A few days ago it started snowing and at first we were pleased. With snow on the ground it meant we could walk the dogs in the field and they would not return to the house plastered in mud.
It was not too cold and the whole place was transformed from boggy looking fields into a winter wonderland with the snow artfully perched on the Sitka spruce like sugar frosting.
A couple of days in and the snow begins to lose its appeal. Its getting deeper and deeper which makes walking across a field rather like doing two hours on a step machine, especially if you happen to have buckets of water or bales of hay. Maybe we should invest in a sled.
All the gates and doors are difficult to open, embedded in the snow, and we find ourselves trying to squash through 6 inch gaps in our huge padded army jackets. Not only that but we spent several hours yesterday digging out the polytunnel which was groaning under the weight.
Today, the icing on the cake was the lack of running water. Our water pump had frozen.
Its not the first time we’ve been without water. The last time the pump froze was in January and we were left without water for several days and had to use buckets of water from the rain barrels outside.
With the big freeze in place, the ice on the top of the barrels had to be chipped away before we could get to the liquid underneath. It wasn’t exactly clean and not fit for drinking but at least we could use it to flush the loo.
The well is not frozen and neither is the pipe to the pump, it’s the pump itself where the problem lies. We took it to pieces and thawed out the pipe that was full of ice in a pan of simmering water on top of the Rayburn.
With a bit of fiddling about it was finally working again and we could once again enjoy the luxury of turning on a tap.
With the pump now working but temperatures plummeting and snow still falling, we retired to the barn to fill empty feed sacks with woolly fleece which we packed around the pump to try and insulate it against the adverse weather conditions.
Only time will tell if it has worked but we are both taking a shower this afternoon as we may not get another opportunity for a wee while!