Thursday, 8 January 2015

Not a good start to the year

One thing we have noticed here is the uncanny accuracy of the local weather forecasts. Weather change is often predicted some weeks ahead and is almost always spot on, with temperature changes, storms etc. proving to be forecast correctly almost down to the hour of the day.

With this in mind we thought we had prepared properly for the cold spell that was forecast for this week. We made sure we had plenty of wood for the wood-burner that runs our central heating, we had a local company come and put anti freeze in the solar panels and to lag the bare pipes on the roof. David has been to the builders merchant for pipe insulation and has put this round all the lower level pipework - which tends to be outside here.

So when as predicted the cold spell arrived earlier this week we were sitting smugly, cosy in our lovely warm house without a care in the world. It was therefore quite shocking to discover this morning that water was pouring out of the solar panels. We have rung the excellent local maintenance company that we use, but understandably busy they can't get here until later on today so currently we have no water as we have had to switch it off at the mains. Now we await the result of their visit with trepidation to know the cost involved in putting the problem right, when they can do it and how long it will take.

This is not the first problem we have had recently with water. We have discovered that there seems to be water leaking into one of the guest bedrooms, and because we rarely use it, it was not discovered until half the wooden floor had gone rotten. Presumably the fault is somewhere in the adjoining en-suite bathroom which of course is fully tiled. So that probably means taking up the tiles to even find the fault. We are definitely living in dread of what that is going to cost us to put right. So for any one coming to stay this year better bring your wellies!

Big problem to sort in one of the bedrooms!

The high winds during the night have blown off a lot of the screening I put on our railings last year, so later I need to go out and see if I can put it back or whether it has to be replaced.

My screening flapping in the wind

The dogs are fed up because it's too cold for them to spend much time outside. The cats are huddled around the house in the warmest spots they can find. I'm even making hot water bottles for our old girl with renal failure as she seems to feel the cold so terribly.

Cingene snuggled up in her bed on her hot water bottle

To top it all a digger has arrived this morning in the field at the front of the house and is digging all the hedging up directly outside our property. A lorry is bringing loads of earth so presumably the plot has now been sold and we will soon be having new neighbours.

It really is bitterly cold outside, currently -1C on our terrace at lunchtime, but the strong winds are making it feel an awful lot colder. The winds are blowing the water in the pool around and in the back garden we even have ice on the pond. From what we hear it is considerably warmer in the UK and that doesn't happen very often. Just as well as I may be having to go back to earn some money to pay for all our repairs.

I do not think I shall swim today .......

..... and there is ice on the pond!

All in all the fogies have had better days. Normally we do not drink much alcohol but we have already had a brandy in our coffee this morning. Purely for the medicinal effects you understand - for the shock and the cold!


  1. I'm in the UK for a week, watching the weather forecast and mourning for my garden which will be frozen solid.

    1. Well at least you know when to get out! Good timing B to B, but yes the garden is a worry I agree.