Barmy BBQs to battling blizzards.

I may never climb Mount Everest, scale across Antartica, or win a rally race but there are some days that you feel like you have done all of the above, in a short space of time and over little ground. But there is no medal, no sponsor donated equipment, no champagne bottle to celebrate. You just get to feel accomplished while on your own, with a wee ‘un in tow. And think, ‘Ooo, I get to do the same tomorrow’ or ‘I may need Noah’s Ark tomorrow if this thaw really does take place and then it’ll feel like I’ve rowed the Atlantic’.

This morning’s snow tornadoes did little to stop the Mini Crofter and I from checking on the byre’s water situation. Yesterday the weather was more suited to the Swiss Alps as a good friend was up visiting and we sat out in the midday sun like mad dogs and Englishmen, enjoying the tranquility over a BBQ. As the sun disappeared it became very cold, rapidly. And with the cold weather I knew the byre was at risk of freezing. However, all seemed well this morning if not breezy from the south and shifting some snow about.

Fast forward 5 hours, and I was returning home to find snow drifts on the council road. Not a great sign but my optimism remained as I turned onto our track. Half way along the battle began. Landmarks such as fence posts, ditches, etc were used to figure out where the road was but soon I was on open ground and the drifts meant the pick-up started struggling. We were nearly home when we came to a complete standstill, neither going forward or back. As it was a short distance I stupidly decided not to use a sling but carry the Mini Crofter and his emergency bag back to the house. Think animated cartoon, two steps away from the vehicle and we both nearly ended up face first in the snow. The wind was so much more forceful than I had anticipated, nor had I realised how deep the drifts were. At that point I was thinking ‘Ach, once he’s asleep for his nap I’ll dig a path through and get the pick up back to the house. Ha! The drifts were about a foot deeper by the time I went past to check on the cows. Even worse, my footprints in the snow were gone. The wind wasn’t wasting any time. And lo, the cows’ water had frozen so round two, out goes the kettle.

The calves in the field had noticed the kettle trip (term kettlebells comes to mind but not in the corrrct usage) and they were certainly wanting attention. With the wind I decided to take their nuts over to the field shelter to avoid empty buckets ending up two Straths over. Half the journey across was on frozen grass. The second part was more than knee deep in snow, fighting off three eager calves and carrying three buckets in a way to avoid them carrying me off. After reaching the destination I stopped to get my puff back before the onwards and upwards journey continued.

Next was the chickens. The count in the coop indicated three were missing. A quick search showed they had been stranded in the spare coop and had been unable to get back. Their Crofting Rescue Service provided each of them with an airlift back to the coop and the bonus of food and water.

On days like this I think I should have just stayed home! It is due to warm up which should clear a lot of snow, typical as the Crofter is due home in four days. Might need a boat by then, at least the ducks will like it.

 

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