Bats in the Belfry

It’s rubbing off on me, I can’t resist it, but I’m back again to talk about the weather! This deep freeze has been going on for weeks now, with the sun up today the temperature was minus seven below. The thing is, it didn’t seem all that cold outside. Maybe I’m acclimatising, or maybe I’m growing extra hair to keep warm, hopefully not. Instead of being snowed in, we’re now iced in, and I can do nothing but laugh about it. The entire country has ground to a halt. I was asked to go out this morning to take some photographs of the state of the country lanes where I live. This was to show to the council, to convince them (like we should have to) that, really, they should get off their lardy arses and come and dig us out. I was warned yesterday, as I scraped off my car and got ready for an ice expedition, that it wouldn’t be a great idea to even try it. After I saw the roads this morning, I was glad I saw sense. Waiting for me outside the snow truck I was being driven in, was not just a thin blanket but more of a solid black duvet of about seven inches of ice. This covered most of the road along the only accessible stretch out of here, thicker in some places than others.

So, I took a few photos, and they are awaiting the council’s perusal. The thing was, we couldn’t get down to the council depot to deliver them because of the ice. Neither could we email them because we weren’t able to find the correct address to send them, due to the unfathomable council contact system. So the ice is still caking up the roads, and if I were to try my luck, I’d leave the entire under carriage of my car behind me in the process. I’d probably get to see the road from an entirely different perspective too, from the other side of the hedge.

Really, the ice on the roads has only been a fraction of the chaos. Firstly, yesterday, just as I was having a nice hot shower, the water suddenly went ice cold. This is never a nice sensation. At first I thought the washing machine down stairs must have sucked all my lovely hot water away from the upstairs overhead pipe. I leapt out of the shower in disgust. Moments later all taps in the bathroom ceased to operate at all. Downstairs in the kitchen, a similar story, no water at all. Oh Shit. At first we thought the boiler in the attic must have frozen. Upon inspection this was not the case, but it did seem that something might have got stuck in one of the pipes. Poking and prodding with bits of wire that weren’t really up to the job, but buggered if a plumber would know any better. With little or no room to manoeuvre in the space above the attic door where the tank is, the job was enough to try the patience of a saint.

It’s a good job I wasn’t the one trying to fix it, as I’ve got about as much patience as a runny nose. We still haven’t got any hot water today, but have surmised that we have got bats in the belfry. Not that we have a belfry as such, but it’s got a nice ring to it and it makes a good headline for this blog. What we think has happened is, because there is no water for the animals and creatures outside because it’s all turned to ice, the bats who live in our loft have, out of desperation, gone into the top of the household water tank to get a drink, and have fallen in. If you’re an animal lover like me, your reaction will be the same as mine was. Awwwww. All my selfishness shriveled into nothing, and visions of a poor little bat stuck in the pipe replaced any thoughts I had. We’ve got lots of tiny bats living in and around the cracks in this old house, and I love them. So the prognosis is, unable to unweed what ever it is that’s lodged, the pipes will have to be sawn owf and re-piped. This may take some time, and I am about to become feral. Dreadlocks for Christmas.

In the mean time, outside on the farm, the animals are parched. All the troughs have frozen up, and all day has been spent trying to get water to them. The underground well from which we get our entire water supply had also frozen up this morning. This was a revelation of the ugly variety. For the last best part of a year, ever since we had the well hole bored underground, we have been spoiled with probably the most pristine water you can get. I think it’s better than any bottled water I’ve ever drunk. Today we had to capitulate, and go back on the mains water. This might sound ungrateful, and I don’t mean it to, but it tasted like shit. Not only this, but ever since a friend mentioned at the weekend that ‘they’, and I phrase that loosely, put hormones in the water to control the population (and give men man boobs), I felt like drinking it even less.

So, the current temperature is seven below and dropping. Beautiful clear sky outside, and apart from the disruption there is one bonus to this cold snap, a constant supply of cold cider. My Christmas stash, three for the price of two be rude not to, is perfectly chilled without the need for fridge space. Our porch is one gigantic freezer. Today saw the return of the beautiful ice formations on the inside of the window, last year it happened just once.

With temperatures assured (as much as they can be) to drop to about fifteen below by Wednesday, with heavy snow forecast at the weekend, I can’t guarantee that this will be the last you’ll hear about me and the weather. As much as I poke fun about the fascination of constantly talking about it, when you’ve got cabin fever and can’t really venture out, what else are you going to gas about. It’s Christmas at the weekend. If you could hear my enthusiasm, you’d probably laugh. If I’m still iced in by then, I’m bound to have some more tales to tell…

Until then… Skate like a pro

Over and Out

Captain Jayneway

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