Saturday, 19 January 2013

snow days!

I have been wanting to add some pictures here for a while and for once the camera battery was fully charged at the right time. That's the thing with our boat's 12 volt system - anything with a plug and needing charging with the inverter has to form an orderly queue. Generally the laptop and phone get in first. Yes, a solar panel would be a good thing, but my concern is that we would then be tempted to acquire more things with plugs which we probably don't need.
Just before the snow fell, a walker on the towpath glanced at our little boat, shivered and said he was very glad to have central heating. Inside, we are warm and cosy - our solid fuel stove throws out quite enough heat, too much sometimes, and then we have to  open the windows. And talking of energy, we can also change our gas supplier whenever we like. We got our last bottle from Will Coalboat, the time before that we went to a marina (don't tell Will!).
Like kids waiting for Santa, we were looking forward to the snow - our first snow on the boat! I was so disappointed at 3am on Friday when it still hadn't arrived. But by 7, the boats and the gound were covered and the snow was still falling. One of my favourite things about snow is the kind of silence that it brings. Less traffic, fewer people, but also a muffled quality. Like being wrapped in a blanket. Like being in a magical world. The road was hidden from view and as we looked up through the trees and saw a single street lamp still on. Like Narnia! We failed to find the wardrobe so we came home.
At dusk, I looked up from my work to see a bid of prey landing on the fence post opposite the window, a kestrel or a falcon, not sure which. The mallards who had been cruising up and down in the hope of bread went very quiet and drew up close to the side of the boat. The finches and the longtailed tits disappeared. We watched enchanted as the hunter took off and flew in large sweeping arcs, scanning every inch of the snow covered ground for prey. Then he moved on, and cautiously the ducks came out of hiding.

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