Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Winter time

The weather has turned more wintry lately. We had a frost earlier in the week and the gritting lorry went through the village spreading rock salt over the roads and pavements. All our gloves and scarves have been brought out again and sit on top of our shoe cupboard in the hall ready to be grabbed as we go out. It seems that more than half the pile belongs to me so I think I should concentrate on knitting something else this winter.

At the allotment I am harvesting winter vegetables, leeks, chard and spinach beet (my parsnips didn't germinate this year) and I am working to clear the ground of the last of the weeds. I planted half a packet of broad beans this week, the second half will be planted after Christmas. This should extend the season but I sometimes find that the second crop catches up with the first.

The beginnings of the colder weather also means that I will have to bring the water container from the chicken run into the house in the evening. The water in our small bird bath was frozen one morning so I think a metal container of water on the ground would easily freeze in a heavy frost. It will be easier to bring it in and stand it in the kitchen overnight rather than having to defrost it if it does freeze.

I'm sure in a couple of months I shall be fed up with the cold damp weather but at the moment I am enjoying the changes to the routine that this time of year brings. My favourite time of the day is late afternoon, around half past four. I have just returned from picking my younger son up from the station so both boys are home, the chickens are safely tucked up for the night and its getting dark so I can go round the house pulling all the curtains to keep the heat in. At the moment we have set the heating to come on just for three hours each evening from six to nine but if its cold we switch it on for an extra hour for a bit more warmth. The boys chat and unwind after school while I start to prepare the meal, then when my husband gets in a couple of hours later we can lock all the doors and the whole family is safe and warm at home.


nĂ  said...

hello again; yay, that sounds like a great way to spend an afternoon and evening. all homely and nice.
and all that allotment work too! we planted beans and peas last week.
strangely our parsnips didn't happen this year either, last year they were abundant, who knows why?!

Heather L. said...

How cozy! We haven't had a frost yet, but one of these days it will come. The weather has been cooler, although still up in the 50's sometimes.

Jill said...

Willow, I always think there is something magical about the winter. Do you get snow where you live?

willow said...

The cold spell has certainly taken hold this week with several frosts and a temperature of minus 4.5C this morning.

Parsnips are a law unto themselves I think. Its a pity that I didn't get any though as they are always better after a frost so they would have been perfect by now.

The frost has come a bit earlier this year I think, sometimes it is almost Christmas before I have to scrape the ice off my car in the mornings.

I agree, winter is magical when it is crisp and bright. Of course some of the time its just plain dull, cold and muddy and then I'm not so keen! We only seem to get a couple of days snow each winter in this part of the UK. Last year there was enough to build a snowman, we'll just have to wait and see whats in store for this winter.

tash said...

I love the pile of scarves and hats - it's really getting to be that sort of weather, isn't it? At least you are wonderfully prepared to meet the cold.

With the hen's water feeder, theirs is inside their house at all times because when we hung it up, or put it on the floor, they used to get mud and all sorts of gunk in it. I'm awfully glad they have their gorgeous feathers to keep them snug, it's miserable out there!

I agree with you completely, that time of the afternoon (as long as one isn't sat in miles of stationary traffic!) is lovely. It's the quietest time in the house and often I sit down on the sofa and watch the light wane and the streetlights come on.