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Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Tuesday Talk with Helen Hollick. Iced Snow.

We had snow. Twice. OK so maybe that isn't unusual for winter, but it isn't so usual for the latter half of March, at least, not here in North Devon.

But it wasn't just the snow, it was the biting cold that went with it that wasn't very enthusiasm enducing. The top layer of snow in the first fall (The Beast from the East) was ice, so none of that nice 'snowman making' material,  just hard crust, like the top layer of a badly made cake!

The second lot was proper snow, daughter Kathy and I, and the two dogs, went for a lovely walk up the lane and into our top field - the dogs loved it! (Well, Eddie did, Baz is a sit-in-front-of-the-fire Labrador-type, he wanted to go home.)

This, below, is the lane beside our dairy where my Donk lives (taken in summer when we'd brought the hay in) You can see how steep it is. We'd kept most of it clear of snow, but it froze once the temperature dropped in the evening and where the field run-off had drained down the hill it formed a sheet of black ice.

Which I didn't know was there.

I went out to give my donkey some evening hay - and got stuck half way across the lane because I had stepped out onto this malevolent ice and discovered that I was in trouble!  I managed to get to 'safe' ground and give Donk his hay, but how to get back to the house?

Try lower down the lane? Bad idea.
Same thing happened. I stepped out and the ice was even worse. I was well and truly marooned! I found that I daren't move - unable to turn back, unable to go forwards because if I tried either option I knew I'd fall. And it would hurt. A Lot.

Baz, the dog, was with me. I grumpily informed him that had he been Lassie he would run back to the house, bark loudly and inform them 'Mum's stuck."
All he did was sit there and look at me quizzically.

Hmm. Problemo.

I shouted. I shouted again.

No response.

Darn 3 foot thick farm house stone walls, loud TVs and double glazing!

I was starting to wonder if I would be there all night (would anyone indoors notice I was missing?) when FINALLY I was heard.

"Don't come  onto the lane!" I cried: "go get some salt!"

So I was rescued, but that was not a pleasant experience.

How on earth did people in the past manage with the snow and ice? 

< previous article The Return of Escaping to the Country 


  1. What a lovely portrayal of the countryside. I love the contrasting reactions of the dogs, one frolicking and the other tentative.

    1. Yes the two dogs are as different as chalk and cheese! They love going out for a proper walk of a morning (my husband is usually out with them for over an hour) but otherwise Baz would rather stretch out on the couch and watch TV *laugh* while Eddie is FAR too busy for all that indoorsy stuff!


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