United kingdom is under an,’arctic blast’ with snow, frost and freezing frog!

We have central heating in our house, and we looked forward to it when we moved in. Fourteen years of lugging wood (up to 14 cubic metres) into the store had taken the edge off  the love for the wood stoves in our Austrian flat.

We weren’t prepared for the huge price hikes here but at present think we can cope. However, we set the heating on a timer for early morning and the evenings and last year we were fine. This cold spell has had me chilled like never in Austria.

Then when I pondered, of course! In our little flat, we had the wood kitchen oven which we heated all day and then lit the sitting room one in the evening. We were always snug. This house quickly gets cold when it goes off, particularly with with conservatory roof in the kitchen, and we don’t realise we’ve got cold too, so it feels worse when we go out. So now we have put the heating on during the day, maybe it might cost less if it keeps a steady heat all the time rather than having to heat from scratch. Hopefully Wales will return to being mild and wet before long!

One thing did make us laugh. When it snowed on Sunday, we drove down to church without a thought, while our garden was covered with about 10mm, the roads were clear. It was a huge surprise to find the church with only three others there, we’d never given the snow a thought!


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Wet,wet,wet

Since returning from the family at Christmas, we’ve had 3.5 inches of rain!

Last night it rained continuously and when Swingle and I trotted up the road, it was awash. Culverts overflowing down like a small sea.

Quite a difference to silence walking up there this summer when the streams had all but dried out.

But I’d still rather be splashing in puddles and mud than slipping on snow!


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Mud

It’s only since we’ve been here in Wales that I’ve come to reluctantly admit just how much the winters were getting me down in Austria. It’s lovely if all you have to do is skim down a mountain and have a drink at the end or just watch it fall and take photos (Well I did love that).

But. When you have to live day in day out with it, as it compacts and hardens into ice underfoot and you have to keep your eyes on the ground, or like me put spikes on your boots all the time, the thrill wears off. Or the obsessional snow clearing of the stuff, when you have a huge yard, and the neighbours are tearing out with shovels the second it stops falling, it becomes an irritation. I always felt we didn’t need to clear so much, most of our neighbours weren’t even there in winter, so why clear their garages?

Let alone, when you get ‘Tau wetter’ when it rains then freezes and the whole place turns into a skating rink. Walking on ice had me permanently in a panic, although the nails helped.

The day in day out, changing of layers of clothes to take the dog out and the paths that became inaccessible in the woods. Yes, I really was going to pay 20 euros to go up in a lift, walk on a piste and get mown down by skiers! There were lovely walks, which we did find, but few and far between. But daily runs with the dog lost their appeal.

Here, it has been raining since Christmas day, now over 2 inches. There is mud and slush over the paths, the dog comes back wet, and I’m quite often soaked. Do I panic when I slip in a bit of mud? No. It’s a soft squelchy landing. I’m happy slinging wellies off, towelling the dog and as it’s not so cold, no need for layers of coats.

I’m home.


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Fake Spring

After a couple of warmish weeks, winter suddenly returned. On Sunday we had another 10cm.

Now it’s coming on the wind, tearing down the valleys and disappearing. I feel sorry for the birds who had been so full of joy.

Hopefully it will blow away in the next few days. Some of my author friends in the US have had the same, but more so.

I just hope it means it will finish and there will be no late, sudden surprises that nip the buds off the fruit trees and bushes!


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Snow Muse!

This year, I’ve been mostly photographing this view from the kitchen window!