Remember snow?

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Six months after this image was taken, and the garden is in full growth. The cherries on the tree are swelling and lichen is growing on the tree.

Life runs in cycles. Soon the height of summer will be with with us. I hope it isn’t too hot. I don’t do heat. Maybe lockdown will end. Hopefully the virus will be bought under control. Only a small percentage of people have died out of earth’s massive population, but that doesn’t make the pandemic any less devastating. Maybe it’s time to think back and remember all those people who have died. Stay safe.

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Waiting for snow while towns flood

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We are living through a bad patch of weather. A couple of named storms, then more rain. Now the forecast is for snow and ice or hail. Watching the news tonight there are towns on the river Severn which are flooded. The flood defences that were put in to protect properties next to the river in one in a hundred years storms have been used many times in the last few years. At the moment the county of Shropshire is affected. Shrewsbury is badly flooded in places. Bewdley and now Ironbridge (heart of the industrial revolution) are in danger. In two places Red, danger of death, warnings have been issued. The defences are being overtopped. That means people who have refused to move out are in danger.

Our society makes things worse by building on flood plains, laying concrete and brick ‘features’ and parking spaces in our gardens, not maintaining the countryside and removing trees and hedges. Even in the light of all the floods we still want HS2 (a train line whichmeans people will be able to get from Manchester or Leeds to London about 20 minutes more quickly. In the plans for the train line ancient forests will be dug up and villages demolished or cut off. All for the massive cost of over £100 billion! Maybe we should spend that on greening the environment instead.

Now I’m waiting to see if it snows. Whatever happens I hope for respite for the flooded areas.

I thought it was cold.

I thought it was cold. Now it’s snowing! It hasn’t snowed in months. Since last year… Cars coming down the hill with hazard warning lights on. Luckily not slipping or sliding. The flakes are huge fluffy things. In an hour two inches have fallen. And the silence, the quiet that you get when snow falls. It muffled everything. Makes the world seem less busy. Now I’m going to put the heating on… For a bit…..

Red moon, blood moon…

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Before dawn someone in will die. The wolves are howling, it is not safe to go out…

So said the old man as he sat in the shack in the woods. He was with his best friend, a man twenty years younger, who had decided to visit for the weekend. I have my gun loaded, said the old man, I will protect us.

But no one has been killed by wolves in a hundred years, said his companion. Why do you think it will happen? Because of the blood moon came the stern answer.

As they settled down for the night clouds drifted over the moon, soon the storm hit. Snow fell deep, piling onto the shacks roof. One foot, two, four, finally eight. The snow was suffocating them, the fire had been allowed to burn low and suddenly snow fell down the chimney. The roof started to collapse, snow sifted in like sugar, through the cracks…..

The younger man woke with snow covering his face, cold, wet and smothering. It was pitch black, then the feeble rays of the blood moon penetrated the dark. With its help he struggled free. He had to locate his friend, the man was breathing, but unconscious. He dug him out with his hands and the help of the rifle.

Outside his truck was covered, it would take him ages to dig it out. Until then there was no chance of shelter. The shack was a jumbled mess.

All he could do was keep digging, hoping to get to a door, though whether his key would open the lock he doubted. It might be frozen shut.

A howl drifted through the night. The sound startled the digger who fought harder to shift the snow. The howl was closer, creeping towards them. He checked his friend, still breathing, but deathly pale and cold. If the wolves didn’t get them the freezing wind and snow would.

But slowly he was tiring, he had barely moved a few feet of snow. The sweat he was generating was freezing on his body. He started to shiver and his teeth chattered.

Out of the corner of his eye he saw the glowing eyes. First two, then four, then more. He closed his eyes, waited for the bite….. It didn’t come. Instead he felt the warmth of one of the wolves leaning against him, then another on the other side. Wolves are large creatures and the weight of them pulled him down to the ground. The warmth after the cold was making him drowsy.

In the morning the search party found both of them, fast asleep. There were indentations in the snow showing where the wolves had lain down. A rough count showed that twenty or so wolves had slept around the two men, helping warm them.

Later the old man admitted he didn’t believe it, but it must be true. The gun would never be used again…

( don’t try this at home folks, it’s just a story,).

Cutting paper

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Do you ever fold paper into six and cut it up to make paper snowflakes? Thats what I did a couple of years ago. Then I duplicated it with my layout app. I did various iterations, this is one is favourite. I’m concentrating on old art work because I haven’t got the energy to draw or paint tonight. I will try and do more things in the next few days again. I also want to try and write some more poetry, but I feel jumbled up in my head…..

Words like winter, shivering, cold, spring to mind.

Snow

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Snow, I’m sitting here wondering if it will or won’t. It tried to earlier on, little ice crystal shaped flecks melting on my windscreen.

So cold and chilly, even with the heating on. We don’t use our gas fire any more because it’s too old. The gas central heating boiler is due to be serviced in the morning.

Snow doesn’t happen much these days. If it does its usually in the new year for a few days. Not months like in the early 1960’s when there was snow on the ground in Britain for more than three months. When the drifts in country lanes were so deep children had to walk across fields to get to school. My hubby remembers that. When milk froze in milk bottles at school and pushed the silver lids up and off.

I remember walking to school and the snow over topped my wellies and soaked my stockinged feet. In fact I haven’t had to wear wellies (Wellington boots) for years. I miss my old blue wellies in the snow. I miss pretending to track people by looking at the tracks their shoes made….

Candle light

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The candle flickered and guttered as the front door opened. Jim entered the room with a flurry of snow. The cold air made a hole in the warmth.

‘You OK’ he asked? ‘Yes just about’ , said Sarah. ‘I kept the wood stove burning all day, but the power went out half an hour ago so I lit a candle ‘.

The weather had been mad since the 20’s. Global temperatures had continued to increase, but this winter had been wild. Snow had fallen for three months now. Sometimes they managed to get out to the shops, but they had to walk down the hill over the fields because the lane was full up with snow. It was one of those deep lanes which had been worn away over the centuries. The land around it was about 6 foot higher. In this snow it was impossible to get along because of the drifts.

‘So how many tablets have you got left?’ asked Jim. ‘Five’ she said. ‘I will have to get down to the village soon’ he thought for a second. ‘What about the weather?’

‘I heard the report before the power went off – bad for two days, then it might break?’

Jim looked at his wife, pale and thin. She was shivering with cold. ‘I’ll fetch you a blanket’ .

Later as they lay on a mattress infront of the wood burner, he looked at the ceiling and watched the last glimmers of the candle. He listened to her uneven breathing, a harsh rattle sometimes breaking into the rhythm of sleeping breath. ‘ Oh lord ‘ he thought, ‘let the snow stop, let me get her medicine, let things get better’ .

Three weeks later as the snow turned to rain, and the land flooded, the local police came looking for them. Inside the living room they found their bodies..

A note was on the table under a burnt down candle. ‘I can’t live without her’ was the simple message he had left.