Discussing Tens machines this morning Jackie mentioned that she can’t find hers, and assumed it has got lost in one of our several moves. A short while later, we spoke about the potential for photographing, in the snow that has fallen overnight, a subject for next year’s Christmas card. I said that one card I’d always wanted to produce was from a photo of a manger scene Becky had painted years ago in Newark. She had designed the float for the Caribbean Club’s contribution to a parade. I had a print of it, but didn’t know about the negative. When I left Lindum House a box of negatives went missing. ‘There’s a storeroom somewhere full of all the stuff that gets lost in moves’, said Jackie.
Snow fell steadily today, coating Minstead to provide romantic images. As I set off down Running Hill, a four by four vehicle, its brake lights piercing the falling snow, travelled downhill, without mishap, very very slowly. Sky and distant landscape merged into a backcloth of sludge. The snow on the ground was, however, virginal white. My goal was the churchyard. I hadn’t gone far before Berry called me from behind. She was walking up to the field to tend her horses. We accompanied each other as far as The Splash, at which point she turned right and I took the footpath from the ford to All Saints church.
At the ford there is a rather sheltered parking area. Car tracks in the relatively shallow precipitation layer made a pattern which required the addition of two sets of initials separated by L to complete the picture. The footpath was very muddy under the snow, but I was wearing wellies so I retained my footwear and kept my trousers clean.
Two horses grazing in the blizzard looked up when their owner called them, then carried on powdering their noses.
I felt a bit of a vandal ruining the thick white carpet covering the churchyard as I left my footprints all over it. No-one else had yet disturbed the view.
The trees bordering our garden continued to gather snow, occasionally letting fall flurries echoing those blown off houses earlier at Seamans Corner. At first sight these billows had looked like the woodsmoke I often smell there.
As the roads became more difficult we wondered whether we would have another night of pinched buttocks. This is because our lavatory seat has riven in two. We’ve tried to close the gap by taping it , but the tape seems to split too. Consequently, unless you are very careful you are nipped when enthroned. A man was due to bring and fit a new one at nine o’clock this morning. The poor chap was stuck in traffic. He insisted on perservering and eventually, to our relief, turned up soon after two. The fitting was too small, but, for our convenience, he left it and will return with a bigger one next week.
Rather rashly, we set off to drive to The Firs. We didn’t get very far. About a car’s length. Backwards. With wheel spin. We weren’t going anywhere. So we decided to return the car to the parking spot. No way. Spinning wheels going nowhere. Jackie went inside to get some dishwasher salt. She spread it about a bit. It didn’t help. I set about kicking snow out of the way. Adam, who lives upstairs, said there was some grit in a box. We didn’t have anything to carry it in. Jackie went back to the flat and emerged with a grill pan and a broom. Meanwhile Adam had found another broom. I gathered some panfuls of grit which we dispersed on the swept snow. Jackie had another go at driving back to where she’d come from. All ten yards. Eventually, with a push from Adam and me, she made it, and we returned home to thaw out.
We had planned a visit to Eastern Nights at Thornhill. Jackie’s smoked haddock and a shared bottle of Cimarosa Chardonnay 2012 was a very satisfactory substitute.