A Year in a Lane – Week 50

We have had a few early morning mists recently, some of which I have captured on this blog. However, this week we have had mists at the end of the day at low level. This produces quite an eerie effect – this picture and the one below were taken about 4.45 in the afternoon.


The low level nature of this mist is better illustrated by a view across the farm field as shown below. It’s a shame there are no sheep around as this would have provided an interesting photo opportunity.


Stuff always seems to break more in the winter – particularly anything made of wood that lives outside. The damp and cold exacerbates any damage or weakness and quite often something reaches that critical point. The horse feeder below is a prime example although it isn’t helped by half a ton of horse using it to scratch his rear end occasionally!


The stile at the end of the driveway has also given way. I don’t think Tommy can be blamed for this unless he has been going for midnight strolls across the field! Technically it is the farmer’s responsibility to repair this although I quite often effect minor repairs myself as I don’t fancy anyone breaking a limb at the end of the driveway. (caring thought for Christmas!)


This last picture is rubbish. A salutary lesson for those of us that have to drive the recycling and bin bags half a mile to be collected. If you get it wrong one week and leave the recycling out instead of household rubbish, you have twice as much to go out next time!! One of these boxes belongs to my neighbour (honestly!) but I blame the head gardener for her prolific wine consumption for the rest of the bottles!



A Year in a Lane – Week 49

Energy supply is more of a conscious effort in the countryside than in the town where the utilities are all “plumbed” in. There is, for example, no mains gas which means if you want to use that energy source then you have to have calor gas. The alternative to that is oil. Either way you have to have a physical delivery of something, which entails other problems. Living down a country lane and having no turning circle for anything bigger than a flatbed brings a variety of challenges. The oil lorry isn’t going to swing round in the driveway!


So the solution is for the nice man driving the thing to reverse two thirds of the way up and run a very long hose to the tank. Fortunately most of the drivers who deliver in these parts are used to this sort of arrangement. You can see next door’s tank in the picture above so they have a similar situation.


It’s Christmas month and we love to have lots of festive lights on in the house and also in the garden outside. The gazebo is ideal for the outdoor ones. It is looking a little sorry for itself after having been blown around earlier in the year (Storm George or something of that ilk) so this will be its last job before a new model is brought in for next spring.


The skies are currently really dull and overcast albeit not too much rain thank goodness. This pigeon sits fairly miserably in a bare tree against a grey backdrop – he looks how I feel this time of year!



A Year in a Lane – Week 48

This week has seen the arrival (at least temporarily) of what is known as a “proper” winter. The temperature has dropped and the clear skies have produced some lovely sharp winter sunny spells, especially in the morning.


We have also had some lovely early morning mists, which fortunately haven’t turned to serious fog thus causing problems when driving.


As the temperature has dropped we have had some very cold nights – the week low was -7 degrees overnight. Although the sun has been bright it is obviously not that warm at this time of year and areas that get little direct sunlight are liable to remain frozen. This is the verge down the driveway at 2pm one day this week.


Earlier on in the year, the remaining goldfish were stolen by a heron which at least saves the problem of having to break the ice on top of the pond for them.


The vista across the fields has had that lovely winter look early in the mornings this week. Looks almost like a Christmas card, which is topical at this time of year.


One fellow who remains hardy throughout the winter is Flash. He is a New Forest pony so doesn’t really need a blanket to keep warm as his coat naturally thickens to protect him. This is just as well as, with the really cold snap, approaching we decided maybe a blanket might help given that he is not getting any younger. Despite not being the most active or quickest horse in the world, he managed to avoid the attentions of three people trying to put his rug on for thirty minutes before they conceded defeat. He looks well enough anyway and happy to pose for the camera.