The many and various ways I pass the time now has a new addition. Usually it involves drinking coffee whilst sitting at a computer keeping in touch with chums, or sipping wine sitting on our tiny terrace catching the sun, and wondering what else I can do to avoid any cleaning or tidying or putting away of stuff and things that aren't even MINE. And now I am going to type this blog. Provided that doesn't become a chore as well, in which case...

Friday, 5 April 2013

What a Difference A Few Hundred Feet Make!

I am getting news from my local Big Sis (aka Perpetua of Perpetually In Transit, on Blogger) in dribs and drabs via e-mail and in posts and comments on here.  She and her DH have been snowed up for just shy of a fortnight in their country fastness (extremely fast fastness, at present) which is an old farmhouse and collection of outbuildings and a barn on the side of a proper big Welsh hill about five miles away.  A thousand or so feet above sea level.

I have another Big Sis who is even taller than Perpetua, but she and her DH are city dwellers well to the south and west of here.  So they (as we are we, much lower down in mid-Wales, at about 700 feet) aren't currently bothered by heaped-up drifts blocking their only lane out to the land of other people. 

Rural Big Sis, however, is so bothered, and - as a consequence - still marooned.  As she is retired, and so is the DH (they will both turn 67 in 2013) and neither of them has an urgent appointment anywhere, they have been content to sit tight, sit it out, and work their way through the contents of their chest freezers.  Until such time as the thaw and snowmelt arrives to free them and their car (and so reunite them with what some people are pleased to call civilisation, but what I normally just refer to as SHOPS).

A fortnight is an awful long time to be snowed up.  Even if you have litres of the stuff on standby in a freezer, one can get very close to running out of milk.  This, to a Brit in Britain is tantamount to crisis, as in any crisis a Brit needs TEA, and the tea needs milk, and that is all there is to it.  A cultural and societal norm.  The battle of Britain was won on tea, the Blitz was endured on tea.  And the tea must have milk, and maybe also sugar.  Lemon won't hack it.  WE can't hack it, not without milk for tea.

So I am relieved to learn today that Tesco, like the cavalry, has been sent for, and a van delivery will arrive after the weekend at the top of their very long still snow-blocked lane.  They will reconnoitre with the van driver, and bring the bags and boxes down via wheelbarrow, they think, along the side of the lane where the drifts aren't quite so high, presumably.  Drifts frozen like concrete.  Two-week old driftsSnow that fell a fortnight ago.  With no postal deliveries since, no visitors, and no trips out.

Chez Goldenoldenlady we were inconvenienced for one day only, just five miles away and three hundred or so feet lower down, by very different snow on the same day. 

Makes you think, eh?


  1. Time, place and opportunity have whole new meanings, don't they? I hope Perpetua and her DH get along very, very well. Hooray for Tesco delivery!

    Have fun this weekend.

    1. They do get along well. I could have turned the above piece into a paeon of praise to their forty-five years marriage, but that would have embarrassed them. I thought I'd leave it as an unstated subtext...

  2. Hari OM
    Golly, yes. I have been following P's progress closely as I know the experience. Tea without milk, I mean! Well, isolation too, but having to learn to drink black tea - you soooo have to have GOOD tea for that. Otherwise, plain boiled water is preferable.

    Sigh. It's the small things in life, what? Those and a matter of 300 feet. Have a good weekend! YAM

    1. You too, Yam. Our weekend will be a thing of two parts. One being the Grand National, the other being the gradual passing from this world of a great old chum of The Husband's who is going through the very last days of endstage cancer. He is 54. So sad.

    2. Hari Om
      No respect for age, place or gender, has it? May it be peaceful for him now.

      GN already, somewhere in my head I thought that was May. Oh well; whichever one you're on, "Go you good thing!" YAM.

    3. The Husband's friend has shuffled off his mortal coil now. He was immensely brave and didn't seem at all sorry for himself that he had incurable pancreatic cancer (vascular involvement meant the whole primary tumour could not be removed). We met socially three times in the last year or so of his life and he was brilliant, not shy of the topic, but not dining out on it either. Impressive.

      I didn't lay a bet in the end. I might have backed Seebass (I did last year, each way, and made a few quid) but the odds were too short on the day, as Seebass was favourite. Came 13th! So I spent what would have been my stake on a bottle of cava.

      The FA Cup Final is usually May. Perhaps that's what you were thinking.

    4. So sorry to hear that. Pancreatic is one of the hardest to treat.

      I quite fancied Seabas for its woman rider, but thought the outsider ran a brilliant race. That young jockey was over the moon. :-)

    5. The Walshes were so acclaimed beforehand, but neither of them did the business. The young fellow who rode the winner hadn't run the race before, and his mount was at 66-1, which just goes to show how utterly random the GN can be.

      A relief thet all survived. It can be such a cavalry charge at the start.

      I have thought much this weekend of our Granddad who died very rapidly of pancreatic cancer aged 75, in the mid 1960s. I think he was in hospital for a fortnight (max) from diagnosis to demise. The Husband's friend has/had known he had this looming for many, many months, and all his family and friends as well. He dealt with it in such an impressive and exemplary manner. His nearest and dearest however, are "in bits".

      I have thought over and again, thank goodness breasts are on the outside, and not vital organs. Can make such a difference...

    6. Oh, as you are in the business, please pray for the soul of Dave Booker, and the comfort and relief of Bev Booker, his wife, now widow, and his many nearest and dearest.

      If I could I would, but I can't so I shan't.

    7. Of course. It goes without saying. When I read your reply to Yamani I too thought of Granddad, who hadnt been well for a while but with such vague symptoms that diagnosis came very late, which probably kindest for him. It's so hard to have to face the inevitable over a long period.

      Hugs to you both, but especially BB.

  3. I'm chortling here, Baby Sis. Yep, those three hundred feet and exposure to the dreaded east wind make all the difference. We often get snow when the valley below stays green, but this is a whole new ball game.

    Milk for tea (or coffee for DH) is an absolute must and we can manage until the Tesco cavalry arrive, providing the hill snow (rain for you) now forecast for Tuesday doesn't intervene. :-) We'll bring the goodies down across the field as the lane really is impassible and will then be OK for as long as it takes.

    In response to Lesa, yes, we do get along well, thank goodness, as we can each take refuge in our own space for part of the day. :-)

    PS The chest freezers were given honourable retirement when the offspring left home and took their appetites with them. :-)

    1. Shows how out-of-date some of my information is; I can't have been in your utility room for years!

    2. You haven't missed much. ;-)

  4. So pleased to hear that Tesco is coming to the party with supplies.