Are You Skating On Thin Ice?

Ronan from Tom Sutton Heating visited today. He confirmed that we had taken all reasonable steps to reactivate our boiler, but that the capacitor needed replacing. He had ordered the part, which would not be delivered until Monday. He will fit it that evening

Ian, as already arranged, came to collect Flo, Dillon, and Ellie for a weekend at Southbourne. We will make use of their heater while they are away.

Now, on a bright, sunny, day with temperatures never rising above freezing where is the warmest place available to us? You have guessed it. The Modus.

We spent the early part of the afternoon unsuccessfully attempting to resuscitate the immersion heater, then took a ride in the car.

We needed to go no further than the largely icebound Hatchet Pond

where we stayed until just before the early sunset.

The pair of swans and their cygnets stayed on the edge of the lake.

Despite the sign set up by the Forestry Commission “Are you skating on thin ice?”, and the news of the deaths of four boys in Solihull succumbing to cardiac arrests from the shock of falling into icy water a few days ago,

one man, joined by a walker and a dog, skated up and down the Hatchet Moor section of the pond,

while a young family played on the shallows of the main body of water,

and a group of teenagers walked across it. Had the youngsters been here in the summer they would have been warned of the lethal currents in the depths of this pond.

A woman who remonstrated to no avail with the parents of the family, explained to us that her son was a fireman who had often been one who pulled dead bodies out of the water.

This evening we dined on the last of the left-overs. Jackie’s choice was the beef and the Bolognese, mine the curry.


  1. Oh Derrick, despite the beautiful photographs you have shown us, the fact that it is so very cold shines through. How I wish I could send you some of our heat. I had to laugh when my son in Norway spoke of the – ten degrees C and two inches of snow which meant he had to clear his driveway, when at the same time I was cleaning our swimming pool and followed that with sitting outdoors until it was too dark to see (because we had no power!) with blocks of ice in my wine! I can only hope the quality of warmth in your lives improves before too long.

  2. You are right, Derrick without central heating , it is better to make a tour with the Modus in the foret( and even, more than a tour ! 🙂 . However not forget to open the windows of the car from time to time..
    In friendship

  3. Having grown up on a large lake in Michigan, I can safely say that the family needs to get off of that pond very quickly, Derrick. As a kid, I learned about ice safety and never fell through the ice. I hope your heating source is repaired sooner than Monday!

          1. You are very welcome, Derrick, I love following your blog. You, Jackie, and your family are all very nice people! I hope that Jackie is feeling better now. ☺️???

  4. Glad that you heating apparatus can be repaired and not needing a whole new system. Pretty images of the geese, but seeing those folks on that ice was a little scary. Hope you and Jackie can stay warm enough until Tuesday!

  5. There’s always someone who wants to break the rules. Recently I had to insist that some young girls get out of a flooded creek which they were most reluctant to do. The dangers of such behaviour have been well illustrated in this country. Your photos are beautiful, but I would hate to be in such cold weather!

  6. I am glad there is a solution to your broiler problem, and it’s only the weekend away. Skating on “frozen” ponds is a dangerous game…

  7. So glad things will be fixed soon! Stay safe and as warm as you can under the circumstances.
    Your photos today are filled with mood! 🙂
    So scary, so tragic, so sad to hear about those 4 boys. 🙁
    (((HUGS))) ❤️

  8. I think it might be worth considering a couple of nights in a hotel if the cold begins to get to you. As I have learnt over the past few years, cold is a lot more damaging when you’re getting on in years.

  9. These late afternoon images are just gorgeous, but such a pity that these people don’t have the sense to put the safety of their children above everything else.

    The death of those boys was heartbreaking and I doubt the rescue services will ever get the images out of their heads.

  10. Glad to hear that your heat will be back on soon. I’ve read so many scary stories about people falling through thin ice. Yet some people never seem to learn of the dangers.

  11. A couple of days ago, I heard some really old old-timers talking about one of the freezes they experienced here. It froze so badly and solidly that people could walk across portions of our bays. I can’t remember how many inches of ice they found when they sawed open a hole to check it, but I’d bet it was sturdier than the ice those young men are walking on. “It won’t happen to me” can be such a tempting thought.

  12. I’m glad you’ll have regular heat Tuesday. If it gets uncomfortable, please consider other lodgings. The swan photos are beautiful. I also like the second one with all the trees.

  13. What gorgeous, golden photos. I’m glad the day was so beautiful since you were a refugee from the cold. I hope your heater is finally fixed completely and operational again on Monday!

  14. Oh dear. So many of us tend to think that ‘it will never happen to them’. It is a little warmer here this morning and hopefully it is the same with you, Derrick. Nonetheless, your house must be so cold by now. I hope you are both ok.

  15. It happens every winter, people throw caution to the wind, then tragedy ensues. Some even drive their cart or snowmobile across thin ice and ‘whoosh’ , down they go. The ducks can do it, though. Stay warm, Derrick!

  16. From summer’s inferno to winter’s ice kingdom. Seems not so long ago animals and people were desperately looking for shade. I hope there are no more tragedies from thin ice. There is an old saying (my father said it frequently) , “Experience runs a dear school, but a fool will learn in no other”.

  17. Beautiful pictures. Inside a car on a bright sunny day (that is otherwise very chilly) can be surprisingly comfortable. I remember years ago working in an office that was so cold one day, that I spent my lunch hour sitting in my car warming up.

  18. Some people just don’t heed danger – in fact some thrive on it, I think. Sad story that some died in the freezing water while others ignored the danger and played with fate.

  19. Monday is coming! What is it about people and ice? Thin ice doesn’t seem to be a deterrent. In Maine, some people even lose their cars because the ice is too thin to hold a vehicle.

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